adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT
adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT

1 audiobook of your choice.
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
$14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $24.49

Buy for $24.49

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

From an acclaimed master of historical fiction comes an epic saga about a reluctant hero, the Roman Empire, and the rise of a new power. 

Jerusalem and the Sinai desert, AD 55. In the turbulent aftermath of the crucifixion of Jesus, agents of the Roman Empire receive information about a pilgrim bearing an incendiary letter from a religious fanatic calling himself Paul the Apostle to insurrectionists in Corinth. What's in the letter could bring down an empire. 

The Romans hire a former legionary, a solitary man-at-arms named Telamon to intercept the letter and destroy the courier. Telamon fights for money, not principles. He's been promised a rich reward; should he fail, the punishment is death by crucifixion. But once he meets the courier, Telamon experiences an extraordinary conversion, and instead of carrying out the mission, takes on the Empire. 

In his first novel of the ancient world in 13 years, the best-selling author of Gates of Fire and Tides of War returns with a gripping saga of conquest and rebellion, bloodshed and faith.

©2021 Steven Pressfield (P)2021 Recorded Books

What listeners say about A Man at Arms

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    159
  • 4 Stars
    35
  • 3 Stars
    11
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    2
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    147
  • 4 Stars
    24
  • 3 Stars
    6
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    3
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    142
  • 4 Stars
    28
  • 3 Stars
    7
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The Letter Carrier

55 A.D. -- Brilliant historical fiction weaving one of the best know stories of Western Civilization into a compelling tale of intrigue, action, and high risk. The early description about Roman mail delivery and roads in those times confused me until it was apparent what the story was about.

The Apostle Paul is trying to get a letter to the dysfunctional, fracturing church in Corinth. (1 Corinthians is about everything a church and its people shouldn't be doing. Read 1 Corinthian's 1:10-17; it gives you the background on some of the plot later in the book.)

The issue is left up to a former Roman Legionaire who is now a mercenary, a mute Christian girl, a fourteen year old Jewish boy, and a person the Romans considered "the most dangerous man in the world." The Romans use all their tools of brutality to stop delivery of the letter. The Man at Arms bears arms in defense.

The characters are wonderful. I hope there is a sequel.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

I couldn't finish it

The narrator killed this book for me. Pressfield is my favorite author but I could not continue listening to the halting, almost staccato-like manner in which the narrator speaks. It sounds as though he is pausing to take in a breath every three words.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

An Instant Classic with Themes From Other Works

I am a big fan of Pressfield's, Gates of Fire, and have followed him on social media because of it. His other books are fantastic in their own regard, but there is a once-in-a-lifetime special book that any author can write; Stephen Pressfield now has his second.

There are themes from other works, Gates of Fire being one but others just as prevalent. A bit of King's Dark Tower series; Cormack McCarthy's, The Road; The Film, The Book of Eli, by the Hughes Brothers; The New Testament; and a sprinkling of Joss Whedon's Firefly/Serenity. However, the overriding motif comes from: King, Warrior, Magician, Lover, by Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette. These themes are merely that as this book stands on its own feet.

I really don't want to oversell this book. It is as good as Gates of Fire; perhaps even better. Only time as well as additional listening and reading of these two works will one cement itself as #3 on my all time must read list. The other however will be #4.

I usually listen at or about 3x speed, but I slowed it down to 2.25x for this narration. I've listened to several by Guidall in the past and enjoy his voice, but something about it isn't as crisp as other narrators.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Distracting narration

The story isn’t bad, but I could barely stay focused on it due to unexpectedly poor narration. Guidall is usually fantastic, I’ve listened to nearly a dozen books read by him and consider him one of my favorite narrators. But this one is full of strange, awkward pauses in nearly every sentence, almost as if he was constantly running out of breadth. Maybe he had covid?? I’m afraid it pretty much ruined the book for me, I’ll be returning it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Christian Perspective

if you have seen the movie Risen and enjoyed it, this book is for you. This is my first Steven Pressfield book and I devoured it. great characters, excellent pacing, short chapter length and easy to digest. his infusion of cultural and topographic descriptions flesh out the story and setting. haven been to Israel and Jordan this was a great read and it was easy to picture the journey.

note... this does not contain any story from the Bible but is also not "heresey" he is respectful to the texts...this is a fictional story that surrounds itself around what could have happened during the life of Paul the Apostle and it was fantastic

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Gripped for 700 miles - Excellent

I had no problem with the narrator for this work. The content of the story over road any friction that the narrator might have caused. I am Pressfield fan. I am also a fan of historical fiction. This book is loaded with so many location and cultural references and scenes that are new to me and that I have not experienced in any other book. There are extraordinary characters throughout and violence that is horrific to say the least. Steven does not hold back on describing the grit...be it bloody or just the human condition. There are also many terms and ideas that I learned along the way that I had never considered. The descriptions of travel and Roman roads, aqueducts, policing, communications and lawlessness that definitely conveyed the barbaric times of this story. The religious angle does not promote religion but rather helps shape an extraordinary narrative and a journey that leaves one wondering how anyone survived at that time.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

a surprising deloght

i was amazed by the ending. The book via audio is well worth the journey. Enjoy a master story teller make history come alive.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Gripping tale.

Loved it. Well researched about the period however questionable about the letter. Makes for a GREAT story and better ending. Well done.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Pressfield writes another masterpiece.

it took me awhile to get used to the narrator, but the story was classic Pressfield.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Captivating. Whether a Believer or not.

Mr. Guidall's narration puts the reader right in the middle of the agony, the extasy, the pain, the suffering, and the love. Thank you.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Chris Dennemont
  • Chris Dennemont
  • 04-15-21

Brilliant and brutal and beautifully written

I’ve read a lot of historical fiction. In my experience, the author stretches a predictable formula over historical facts.

Mr Pressfield’s book is, in many ways, a predictable formula. Essentially, a rock hard worldly man partnered to an innocent girl on a shared journey. The historical context is that of the New Testament which is similarly familiar.

And yet, this tale is distinctly fresh, riveting, real to the senses and emotionally engaging.

The writing is epic without the feeling the author is trying to make it so.

Brilliant from start to finish.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 03-09-21

interesting

enjoyed the story but the performance was extremely off putting. it sounded very stop start and broke up the flow of the book.