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The Field of Swords (Emperor Series, Book 3) Hardcover – 3 Jan 2005

153 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 588 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1st edition (3 Jan. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007136935
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007136933
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16.2 x 5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (153 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,550 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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'.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Emperor - Field of Swords takes Colin Iggulden's sequence of novels about the rise of Julius Caesar to a point where Caesar is forced to bid for mastery of the Roman world. Iggulden is intelligent and precise about the internal dynamics of the triumvirate of Caesar, the elderly rich Crassus and the proud Pompey. This alliance was never more than pragmatic and there was always going to be a settling of accounts--thus far so good, but Iggulden's idealizing of Caesar leads him at times into ignoring the sheer complexity of the affairs of the late Republic. This is a version of Rome which downplays the alliance of street and snob, and treats Caesar as if he were always an apostle of order--it is a historical novel which plays worrying games with historical fact.

Iggulden is fascinating on Caesar as governor and general--in the areas, that is, where we have the words of the man himself, rather than the spin put on his actions by his enemies. There is a real sense here of the practicalities of ancient warfare, of hard footslogging in difficult terrain and planning supplies for the long haul of sieges and forced marches - Iggulden may oversimplify politics, but he is intelligent about battle. --Roz Kaveney


‘Iggulden is in a class of his own when it comes to epic, historical fiction’ Daily Mirror

‘Iggulden…tells an absolutely cracking story…the pace is nail-biting and the set dressing magnificent’ The Times

‘Iggulden weaves an entertaining tale of this world of men, swords, bows and the call of war and the plains’ Daily Express

‘I felt as if a blockbuster movie was unfolding before me…read the book before Hollywood takes it over’ Daily Express

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Mohamed Abdulmalik on 19 Nov. 2007
Format: Paperback
I have picked up the Wolfs of the Plains at Heathrow airport three weeks ago on my way back home and by the time I arrived I decided to order all the historical novels by Conn Iggulden. Now I am almost done with the third book in the Emperors series, the Filed of Swords, so my comment here relates to the whole series.

I have read many books by great authors who excel in bringing ancient events to life, but this guy is unbelievable. My advice is to start reading on a weekend or on a holiday as trying to read it during a working week can ruin your schedule.

I can not comment on the inconsistency of the historical events that many of my fellow readers have expressed their concern about as my knowledge of Roman history remains very general. However, I will say this, these books are of the highest quality as history based novels are concerned. The characters are vivid and the scenes are superbly described. The war scenes alone would get the book a five star rating.

A highly recommended read. A lot of fun.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Ed on 28 Mar. 2005
Format: Hardcover
Conn Iggulden's third book builds further on his successful other two book in this series. Putting aside the occassional historical liberty, which in all fairness he justfies at the end of each of his books, this book is fantastic escapism. It is engrossing, well written and gives the reader a genuine desire to find out more about this period. I can't give enough complements for this book, it has thoroughly entertained me for the last few weeks and i'm looking forwards to his next book - which will involve Cleopatra no less.
Worth buying, though start at the begining of the series "The Gates of Rome" to fully appreciate the major players in this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By amazon customer on 25 Nov. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The perfect companion for all Roman history enthusiasts is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker

The Field of Swords is the third book in Conn Iggulden's four volume fictional retelling of the life of Gaius Julius Caesar.

This one starts off a few years into Caesar's turn in Spain. The country has already been pacified and Caesar grows bored with the easy life. This is the overall theme of this book. Multiple times in this novel, Caesar accomplishes something incredible only to discover that the struggle is better and more rewarding than the accomplishment as he chases Alexander's legacy.

The first half of the novel covers Caesar's triumphant return to Rome and his candidacy for consul. For me this was the best part of the novel. The intricacies of the election, the attempts to rig and then spoil it (by Suetonius, a bitter man living in Caesar's shadow) and the back room deals cut afterwards are just as thrilling as the battles that have run through the series.

My one complaint in this part of the book was the handling of the actual election itself. Mr. Iggulden seemed to gloss over some details that seemed important even to understand the rest of what he wrote. Who was and was not allowed to vote in the election? What was a voting century? They were mentioned several times, but I did not quite understand what was going on.

On the upside, the actual details of the ballot box and how they would cast their vote was covered in fair detail. I know how dull this sounds, but when you are reading the novel you won't be able to put it down.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By jdennis_99 on 17 Nov. 2006
Format: Paperback
...It seems to be too long for me!

'The Field of Swords' continues on from where 'The Death of Kings' left off - Caesar has helped to end the Spartacus rebellion, but his wife has been murdered, and due to his political influence, has been dispatched to Spain with his Tenth Legion by the Consuls Crassus and Pompey to keep him out of the way.

With the Consular elections approaching in Rome, Caesar sees his chance to end his isolation in Spain, returns to Rome, and is elected Consul. When he effectively renders the other Consul useless, he becomes the most powerful man in Rome, and strikes a deal with Crassus and Pompey, the previous Consuls. Pompey is named proxy-Consul in Caesar's name, and in the meantime, Caesar gets an open Senatorial mandate to go wherever he wants, doing whatever he pleases. So he goes to Gaul, and sets about Romanising it.

Okay, now we're halfway through. You see what I mean? This book should have been split in two! The first half is gripping with Iggulden's blistering narrative pace keeping you turning the pages. However, once Caesar arrives in Gaul (with the newest addition to his cronies, Mark Anthony), the pace quickly slackens. There are some tremendous battles with the various Gaulish tribes, but because Caesar spent nearly 10 years in Gaul, the book seems to slow down, and then jump five years in one go. This breaking up of Iggulden's natural pace shows, as his ability to keep you turning the pages is reduced, and as a writer, that's his biggest advantage.

Vercingetorix's rebellion at the end adds some life back into the book, but it does seem a tad too late. Unfortunately, it seems to be weaker than the previous two volumes, but it does link onto the final chapter, 'The Gods of War'. And as Cabera says on his dying breath to Caesar...

'Beware the Ides of March...'

I have a feeling that the best is yet to come.
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