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Ben EhrenreichDurham vividly captures the frenzy of ancient warfare -- battle-maddened pachyderms, hails of javelins and arrows, ordered ranks of Roman light infantry crumbling before Hannibal's mercenary army of ''copper-skinned'' Libyans, tattooed and dreadlocked Numidians and blond, blood-drinking Gauls. ''The world is cruel,'' Durham's Hannibal proclaims, and it is. Infamies abound. It's all here: ''steaming loops of viscera,'' catapulted human heads, the spray of blood above the battlefield darkening the sky like rain … a skillfully structured and often gripping novel.
— The New York Times