The Curse of Babylon (Richard Blake): A review


David Davis

The latest novel detailing Aelric’s autobiographical experiences in the upper bureaucracy of the Byzantine Empire yet again does not disappoint. Initially, a lot of clerical work and paper-shuffling works to slow down our hero’s progress towards climaxes of various sorts: you’ll just have to see what sorts…but the sheer nastiness and British-Politician-imitating ghastliness of certain people gathers pace, as do the Persians, in the background at first, but increasingly moving centre-stage.

The irremediable repellence and cruelty of people towards their fellows, in the Dark Ages, is not stinted, as you would indeed come to expect of a Blake novel. Aelric at one point kills several people, then later has to kill some more, and then some more – all at the same time -  after that incident. It’s a spoiler to tell you if he manages to kill the scumbag-in-chief, so I won’t: you must find out for yourselves.

That semi-lovable, unimaginably crusl and drug-addicted but highly intelligent rogue-in-the-Grand-Challenge-Cup-Class  Priscus (readers of other novels will know him well) falls upon hard times but achieves redemption, which I have to say did please me.

An excellent read as is always the case from Mr Blake. As usual, some of the scenes of violence  – and there are a few – are disturbingly graphic. You will enjoy it.

In writing this, the Chimpanzee Type-writers seem to be locked out of the full editing screen on wordpress. So no tags, no formatting etc, sorry.

 

 

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6 responses to “The Curse of Babylon (Richard Blake): A review

  1. Rookie computer user that I am, I managed to fix the login problem. Found how to “remove cookies” for the Libertarian Alliance, and then went back on, and all seems to be working.

  2. Mr Blake has asked me to thank you for so perceptive and just a review of his latest creation.

  3. Mr Blake has asked me to thank you for your most perceptive and just review of his latest creation.

  4. We still use the term “Byzantine bureaucracy”.

    However, the rot really set in with Diocletian.

    In the time of the Emperor Carus there was still a massive difference between a Roman Emperor and a Persian one.

    But Diocletian deliberately copied the Persians – the prostrating in the presence of the Emperor, the elaborate court rituals, everything…..

    Taxes (and so on) had been on the rise long before Diocletian – but the Roman world was still Roman, it really was not Roman any more after Diocletian. It had become something else…..