Books by Tom Holland

TOM HOLLAND gained the top degree at Cambridge before earning his Ph.D. at Oxford. He is the author of Rubicon, a critically acclaimed history of the fall of the Roman Republic, and the novels The Bone Hunter, Slave of My Thirst, and Lord of the Dead.

DOMINION by Tom Holland
Released: Oct. 29, 2019

"An insightful argument that Christian ethics, even when ignored, are the norm worldwide."
Christianity may not be on the march, but its principles continue to dominate in much of the world; this thoughtful, astute account describes how and why. Read full book review >
DYNASTY by Tom Holland
Released: Oct. 20, 2015

"A vivid account of five Roman emperors, emphasizing their vices and vicious behavior with less attention to the vast empire, which continued to prosper despite them."
A decade after his award-winning life of Julius Caesar (Rubicon, 2004), veteran historian Holland (In the Shadow of the Sword: The Birth of Islam and the Rise of the Global Arab Empire, 2012, etc.) delivers biographies of five descendants who ruled after his death.Read full book review >
THE HISTORIES by Herodotus
Released: May 19, 2014

"A feast for students of ancient history and budding historians of any period."
A delightful new translation of what is widely considered the first work of history and nonfiction. Read full book review >
Released: May 15, 2012

"Smoothly composed history and fine scholarship."
Elegant study of the roiling era of internecine religious rivalry and epic strife that saw the nation of Islam rise and conquer. Read full book review >
Released: May 2, 2006

"A welcome popularization of ancient history, with a nicely vengeful cliffhanger of an ending that begs for a sequel."
Why do they hate us? That's what Herodotus wanted to know, and this lively history of the Persian Wars ventures a few answers. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 17, 2004

"With its mordant depiction of a republic pursuing imperial ends while its citizens pay lip service to political values they no longer practice, Holland's gripping narrative has particularly uncomfortable resonance for contemporary American readers."
A splendid account of the death of the Roman Republic, particularly notable for the author's ability to decode the underlying beliefs that drove events. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 1997

The author of Lord of the Dead (1995), the story of the wildly bipolar Lord Byron becoming ruler of the planet's vampires at age 19, returns with a sequel and a fresh look at London's bloodsuckers. The story opens as a satirically rip-roaring 19th-century boy's adventure modeled on Gunga Din. A small group of ramrod British soldiers attack a temple of Kali high up in the Himalayas, only to find themselves facing Russian zombie/vampires enthralled by the goddess of destruction-and-bloodlust: She takes the form of a ravishingly beautiful vision of sexual horror named Lilah, who later turns up in London. The very amusing first 70 pages—as stiff-lipped British noncoms battle flesh-eating ghouls, and as Dr. John Eliot, also in India, investigates a horrible infection that melts brains and wastes the body, as well as a princely fortune that suddenly vanishes—are worth the ticket price. Eliot's research eventually sets him on Lilah's trail. Back in London, he's joined by theater manager Bram Stoker, who has not yet written Dracula but becomes knowledgeable about vampires while playing muddle-brow Watson to Eliot's Holmes. Eliot is enjoined by a young actress, Miss Lucy Ruthven, to look into her brother Arthur's murder and the disappearance of her guardian, Sir George Mowberley. The two men had been heading a parliamentary bill that would have a major impact on India. Trailing the lost jewels of Kalikshutra at last leads Eliot to Lilah and to a ghastly facedown with this supremely corrupted immortal who bathes in blood in a golden tub. Then come the real surprises—and Byron's return. The Victorian voice used throughout may have been fun to mimic, but Holland's own voice would have given him more intensity. Even Dracula's epistolary style can stultify. Read full book review >
LORD OF THE DEAD by Tom Holland
Released: Feb. 1, 1996

Gothic Sturm and Drang by British scholar Holland, whose first novel tells how a 19-year-old Lord Byron becomes emperor of the planet's vampires. In today's London, Rebecca Carville, her auburn hair spilling and aglow, searches for Byron's lost papers: and, entering the tomb of her relative Lord Ruthven, is gripped by weird forces that lead her to Byron himself, still alive. Byron tells her the story of his induction as Lord of the Dead in Albania, where he slew the previous Lord, Vakehl Pasha, and unwittingly took on the mantle of top bloodsucker. Byron, in the tale he tells, falls for Vakehl's slave HaidÇe, who dies, or so Byron thinks as he mourns her throughout his return to England. As his own physical beauty coarsens amid riotous bloodlettings, Byron finds that the only way to get on the wagon again is to drink the ``golden'' blood of his own child or of a family member such as his half-sister Augusta, a horror he resists despite his incest with her and his convulsive appetite. Back on the Continent, he tries to draw Shelley into his empire, but Shelley would rather drown . . . . As a genre work, this is better than many. Holland's Byron is a manic-depressive whose bouts of despair—often on horseback and draped with rain and storm—are indistinguishable from the mercurial moods of the usual 19th-century Romantic hero. Style and storytelling both hit their stride as Byron sinks more deeply into his vampirism and as happy inventions arise from his subconscious: When visiting the fields of Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo, the poet finds himself viewing ragged ghost battalions at war as he walks through soggy earth still pumping with blood. Attractive figures in living pasteboard, yes, but a sequel seems likely, as long as Byron still lives and longs to escape eternity. (First printing of 75,000; Book-of-the-Month Club alternate; Quality Paperback Book Club featured alternate; $100,000 ad/promo) Read full book review >