In the 6th century AD, the Near East was divided between two venerable empires: the Persian and the Roman. A hundred years on and one had vanished forever, while the other seemed almost finished. Ruling in their place were the Arabs: an upheaval so profound that it spelt, in effect, the end of the ancient world. In The Shadow of the Sword, Tom Holland explores how this came about. Spanning from Constantinople to the Arabian dessert, and starring some of the most remarkable rulers who ever lived, he tells a story vivid with drama, horror, and startling achievement.
What did you love best about In the Shadow of the Sword?
I've read and listened to four of Tom Holland's books, he has the ability to capture a lot of historical fact and put into a way of making it understandable.
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The author and the narrator cooperate to tell the story of the march of religion and culture through the end of late antiquity in a way that often has the feel of a rollicking adventure.
Though the information content is dense, it comes at the reader with the pace of a good story, and the picture it paints is illuminating and satisfying.
Yet another fantastic book from Tom Holland. Yet more history is made interesting and accessible. The performance is also great.