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Men of Bronze
by Scott Oden

Category: Fiction / Historical
473 pages; ISBN: 193281518X

Rating: 9/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner


Men of Bronze
Scott Oden
Medallion, Jun 2005, $26.95, 473 pp.
ISBN 193281518X

In 526 B.C. in Egypt, the kingdom is in deep trouble with duplicity from the inner circle of dying Pharaoh Khnemibre Ahmose abetting an immense deployed Persian force prepared to invade. Phoenician mercenary Hasdrubal Barca, loyal to the Pharaoh, leads the military defending Egypt's eastern flank normally from Bedouin raiders but now prepares for the Persians.

Barca is the best leader when it comes to war as he shows no mercy to his own force let alone the enemy. He learns that a critical Greek unit commanded by Phanes has joined the other side plotting to assist the Persians at a pivotal moment. Being at a strategic locale, this treachery could destroy the kingdom, which has a newly anointed Pharaoh. Barca feels he must protect Egypt, but Phanes knows for his nefarious scheme to succeed he must eliminate the only person who could save the kingdom Barca. However, the wannabe savior has no allies even amongst those still devoted to Egypt except an Arabian slave Jauharah who Barca loves, but questions her loyalties.

MEN OF BRONZE is a terrific insightful Ancient Egypt historical thriller. The story line provides a deep look at Egypt at a time when a Pharaoh who ruled for over four decades dies and is replaced by a shaky newcomer at a critical point in time when the Persians are coming and an empire is on the brink of collapse. Scott Oden provides a deep look at court pageantry and in counterpoint devastating battles while the romance between the finely developed lead couple enhances the era. The inner circle intrigues including treason augments a deep look back over two and half millennium ago.

Harriet Klausner


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