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The Falcon of Sparta

Narrated by: Michael Fox
Length: 12 hrs and 13 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (32 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of The Falcon of Sparta by Conn Iggulden. 

In the Ancient World, one army was feared above all others. This is their story. 

When Cyrus, brother to the Great King of Persia, attempts to overthrow his reckless sibling, he employs a Greek mercenary army of 10,000 soldiers. When this army becomes stranded as a result of the unexpected death of Cyrus and then witnesses the treacherous murder of its entire officer corps, despair overtakes them. 

One man, Xenophon, rallies the Greeks. As he attempts to lead them to freedom across 1,500 miles of hostile territory seething with adversaries, 10,000 men set off on the long way home. 

©2018 Conn Iggulden (P)2018 Penguin Books Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Another Work of Art

Iggulden knocks it out of the park once again, it's gripping, from start to finish

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An excellent retelling

Very enjoyable despite the somewhat apathetic tone of the narration. This author - except for the Rome series - is one of the best historical novelists of any period. Recommended.

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  • joff
  • england
  • 05-17-18

An Interesting historical fiction story

The story was very well told with characters which you become to care about. I didn't know much about this part of history but it is an interesting slice of history which I have found myself researching more on. I'm a massive fan of Conn Iggulden's writing and am happy to say this book doesn't disappoint.

I haven't listened to Michael Fox's narrations before I feel that he did a good job with narrating this book. Towards the end he started to really win me over. I think he is still quite new to narrating and will in time become an excellent narrator. For this performance I will give him a 4 star performance but I don't let that discourage you from listening to it. I would definitely listen to him read another book.

At the end of Conn Iggulden's books there is usually a note from him explaining where he made changes to history to help with character arcs and moving the plot on (I love reading this section). I was very disappointed to find there wasn't one for this audio-book.

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  • Simon
  • 05-10-18

Conn's Falcon Has Him Flying High Again!

I was starting to think that I wasn't quite so in thrall to Mr Iggulden after my two previous attempts at his books. Dunstan was a strong but slightly less spectacular historical novel while Darien from the Empire of Salt trilogy wasn't something I thought would set the fantasy genre alight no matter how brave he'd been to try something so new.

The Falcon of Sparta though sees Iggulden doing what I think he does best. Taking an historical tale of already epic proportions and bringing it to life for us. Giving us heroes, epic battles and a grand, impossible journey engineered by a quite unlikely champion of Greece! The sheer scale of what they attempted given the terrain and distance they needed to cross is one of the truly great stories of the Ancient Greeks.

The structure of the book is a little different with the narrative being carried by almost a relay team of lead characters. Michael Fox is the man charged with putting the breath into Persians and Greeks alike. He does a very sound job and is engaging throughout though I wouldn't say his performance is quite of the very top standard. He's certainly much better than some of the choices Conn or his publisher have made in the past - check out the Emperor series for the proof.

If you've enjoyed some of Iggulden's earlier historical fiction and want some more then this is a very worthwhile purchase.

25 of 29 people found this review helpful

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  • nev kidd
  • 05-07-18

This is a magnificent telling of this story.<br />

This is a fantastic story of human spirit and courage and one of Greece's greatest citizens. Xenophon is an enigmatic figure from Ancient Greece; and this story tells of his greatest avhiehement.
Ten thousand Greek soldiers must attempt to fight their way across Persia to their homes. Along with ten thousand civilians... their lives look lost.
Conn Iggulden is one of the greatest historical fiction writers to ever pick up a pen (or laptop) and his books continue to both educate and entertain.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • David James Cei Harris-Edmond
  • 08-01-18

Convoluted and Deflating; but Romping

Despite telling the story of the 10,000 that walked out of Persia the story, although competently narrated by Michael Fox, suffers from being a book of two halves.

The first part focuses on the Persian Prince Cyrus as he attempts to seize the throne of the Persian Empire. Anyone with even the slightest knowledge of this history knows his fate is doomed, as is that of his Greek generals. Despite growing to like the characters and their strengths and flaws they are taken from us as good friends we knew were dying.

The Persian firstborn wins, the characters we have followed for 7 hours come to nothing and are betrayed. The Greeks have to fight their way home.

The second half focuses on Xenophon as he leads his people out of the empire despite the odds of being 10,000 against half a million.

But the ending isn’t just bitter sweet but deflating, to have come so far and lost so many to lose that little bit more and have them all go their separate ways may be historically accurate, but puts a downer on what should be a monumental achievement. The adventure along the way is forgotten without a satisfying payoff.

I am a big fan of Iggulden and his previous historical fiction and new Darien series. But this felt to me a rare misstep.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-08-18

Conn Iggulden, master story teller.

A marvellous tale, extremely well told and narrated. Conn Iggiulden never disappoints. wonderful battle scenes.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Rhys
  • 07-16-19

A good story

A good story but needed a more expressive narrator to bring it to life.... Sounded a bit flat.

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  • drew brodie
  • 06-24-19

great listen

fantastic listen.enjoyanle from beginning to end you could embrace with the main characters within the book.

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  • Matt T
  • 06-19-19

brilliant

totally enthralling listen I will listen to it again many times over for all the small details I missed.

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  • jack branthwaite
  • 06-02-19

fantastic

great book, from beginning to end. i highly reccomend aswell as most conn igguldens work.

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  • Matt
  • 05-05-19

Iggulden is a historical master

I’ve read other works by Iggulden (Ceasar and Khan series’) but never one of his stand alone novels.

I went in a bit cold, unsure if I was up for a deep story or should go for more easy listening while I was at work...
Im glad I stuck with it, as this is a great listen.
It illuminated a section of history I knew very little about, but also told it in an engaging and thrilling way.

Reminded me a little of A song of ice and fire/Game of Thrones, in the way that the battle for the crown is brutal

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  • mr
  • 04-22-19

The worst of his books by a distance.

Love the writer and the stories he tells but this was just poor. Didn’t care for who was left in the story by two thirds distance in the book. Battle build up and telling was a let down. I just didn’t think there was enough meat in this to make an interesting tale. None of the back story build up, I’d pass on this one.

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  • Mark Petracco
  • 08-08-18

Very good book but not Conn's best

Great book well read. It was pedictable due to the synopsis but enjoyable nonetheless. Highly recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • raelene
  • 07-28-18

another great story by con iggulden.

loved the story. i felt the narrator was not the right choice. not enough depth to his voice.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • mary
  • 02-07-19

Excellent tale of the Spartan warriors .

A wonderfully performed historical novel. Prince Cyrus of Persia leads Greek mercenaries against his brother the king of the huge Persian empire and almost succeeded in winning the throne. This is the story of his campaign, his defeat in battle and the struggle of the Greeks to retreat to their homes, against terrible odds.