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Emperor: The Gates of Rome (Emperor Series Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 255 customer reviews

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Length: 370 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

Amazon.co.uk Review

The first volume of a sequence of novels about Julius Caesar, The Gates of Rome is at its best in its scenes of gruelling training in swordplay and dirty fighting. Iggulden's Caesar is more or less fated from the start by his circumstances to be a gifted and cynical player in the great game of Roman senatorial politics--his father is an old-fashioned servant of the public good who dies in a slave revolt. Young Caesar finds himself having to hit the ground running--family alliances throw him onto the losing side in a battle for power between generals Marius and Sulla.

One reservation about Iggulden's story is that he simplifies the pushing and shoving of Rome's two most powerful men to a degree that makes Caesar's choices and loyalties too simple--this is a version of Rome in which politics is only about power and never about ideas. Caesar's friendship with his blood-brother Marcus is too redolent with historical irony--Marcus will be his assassin--and Iggulden is a little novelette-ish in his portrayal of young Caesar's affairs of the heart. This is a competent, routine account of material that deserves better than this handling of it. --Roz Kaveney

Amazon Review

The first volume of a sequence of novels about Julius Caesar, The Gates of Rome is at its best in its scenes of gruelling training in swordplay and dirty fighting. Iggulden's Caesar is more or less fated from the start by his circumstances to be a gifted and cynical player in the great game of Roman senatorial politics--his father is an old-fashioned servant of the public good who dies in a slave revolt. Young Caesar finds himself having to hit the ground running--family alliances throw him onto the losing side in a battle for power between generals Marius and Sulla.

One reservation about Iggulden's story is that he simplifies the pushing and shoving of Rome's two most powerful men to a degree that makes Caesar's choices and loyalties too simple--this is a version of Rome in which politics is only about power and never about ideas. Caesar's friendship with his blood-brother Marcus is too redolent with historical irony--Marcus will be his assassin--and Iggulden is a little novelette-ish in his portrayal of young Caesar's affairs of the heart. This is a competent, routine account of material that deserves better than this handling of it. --Roz Kaveney


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1151 KB
  • Print Length: 370 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (20 Mar. 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RI9QOY
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 255 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #8,803 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Born in London, Conn Iggulden read English at London University and worked as a teacher for seven years before becoming a full-time writer. Married with three children, he lives in Hertfordshire. Since publication of 'The Gates of Rome', Conn has written a further thirteen books including the wildly successful 'The Dangerous Book for Boys'.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have always been a keen reader of historically "based" books and my only slight disappointment is that this book does not so much rely historical fact as "bend" it to fit in with the book's story. But the author - even at his ending historical note - never pretends that this is the "definitive" narrative of one of history's most famous figures .
Never the less, this was a very enjoyable adventure which follows the growing up of two young Roman boys living on the outskirts of a turbulent Rome....from their early lives up until they go their separate ways, one into the political intrigue of the Roman Senate and the other to fight in one of Rome's far flung legions. It would be a good read for anyone who has enjoyed Cornwell's novels, and even for those interested in fantasy and / or non fictional works. The mixes humour with tradgedy, affection with war, and there is enough adventure in there to keep the reader flying through the book.
If you are a person who enjoys a little escapism in their novels, and wants a good book with Sharpesque swash and buckle, then buy this book. If you are looking for pure fact then buy something from the non fiction section. I didn't watch Gladiator for it's historical content and I didn't buy this book for that either!!
And by the way, my whole reading experience was slightly tarnished by one Amazon "reviewer" who decided to give away all the details of the two main characters in the book in his review. This definitely takes the "kick" out of the ending. Please try not to do this!! there are readers out there who want to read the book prior to knowing all the plot twists!!!
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Format: Paperback
The perfect companion for all Roman history enthusiasts is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker

This series will delight you whether you care about the history of Julius Caesar or not! Iggulden writes with a passion, and has a rare ability to draw you in and through a story.

But take care. The author messes a bit with history. In later works in the series he tells you why, but here there are things that you are told that do not stack up.

As a story it works though, and it really works very very well. Forgive the historical inaccuracies (there are not so many of these. The most notable is the way Marcus Brutus and Julius Caesar are made to be the same age, and even grow up in the same home), and enjoy being transported into a believable ancient Roman adventure that will keep you reading to the last page of the last book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm not one to read too many fiction novels, but having been given The Gods of War (Book 4) and brushed up prior to reading on my Rome history, I was engrossed and couldn't put it down. I wanted to move on quickly to The Blood of Gods (Following Augustus and his rise to power). But having read the reviews for the earlier books I thought it best to back track and gain the full benefit of Conn Iggulden's imagination.

Though I preferred The Gods of War and found the first hundred pages of the Gates of Rome meandering; but of course you have to start somewhere to introduce the characters of such an epic task of five novels. I stuck to it and found it to be brilliant. Of course not much is known about Ceaser's youth and childhood yet by putting a little flesh on the bones and using your own imagination you get caught up and carried along quickly in the whole story. Fantastic.

Now on to Book 2. I'm sure I'll soon be on Book 5 by Christmas. You wont be disapointed with this book if you let your imagination take you and appreciate the best is yet to come.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
No, not a Rolf Harris story!

The first book starts with two boys - Julius and Marcus - who grow up together on an estate outside Rome, fighting the local bully, and being trained by the estate manager and former gladiator.

Like Cornwell with his Arthur stories where Lancelot was turned from hero into a cowardly, preening, pompous twit, in this book Marcus (who you later learn is the Brutus from 'Et tu.....?') is changed from the potential coward, preening, pompous twit you might have thought from other stories into a sword swinging hero.

Yes, this book and the others twist the truth. For starters, the age gap between Julius and Brutus was far bigger in real life, but this is fiction based on fact. And it works well. A great start to what is a tremendous quartet.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
These books are set during one of the most turbulent and exciting parts of human history - the infamous late Republican period in Rome.
Why, why, WHY does Mr Iggulden think that he can write a better version of events by changing several of the most important historical facts? That's the problem, Conn doesn't completely depart from historical accuracy, it's just a few infuriatingly glaring liberties that make you go "What??" every now and then while reading the series.
It's all designed to portray Julius Caesar as a superman who did everything pretty much single-handedly. Caesar was indeed a great man, but Conn massively cheapens his character by fatuously attributing to him all the ridiculous achievements described in this series.
In between the "What??" moments there is genuinely exciting prose. I read the whole series only moderately painfully, but sheer disbelief at what I was being asked to accept at times meant I nearly put it down. I put a 'Historical Fantasy' tag on the series for the incredible amount of suspending of disbelief you need to do in order to get through it.
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