Slaves of the Shinar
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First edition cover
|Pages||429 (original hardcover)|
|ISBN||978-1-58567-916-4 (original hardcover)|
Slaves of the Shinar is a historical fantasy novel that was written by Justin Allen and published in 2006. The book explores the early lives and origins of characters and peoples to be found in middle eastern myths and religious texts, especially the Biblical Book of Genesis and the Epic of Gilgamesh. Included from Genesis are depictions of the Nephilim (called Niphilim in the book), Jared (grandfather of Methuselah), Lamech (father of Noah) and Adah (wife of Lamech). The name Shinar also comes from the book of Genesis, chapter ten. Likewise, from the Epic of Gilgamesh and related middle-eastern myths come such figures as Gilgamesh, Enkidu and the gods Marduk, Baal, and Moloch.
The storied land of Shinar can be brutal and unforgiving. For two men making their way under its harsh sun, it is a land of fate, blood, and strife. Uruk is a nomadic thief from the jungles of sub-Saharan Africa. His destination is the fabled city of Ur, its temples swollen with riches. Ander has been a slave since youth. But when a chance at freedom presents itself, he strikes, vowing to destroy his captors by any means necessary. As these two men navigate the world they share - an ancient world, their stories converge in a tale of destiny, triumph, and death.
Set against them are the legendary Niphilim, a race born for conquest and bred for killing. They are the world's greatest fighters, capable of nearly superhuman speed, strength, and endurance. As an army or thousands, led into war by a captain of unsurpassed cunning and strategic mastery, and armed with the world's first iron weapons, the Niphilim are a force of nature. Uruk and Ander must make their stand against this unstoppable juggernaut, or else be wiped from the face of history.
Fortunately, Uruk and Ander are not alone. With them are a motley crew of warriors dredged from the bottom-most rungs of society: Barley, a half-blind farmer; Doran and Isin, two priests thrust into military duty; the Falcon, an old soldier whose best days are behind him; Jared, the King of Thieves; and an army composed of young boys. day-laborers, holy men, burglars, cooks, slaves, self-important politicians, the dirt-poor denizens of the Shinar's worst slums — and a vicious dog that Uruk rescued from starving to death in the desert.
Slaves of the Shinar is the story of a land consumed by war, of a people trying to survive, and of two men in the middle of it all, redefining themselves and their futures. Set against the chaotic and bloody backdrop of the Middle East's first great war, this fantasy epic — part Genesis, part Gilgamesh — brings us into a gritty, realistic world where destiny is foretold by gods, and death is never more than a sword-stroke away.