Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 512, March 29, 2009

"Maybe it's not such a bad thing to be thought a barbarian.
People usually don't mess with barbarians, after all."

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Libertarian Novelist Reviewed in Daily Telegraph
by Sean Gabb
sean -+at+-

Special to The Libertarian Enterprise

Dear Neil,

Here is a review of Richard Blake's "Terror of Constantinople". It was published in The Daily Telegraph on the 21st March 2009. Mr Blake has been a good friend of the Libertarian Alliance over the years, and anything that enriches him can be taken as a benefit to the libertarian cause in England.

If you could pass this review to your friends or add to your blog, Mr Blake will be most grateful—as shall I. It goes without saying that you are invited to buy the book or order it from your local library. Mr Blake is all signed up for public lending right.



The Terror of Constantinople
by Richard Blake
421pp, Hodder & Stoughton, $28.33 at
Buy From

"At first, the vain, amoral and sexually voracious exiled seventh-century scholar Aelric seems purpose-built to fill a Flashman-shaped hole in wry historical fiction.

"But Aelric is a killer, not a coward, surprisingly principled for a scatological cynic and incapable of exploiting virtue if only because there are no good guys in Richard Blake's portrayal of the political rats' nest between the fall of Rome and the supremacy of the Roman Church.

"His plotting can seem off-puttingly anarchic until the penny drops that everyone is simultaneously embroiled in multiple, often conflicting, scams. Aelric's survival among the last knockings of empire in Constantinople depends not on deducing who wants him dead, but who wants him dead at any given moment.

"Vivid characters, devious plotting and buckets of gore are enhanced by his unfamiliar choice of period. Nasty, fun and educational."

Sean Gabb is Director, The Libertarian Alliance


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