James Hynes

04 May 2023
464 pages


As an empire burns, he will rise from the ashes.

Sparrow, the Sunday Times bestselling historical epic by James Hynes, is the incredibly moving story of one boy’s journey to freedom in the harsh world of the Roman Empire.

Raised in a brothel at the edge of a dying empire, a boy of no known origin creates his own identity. He is Sparrow.

Sparrow’s world consists of a kitchen and herb-scented garden, a loud and dangerous tavern, and the mysterious upstairs where the wolves, the women who have shaped his world, conduct their business. Where freedom is only for a privileged few, Sparrow’s life is hard-edged and violent.

But change is coming.

The world outside his garden is about to be reshaped, and as an empire crumbles, murder and mayhem will come to Sparrow’s door. As the only family he’s ever known scatters, will Sparrow fall – or fly?

‘Truly unforgettable' – Daily Mail
‘Masterful in its portrayal of love, sex and friendship' – The Observer

A stunning work of historical imagination . . . Masterful in its portrayal of love, sex and friendship
Utterly engrossing, vivid, and honest, this coming of age story reaches across millennia to grab us by the throat.'
An unnerving, exhilarating, unflinching portrayal of sex, slavery and sisterhood . . . This is a novel of ancient times for our times. And it is splendid, a work of scorching distinction.