Genre: Historical fiction
Setting: Ancient Egypt, circa 525 BC
First published: 2005 by Medallion Press, Inc.
Published in the UK by Transworld/Bantam
Reissued in 2018 by Crossroad Press
Acquired in 2022 for the Baen Library, Baen Books
Set to be rewritten as historical fantasy in 2023; to be known as The Mythic Edition
Hasdrabal Barca is a killer.
As captain of Pharaoh’s border guard, the fearsome Medjay, he stands between the rich heartland of the Nile and the countless foes who would see the proud and ancient land of Egypt brought to its knees.
Hasdrabal Barca is a murderer.
Haunted by a crime of passion, its memory has eaten away all but the last slender thread of his humanity. Rage drives him; a berserk fury few men can fathom — and fewer can withstand. He is the Beast at the Gate, Pharaoh’s vengeance.
Hasdrabal Barca is a hero.
For when one of Egypt’s most celebrated generals, a Greek mercenary called Phanes, defects to the Persians, it triggers a savage war that will tax Barca’s ferocious skills, and his humanity, to the limit. From the political wasteland of Palestine, to the searing deserts east of the Nile, to the streets of ancient Memphis, Barca and Phanes play a desperate game of cat-and-mouse — a game culminating in the bloodiest battle of Egypt’s history.
“Profound and tragic . . . Oden’s masterful story of bloody battles, political intrigues, betrayal and romance offers a gripping portrait of the collapse of an empire.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Oden weaves a story of intrigue, political corruption, treachery, and loyalty as seen though the eyes of a multitude of intriguing characters. The ultimate message is one of courage, love, duty, and abiding honor.” —Library Journal
In 2021, I returned briefly to the world of Men of Bronze with a short story called “The Phoenician”. It was published in a small but excellent online magazine called Whetstone. You can also read it here.
“No buy links, Scott?” Not at the moment. Save for resellers, Men of Bronze is currently out of print. When the Baen edition drops, I’ll be sure to update this page with the relevant links . . .
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