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REPUBLIC: THE PILLARS OF ROME Paperback – 24 Mar 2008


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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: ALLISON & BUSBY; Reprint edition (24 Mar. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0749080191
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749080198
  • Product Dimensions: 17.9 x 11.4 x 3.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 644,236 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jack Ludlow is the pen name of writer David Donachie, who was born in Edinburgh in 1944. He has always had an abiding interest in the Roman Republic as well as the naval history of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, which he drew on for the many historical adventure novels he has set in that period. David lives in Deal with his partner, the novelist Sarah Grazebrook.

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First Sentence
It was a prank, one of those pieces of devilry which Lucius Falerius treasured; one his best friend Aulus Cornelius feared because of his more potent respect for the power of the gods. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Jeff VINE VOICE on 18 April 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Jack Ludlow is the pseudonym of David Donachie who has written a number of Nelson's navy type novels. I read one of them a few years ago and felt it was OK but nothing special and read no more of them. I fear the same is the case here. I felt it more of a family saga than anything else. Suddenly, at around page 400, there's some action!! Does remind me of Jeffrey Archer's books - readable but lacking substance. If you want genuine political intrigue in Ancient Rome, try Robert Harris' superb 'Imperium'. If you want the blood and guts of the legions, you can do no better than Simon Scarrow. I'm afraid this one falls way short of both. Not helped, for me, by there being no setting in history. There's virtually no real-life figure in the novel at all. Nearest I can suggest is that because there's a Domitius who's buiding a road in souther France, then that would place it at 118BC but then there's mention of Hannibal as if he were not too long gone. To compound it, he mentions the famous 10th Legion nearly 70 years into the future. Maybe that's what he wants. Certainly no Author's Note at the end explaining anything. However, as I've said, it's readable enough and plenty of loose ends to lead to the next book [already in hardback I think] but some of the storyline is terribly predictable and of the seen-it-all-before type. Some people will enjoy it more than me I'm sure but if you're looking for historical fiction of the Scarrow/Cornwell style, you won't find it here.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By D. W. Gill-collis on 18 Jun. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Sorry, it could just be me but I really am struggling to get into this book.

I love historical fiction and have been spoiled I guess by the likes of David Wishart, Stephen Baxter, Ben Kane, Conn Igguldon,and Simon Scarrow (to name but a few). I was looking forward to this trilogy, but really don't know now if I can be bothered with the next two books.

It's not that it's a bad book...rather that I just can't find any interest in, or empathy for, the characters in this bland story that to me just plods along. Actually, it reminds me a bit of Alexander Kent at his worst.

Anyway, this is only MY opinion. Don't let it put you off the book entirely. Maybe I'm just having a bad week.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Scriptor on 11 Jan. 2010
Format: Paperback
Overall I enjoyed the story, it has lively characters and twists until the very end. However, I though it could have been a bit more illustrative. The Roman era depicted here had many different details from the Imperial one that I think could have made the story richer, had they been laid out for the reader. Plus I noticed quite a few historical inaccuracies.

I never quite felt "submerged" in to the Roman world of the republic.
There were plenty of mentions of the gods saying what role they played, but nothing more about them, which seemed like a wikipedia article to me.
I did not particularly enjoyed the recurrent flashback as the story progressed. I thought those events could have been better explained in a separate chapter or two.
The political plot was all right, the military action was, to put simple, non-existent.

Well, enough of the criticism! I liked it and I most certainly will read the following II in the series. Once I pick up a story I cannot leave it not knowing what happens to the characters! I also loved the way the prophesy kept me guessing all the way through the book.
Loved Aquila, praised Aulus, was fond of Claudia, intrigued by Brennos and despised Lucius at the end.

A must read for Roman fiction devourers!

Valete.
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By Sam Tyler on 1 Oct. 2009
Format: Paperback
Rome was not built in a day and Jack Ludlow would have us believe it in his very slow attempted epic `Republic: The Pillars of Rome'. `Pillars' follows the lifespan of two rich Romans as they rise to power; one in the military, the other in the senate. Both men are destined for great things; however they will go about it differently. For me `Pillars' felt like the world's longest prologue as it was always hinting at things to come and never getting there. The book contained several battles, murder, intrigue and betrayal, yet in every case the issues were skated over quickly in a rush to get to the next plot point. Ludlow would have been far better served slowing the pace down and embellishing the various elements of the book. I dare to say adding additional books to the series may have been a better idea!

Ludlow produces a book that tries to do too much in too little space. I was amazed at how he could write an entire epic battle in 4 pages! There was no sense of drama or suspense as characters were sent in to die. It felt as if all the best moments of the book happened off camera and merely mentioned in terms of how they impacted the two main characters. Being a fan of historical fiction I believe that there are many better equipped books on the Roman period out there to read from the likes of Iggulden and Scarrow. With its slow pace, lack of detail and avoidance of outcomes `Republic: The Pillars of Rome' is one book on the empire to avoid.
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Format: Paperback
Ludlow has created an amazing historic world, his writing is great, you really get a sense of being in the story, whether it be the rich homes of the nobles or the life of the slaves breaking their backs in the fields. The characters Ludlow has created are strong, I really enjoyed the dialog between the two main protagonists and then difference in their personalities. The only fault I found was I thought the battles scenes were not as good as they could have, that being said it didn't really take anything from the story. If you're a fan of historical fiction they this novel is a must.

Two young noble boys find themselves on a mountainside in search of the Sable a famed Roman oracle. One there they ask for for there future to be told, both boys leave shaken and vow a blood oath always to be there for each other. Thirty years later, one is Romes most powerful general, the other Romes most powerful senator. They both wait with bated breath to see if their prophecy will come true.
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