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Empire (Sparrowhawk, Book 4) [Hardcover]

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Item description for Empire (Sparrowhawk, Book 4) by Edward Cline...

Empire (Sparrowhawk, Book 4) by Edward Cline

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Item Specifications...

Pages   290
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9" Width: 6" Height: 1.3"
Weight:   1.25 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Dec 7, 2004
Publisher   MacAdam/Cage Publishing
ISBN  1931561877  
ISBN13  9781931561877  

Availability  0 units.

More About Edward Cline

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Edward Cline is the author of two detective series and one suspense series. The Head of Athena is the second of a detective series set in San Francisco in the Roaring Twenties, featuring Cyrus Skeen. The second detective series features Chess Hanrahan, in modern times, another private eye who specializes in solving moral paradoxes and the murders behind them. The suspense series focuses on the exploits of Merritt Fury, an American entrepreneur who combines business savvy and the skills and ruthlessness of a James Bond to preserve his life and his wealth. Cline has also written Sparrowhawk, a popular six-title historical series of novels set in England and Virginia in the pre-Revolutionary period. His articles and reviews have been published in The Wall Street Journal, the Colonial Williamsburg Journal, and Marine Corps League, among other print publications.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Historical

Reviews - What do customers think about Empire (Sparrowhawk, Book 4)?

An incredible story ... that's largely true!  Sep 18, 2006
While the Sparrowhawk series introduces fictional characters, in this book they interact with historical people amid historical events. The result is the best history lesson around - a compelling story that not only makes history come alive but allows the reader to get a unique perspective of the founding fathers. If this were used in schools, many more students would have an interest in history. This particular book is my favorite in the series so far.
Great series  Sep 17, 2005
This book is another 'chapter' in the Cline series on the ideas and people behind the American Revolution. The series is excellent and the characters are not only truely inspiring, but bring to light the serious lack of principled people that currently lead our nation.
Heroes As They Really Were  Feb 7, 2005
Ed Cline's romantic epic of the American Revolution continues its grand style, dramatic plotting, and intellectual suspense in Sparrowhawk Book Four: Empire. The fourth novel in a six-book series devoted to the founding of the United States, Book Four: Empire portrays American planters Jack Frake and Hugh Kenrick as men allied in spirit and philosophy who disagree over the means to their political ends: chiefly freedom from English tyranny. Set in 1760s Virginia, Book Four begins with George the Third's Royal Proclamation of 1763 that established a vast Indian territory between the Appalachians and the Mississippi River and forbade any use of those lands to colonials. The storyline progresses through the debates over the Stamp Act in Parliament and in the Virginia House of Burgesses and the adoption of the Virginia Resolves of 1765 that sparked the fire of revolution.

Sparrowhawk is an expertly researched work of fiction. Cline recreates the period vividly down to the relevant details in pre-revolutionary history and culture. Hugh Kenrick constructs the first system of indoor plumbing in Caxton. Communications via ship are maddeningly slow, with many months required between the passage of an act in England and the arrival of legislative documents in the colonies. The Virginia House of Burgesses in Williamsburg is populated with contemporary figures: John Robinson, George Washington, Richard Bland, Edmund Pendleton, Peyton Randolph, and Patrick Henry. Hugh becomes acquainted with young Thomas Jefferson, a law student at the College of William and Mary.

The storyline in Book Four: Empire follows the deepening conflict between England and the American colonies established in Sparrowhawk Book Three: Caxton. Upon victory in the French and Indian War, King George and Parliament set out to increase Crown control and exploitation of the colonies through settlement restrictions, higher taxation, and the denial of English constitutional rights to Americans. New Crown policies reverse the Act of Settlement that encouraged the patenting of lands upon which taxes and other levies had already been paid by the colonists to England. These new policies confiscate property from its lawful owners. England already benefited greatly in its regulation of colonial trade, exchange of currency, and collection of tariffs. The newly proposed Stamp Act imposes an unjustified additional burden on the colonials by requiring the purchase of special stamps for almost all documents. To tighten the colonials' chains, Parliament rejects any suggestion that Americans be allowed Parliamentary representation as British subjects in adherence to British constitutional law.

At the center of the Sparrowhawk epic is the story of two heroic men, Jack Frake and Hugh Kenrick, who recognize that any compromise with tyranny will destroy American liberty. Self-assured and confident in their moral convictions, Jack and Hugh part ways only over the strategies necessary to rebuff English authority and preserve American freedoms.

The personal and political issues at stake are enormous and the threat of death and other destruction very real. A challenge to Crown power is no less than "an invitation to tragedy," in the words of one burgess. Both opponents and proponents of the Virginia Resolves foresee the inevitable reaction of the king and Parliament: a punitive military response to subdue the disobedient Americans and to permanently destroy any hope of American political independence.

