Isca is fallen; Antimone draws Her veil over the dead. Rictus, a young soldier of the city, is now ostrakr – homeless, devoid of purpose. He dons the red cloak of the mercenary and sets out to find a road for himself.
On the world of Kuf, the Macht are a mystery, a fierce, barbaric people whose discipline and prowess on the battlefield is the stuff of legend. If they did not war endlessly on themselves, they would conquer the world. Beyond their home in the remote Harukush Mountains, the teeming races and peoples of Kuf are united under the Great King of Asuria, who can call up whole nations to battle, and whose word is law.
But now the Great King’s brother means to take the throne by force, and has sought out the Macht. Rictus – and ten thousand more mercenary warriors – will march into the heart of the Empire. They will become legends.
Paul Kearney is the renowned Irish writer behind the classic fantasy series The Monarchies of God. He is also the author of The Way To Babylon and the highly regarded fantasy trilogy that began with The Ten Thousand.
A bold, strong new voice in fantasy. - Robert Silverberg A terrific writer, one of the best working in epic fantasy. - SciFi.com
"The first thing that struck me about this novel was Kearney's writing...(his) writing style is very visceral and evocative... Kearney however is not just a very good writer, but a talented storyteller as well. I'd even go as far to say that there are shades of the great David Gemmell about him, in the way he handles human emotions and other themes like loyalty and courage." -- Speculative Horizons "I've read some pretty good fantasy recently but it feels like a long time since I've been so engrossed by a book and just torn through it to see how it ends... What a story it is! Fans of military fantasy are going to find a lot to enjoy here with detailed accounts of life on the road and bone crunching conflict between massed ranks of spearmen... I was left feeling like I'd read some great stuff but I'm glad I wasn't there!" -- Graeme's Fantasy Book Review "A few months back I noted The Ten Thousand as being one of my hot tips for 2008. Reading a lengthy preview that the author sent me a while back reinforced this feeling, and now reading the complete novel has confirmed my initial guess. Probably the most underread author in epic fantasy has delivered his strongest novel to date." -- The Wertzone "However what the typical Fantasy fan is here for are the battles. It is here where Paul really scores, in those heart-thumping, screaming, blood-spraying combat scenes...Solaris Books have clearly seen what is a niche in the genre market; and they should be applauded for returning to publication an author whose efforts should be more widely appreciated. At a time when gritty fantasy seems to be a popular trend, The Ten Thousand is perhaps a book whose time has come." -- SFF World