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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rome, Hell Bent on Civil War
This is the last book in the series charting the life of Julius Caesar. I found them all very readable and very enjoyable. Perhaps falling a little short of Colleen McCullough's Roman series of books, but there is no shame in that and these books are extremely enjoyable.

Much has been written about Julius Caesar, but like all great men he had his Achilles heel,...
Published on 26 Mar. 2007 by J. Chippindale

versus
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars How it ended for Julius Ceasar
If you have read none of the previous 3 books in the series then, please, don't start with this one - there will be much of the detail which will pass you by.

There will be few surprises for those of us who have read the whole series, the same style, the same breakneck pace and a familiar portrait of the flawed leader. Obviously, this rounds off the story, from...
Published on 14 Oct. 2006 by Andy Edwards


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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rome, Hell Bent on Civil War, 26 Mar. 2007
By 
J. Chippindale (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This is the last book in the series charting the life of Julius Caesar. I found them all very readable and very enjoyable. Perhaps falling a little short of Colleen McCullough's Roman series of books, but there is no shame in that and these books are extremely enjoyable.

Much has been written about Julius Caesar, but like all great men he had his Achilles heel, in more ways than one. Although history portrays him as a very fair minded man, much loved by his soldiers and the common people. He had a terrible temper, which could be vented at any time and woe betide anyone who was in close proximity when this happened. He also had great problems with the `falling sickness' He did everything in his power to hide this from everyone except his closest confidants and friends.

Caesar has his greatest test yet. To do the unthinkable and march against Rome. His aim is to march against his one time son-in-law Pompey, self proclaimed dictator of Rome. Even after the city itself is taken there are many more battles to fight throughout the Roman Empire, even to Egypt, where brother and sister are fighting like cat and dog.

The book is full of passion, love and hatred. It is a story of ambition, loyalty and friendship. It is the tale of one of the greatest generals the world has ever known. Apart perhaps from Alexander the Great, no one man has had the love and loyalty of his troops in such a way as Julius Caesar.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rome, Hell Bent on Civil War, 10 Mar. 2007
By 
J. Chippindale (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This is the last book in the series charting the life of Julius Caesar. I found them all very readable and very enjoyable. Perhaps falling a little short of Colleen McCullough's Roman series of books, but there is no shame in that and these books are extremely enjoyable.

Much has been written about Julius Caesar, but like all great men he had his Achilles heel, in more ways than one. Although history portrays him as a very fair minded man, much loved by his soldiers and the common people. He had a terrible temper, which could be vented at any time and woe betide anyone who was in close proximity when this happened. He also had great problems with the `falling sickness' He did everything in his power to hide this from everyone except his closest confidants and friends.

Caesar has his greatest test yet. To do the unthinkable and march against Rome. His aim is to march against his one time son-in-law Pompey, self proclaimed dictator of Rome. Even after the city itself is taken there are many more battles to fight throughout the Roman Empire, even to Egypt, where brother and sister are fighting like cat and dog.

The book is full of passion, love and hatred. It is a story of ambition, loyalty and friendship. It is the tale of one of the greatest generals the world has ever known. Apart perhaps from Alexander the Great, no one man has had the love and loyalty of his troops in such a way as Julius Caesar.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Caesar's last hoorah!, 13 April 2008
By 
B. J. Madeley - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
The Gods of War is the final installment in Conn Igguldens' series of Emperor novels and it sees Julius cross the Rubicon river and take charge of Rome. He follows the fleeing Pompey across to Greece and Egypt where he meets the enigmatic Cleopatra before returning home to be worshipped, idolised and then treacherously murdered by a supposed loyal friend and supporter.

As with the three previous novels, this is a highly readable and enjoyable book. Iggulden manages to keep the reader glued to the page right to the very end, even though the majority of us already know the details of Caesar's final years and eventual demise. This was on the whole an excellent series of novels, I had never previously read anything by this author, but now I eagerly await every book he produces no matter what the subject.

Now for a bit of a rant, I'm fed up of reading reviews criticising Conn Iggulden's tendency to stray from the facts in order to embellish the tale. If readers want a book that is based on nothing but the facts, then please stop reading fictional novels! These are not intended to be 100% historically accurate as the author willingly acknowledges, they are works of fiction which is generally based on facts but with huge juicy dollops of imagination and intellect thrown in.