Hugh Kenrick is a man of tremendous intellect and practical achievement who believes in the power of reason. Reason alone, he believes, can persuade the English of the morality and justice of American independence united in alliance with England. Hugh's speeches in the Virginia House of Burgesses speed the Resolves along to passage despite heavy resistance, aiding Hugh's conviction that men who know reason will act in accordance with it.

In contrast, Jack Frake is just as settled in his conviction that many men do not respond to reasoned principles but act inconsistently and often blindly according to whim, fear, or the irrational desire for advantage and power over others. Though on different roads to their destination, Jack and Hugh recognize the same spirit and soul in one another. For Jack, Hugh is "a self that would never submit to malign authority; a self that was sensitive to the machinations of others, a self trained in the brittle, lacerating society of the aristocracy to be on guard against sly encroachments; a self that was proof against corruption, sloth, and violence; a self that recognized and cherished itself, and so was proud; a self that quietly gloried in its own unobstructed and unconquered existence. A self very much like his own."

Throughout his grand epic, Ed Cline helps readers grasp the vital connection between philosophical ideas and the personal choices and events that arise from them, especially in the birth of the independent new nation and moral political system based on individual rights. American novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand stated that art can be uniquely inspirational in showing us life as it might be and ought to be. Sparrowhawk portrays principled, heroic individuals living consistently and courageously by moral absolutes, men as they really were and might be again.
Sparrowhawk, Book 4 hits the mark again  Jan 24, 2005
Here's my highest recommendation as a person who loves great literature and as an amateur historian who has been fascinated by the American Revolution and its intellectual antecedents for more than 30 years.

If I have a complaint it's that I would like to have seen the entire series published as a single volume so I could devour it all at once.

Cline has obviously spent an enormous amount of time researching the background for these books. It shows in a thousand little touches and details that give the era life and character for the reader. Some may argue that there is too much background, that it tends to obscure the story. I do not agree. There is neither more nor less background than is necessary to provide the proper context. These are historical novels, after all.

But far more impressive than the detail is Cline's deep understanding of the revolutionary mind. Finally, here is the historical truth of the American Revolution. Religious "freedom" and self-sacrifice are relegated to their proper place as near-nonentities on the list of historical causes and personal motivations. Here is a world peopled by giants of an intellectual and moral stature seldom seen today, who do not sacrifice values but risk everything to keep them. Here men do not oppose England in order to prostrate themselves at the alter of a jealous Christian God. They fight to live as free men, opposing all forms of tyranny.

Cline has a literary style that perfectly frames this story set in the world-shaping era of the Enlightenment. He builds his stage and writes his actors large and heroic as they ought and deserve to be written. The books are full of profoundly perceptive and beautifully poetic writing. The emphasis is on intellectual drama not physical action as befits one of the great intellectual conflicts in world history.

Thank you Edward Cline. Sparrowhawk is a classic in the making.
The Benefits of Thinking  Dec 31, 2004
Sparrowhawk, Book IV: Empire is a joy. This is a thinking person's book. One of the themes of the book is that those who focus on reality, do the hard work to develop a model of that reality, and act on the results of that thinking - even in the face of opposition - will gain glorious rewards.

None of the Sparrowhawk series are easy, mind-disengaged reads. The historical detail is so rich, the philosophy is so deep, and the characterizations are so intricate, that they demand focus. But the effort yields its own glorious reward.

Book IV in the Sparrowhawk series details the politics behind the passage of the Stamp Act in England and the heroic stance of Patrick Henry and his allies in the Virginia House of Burgesses in lighting the flame of resistance to the Stamp Act.

The book makes one realize what a close-run thing it was that the beginnings of the resistance to British rule happened at all. The forces for compromise and acquiescence to encroaching British tyranny against the American colonies were strong, and it took heroic thought melded with action to move Americans to have the courage to resist.

This book makes more clear than any of the series the link between the ideas of the philosophers of the Enlightenment - like Locke and Sydney - and the actions of the American Revolution. The exploration of the intellectual trends in 18th century Britain and Europe is another benefit of reading this book.

Like the first two books in the Sparrowhawk series, this book makes clear the personal emotional benefits of thinking and acting consistently, too. Romantic fiction gives us heroes to emulate, and the Sparrowhawk series is romantic fiction at its best.

I just hope we don't have to wait as long for Book V: Revolution and Book VI: War as we did this one. Edward Cline's web page ( says that Book V is complete and that Book VI will probably be done in early 2005. We just hope that the publisher gets them to market as soon as possible.

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