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Works by
Sam Barone

Profile created June 28, 2007

Named Best Breakout Author
of 2007
by the Arizona Republic

  • Dawn of Empire (2006) -- First Place winner of the Arizona Authors Association 2006 Literary Contest
    Breakthroughs in weaponry, improvements in manufacturing, increases in crop yields, and swelling populations are threatening to destroy the status quo that has existed since the dawn of man. Today’s headlines? No, the year is 3158 BCE. The place is the river Tigris in ancient Mesopotamia (modern Iraq).

    For untold generations fierce barbarian horse warriors have ruled the land, killing or enslaving the small farming communities. Dawn Of Empire is the story of how the peaceful village of Orak resolves to stand against the invincible horsemen determined to maintain their way of life.

    To survive, Orak must do something never done before: build a wall strong enough to withstand the horsemen. But a wall requires resolute men to defend it, and the village leaders ask Eskkar, an experienced fighter, to lead them. His family murdered by these same horse warriors, makes Eskkar willing to risk his life for a chance at revenge. Nevertheless, saving Orak will take more than just knowing how to fight. The village leader gives Eskkar an educated slave girl, Trella, to help him plan Orak’s defense, and to keep him out of the ale house at night.

    Trella has plans of her own. She understands the ways of the powerful, and sees both opportunity and danger as she’s handed over to Eskkar. Trella knows that even if her new master succeeds in saving Orak, the village elders will surely get rid of him when the crisis passes. While her master organizes Orak for the coming battle, she maneuvers to ensure they will not only survive, but rule together after the horse warriors are driven off.

    The battles begin. Eskkar ambushes an advance force of horsemen, then fights delaying actions to give Orak time to complete the wall. Meanwhile, despite the danger to themselves, the village leaders see their own power slipping away as Eskkar’s popularity with the people grows. They strike back with assassins, and Eskkar and Trella find themselves fighting enemies within and without as Orak is besieged.

    In the final battle, the savage horsemen confront the determined defenders across the top of the wall. No matter what the outcome, Eskkar has grown from a fighting man into a true leader, and, more important, from master to lover. Together they’re going to turn the village of Orak into mankind’s first walled city.

    Will they succeed? Read Dawn Of Empire to learn the answer.

  • Empire Rising (October 2007 release)
    The city of Akkad has just driven off a barbarian assault. But winning the battle has just started a host of new problems for Eskkar and Trella. Empire Rising picks up where Dawn of Empire left off.

    The countryside is ravaged, crops destroyed, and thousands of people are killed or enslaved. Akkad is exhausted, short of food, with most of its soldiers dead. Bandits roam the land, adding to the destruction caused by the barbarain migration.

    Eskkar and Trella need to get Akkad back to the prosperity it enjoyed, but it won’t be easy. Shortages lead to discontent and those rulers displaced by Eskkar begin to complain once again. In spite of all these problems, Eskkar is forced to leave Akkad, to begin pacifying the countryside. Trella, now very pregnant, stays behind, ruling in his place.

    But unknown to either of them another player has entered the city. Korthac, driven out of his native land of Egypt, has arrived in Akkad and prepares to take control. Ruthless, cruel, and an experienced warrior, he devises a plan and begins building his own forces.

    Unaware of what’s going on, Eskkar keeps busy pacifying the northern borders of Akkad. Defeating one of the local warlords, he meets Lani. The captured concubine of the defeated warlord, she appeals to Eskkar for help. Lani is very diffferent from Trella, and Eskkar soon finds himself with another woman on his hands.

    Torn between two women, he learns that Akkad and Trella have fallen into Korthac’s hands.

    Now it’s Eskkar who’s outside the wall, fighting to get inside and rescue his wife and Sargon, his newborn son. Will he succeed in recapturing both his city and his family?

    Read Empire Rising and find out.

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