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Princess Sophonisba of Carthage, and the Ruin of King Syphax

The people of modern-day Algeria have always had been fierce warriors.

Two thousand and twenty five years ago, in 213 B.C., the land was Numidia, famed for its cavalry. Numidia was divided at this point between the Masaesyli tribe, who ruled Western Numidia, and the Massyllii tribe, who ruled Eastern Numidia.

King Syphax ruled Western Numidia, and following the death of his rival King Gala of East Numidia, Syphax made huge gains. He was consolidating, and set to become ruler of all Numidia.

Meanwhile, King Gala was succeeded by his son Massinissa, who became ruler of the now-weak East Numidians.

Numidia at the time was in friendly neutrality with Carthage, the nearby power, but entertained Roman offers for peace and diplomacy as well.

Review - King of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

On Books In Progress

Having finished Prince of Thorns (see previous blog post) I was fulling intending to pick up a different book but the world of Jorg proved far too attractive when compared to anything else I had lined up.

It won't be a surprise that in this book we find Jorg installed as king in his own right. It is also his wedding day. Rather inconventiently his castle is also about to be attacked by a huge army and he just doesn't have the troops to stop them.

The main story thread takes place over the day of the wedding and the battle to save his castle and kingdom. Any worries that Jorg has become soft in the years since the first book are swifly put aside as it's clear that with a proper army he can simply cause mayhem on a larger scale.

Like the first book there is also a 'flashback' story, again taking place four years previously, a year after he declared himself king. In this his journey takes him to other parts of the broken empire, showing more variety than the first book. There is also more use of arcane powers - for good and evil - and other adversaries join the story.

I thought the first book was excellent, if a little light on plot. This follow up is another notch up on the scale. The battle scenes are tenser, the plans even more desperate. The plot is now in full swing and moves nicely between the two story threads, evens from four years previously having direct impact on the present.

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