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   Gate of Fire, The, by Thomas Harlan  
  Novel, first publication in May 2000 , latest edition in May 2001
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    Buy Gate of Fire, The by Thomas Harlan
       Additional Information  
      This sequel to The Shadow of Ararat is the second book in the Oath of Empire series, set in an alternate Roman Empire circa A.D. 623. Prince Maxian, younger brother to Galen, Emperor of the Western Empire (Rome), and Heraclius, Emperor of the Eastern Empire (Constantinople), has returned to Rome to disrupt the magical power of the centuries-old oath of allegiance to the Emperor that all legionnaires take. Maxian believes the oath constrains citizens to a narrow path, stifling creativity as well as any thought of disobedience, and he intends to use all his sorcerous power--and the help of Alexander the Great and Gaius Julius Caesar, whom he has raised from the dead--to succeed. The Empire, meanwhile, is threatened by multiple enemies: The insane Persian necromancer Dahak is determined to raise an army by any means to regain the Peacock Throne toppled by the Empire. ZoŽ, niece of Palmyra's Queen Zenobia, and her ragged but determined followers plot revenge on Rome for allowing the Persians to sack and destroy their beloved city. And in the deserts of Iraq, a man named Mohammed is driven by a prophetic vision to build an army against the Empire. Harlan's attention to detail is impressive, at times overwhelming, as he fills the broad canvas of his hypothetical Roman Empire. Readers with the stamina to follow every thread of the multitudinous plot lines here will find a vigorously imagined, thought-provoking story.

    Source: Charlene Brusso,

    The Persian sorcerer has withdrawn to a hidden citadel of the King of Kings and a very special new servant. He vows to regain the Peacock throne.

    Prince Maxian has raised both Julius Ceasar and Alexander the great from the dead. Now, with the power that their legends can offer him, he will risk all to free Rome from the curse that protects the Empire but dooms it to stagnation.

    And in the East, Dwyrin's thaumaturgic unit is shattered when Zo discovers the destruction of Palmyra. She vows revenge against the Empire that abandoned her city to its fate and goes to raise the Deccopolis against Rome, while in the city of Mecca, a survivor of Plamyra received a vision, a command, and the power to strive against the forces of darkness.

    The war is far from over. Now there are three alliances where once there were only two, and three Powers to strive for control of the Earth.

      Part of series  
  • Oath of Empire (#2)

      Related theme(s)  
  • Alternate History
  • Kings, Queens & Princes - Emperors - Kingdoms & Empires
  • Magic - Magicians - Sorcerers - Witches - Wizards

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