Overall, I think this was a fantastic novel and indeed series, I don't believe I can recommend them highly enough, so pick them up and find out for yourself!
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rome, Hell Bent on Civil War, 10 Aug. 2006
By 
J. Chippindale (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This is the last book in the series charting the life of Julius Caesar. I found them all very readable and very enjoyable. Perhaps falling a little short of Colleen McCullough's Roman series of books, but there is no shame in that and these books are extremely enjoyable.

Much has been written about Julius Caesar, but like all great men he had his Achilles heel, in more ways than one. Although history portrays him as a very fair minded man, much loved by his soldiers and the common people. He had a terrible temper, which could be vented at any time and woe betide anyone who was in close proximity when this happened. He also had great problems with the `falling sickness' He did everything in his power to hide this from everyone except his closest confidants and friends.

Caesar has his greatest test yet. To do the unthinkable and march against Rome. His aim is to march against his one time son-in-law Pompey, self proclaimed dictator of Rome. Even after the city itself is taken there are many more battles to fight throughout the Roman Empire, even to Egypt, where brother and sister are fighting like cat and dog.

The book is full of passion, love and hatred. It is a story of ambition, loyalty and friendship. It is the tale of one of the greatest generals the world has ever known. Apart perhaps from Alexander the Great, no one man has had the love and loyalty of his troops in such a way as Julius Caesar.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A better finale, 2 Mar. 2006
Iggulden completes his series and this time there’s not too much complaint about historical inaccuracy (though perhaps about historical characterisation). To get it all going, Julius leaps over the Rubicon, captures Corfinium without bloodshed, and traipses into Rome with consummate ease. It was going to be interesting to see how he forced the character of Brutus back onto his true historical destiny and Iggulden manages it in a single episode of childish pique as our silvered-armoured sidekick goes from outstanding general and best friend to outstanding general and worst enemy in the space of a single night simply because he feels Julius favours Mark Anthony over him. Julius, himself, doesn’t seem too bothered as he laps up the adoration of the Roman crowd and spends most of his time trying to father a child before getting cuckolded and storming off to Pharsalus to hunt down his previous friend who has chucked his lot in with the aging and increasingly befuddled Pompey (who spends much of the first half grumbling about intestinal issues and managing to let Caesar out manoeuvre him) and the self-exiled Senate, caustically represented by Cicero.
In the meantime Brutus has a new aristocratic friend, Seneca and we move past page 200 into the battle for Roman supremacy at Pharsalus which takes the next hundred pages or so and ends Part One. It is during this battle that Iggulden shows why the glaring inconsistencies in plot and characterisation that so define all these novels can be swept aside through sheer brilliance of action. The battle for Pharsalus and control of Rome is executed with pathos, crisp dialogue and gladiator-esque vibrancy. Brutus’ fight to a standstill, Octavius’ handling of the intended decimation of the Third, Pompey’s agonised futile stand and Julius’ military brilliance are all painted in an exhilarating manner until the final ignominious end on the shores of Alexandria. The only item that grates slightly is Brutus’ volte-face and his near-cowardice when faced with faced with dishonourable death or naked legionary hatred as Julius exercises a clemency that leaves a festering wound on his soul.
Iggulden sweeps us on to the penultimate action of Julius’ life as he has a dishevelled Cleopatra tumbling from her infamous carpet in a manner less reminiscent of Elizabeth Taylor and more of Asterix and Cleopatra before falling for her wiles, capturing Ptolemy, razing the Alexandria library to the ground in a rooftop escape and finally securing the throne for his new love and begetting a male heir.
We move swiftly to Julius’ denouement back in Rome where Iggulden has Servilia as the architect of his downfall. Focusing on the two main events, his thrice refusal of a crown and his murder, Iggulden cannot resist the impulse to use the infamous Shakespeare quote which never happened historically. At least he didn’t go so far as so say, ‘Et tu, Brute?’ choosing to give a direct English translation of Julius’ last words and leaving the conspirators with far more glory than any other author as they enter the Roman forum with the saving blood of the republic on their hands rather than the results of a heinous crime. Still, he does hint he might subject the story of Mark Anthony, Octavian and Cleopatra to the historical mangle in future years.
The character of Brutus is the only minor historical complaint. Brutus is historically is recognised as the epitome of republicanism, second only to Cato. History tells us that his participation in the murder of Caesar is an unwilling act of a man for whom Rome and republic is everything whereas Iggulden has him behaving like the historical Mark Anthony – wild, impetuous, a charismatic leader of men – which results in the problem that his actions in the novels come across as whimsical and petulant most of the time. He is constantly bleating and bemoaning the fact that he isn’t number one, something that is outlined starkly in his feverish diatribe to Julius mid-novel.
In stark contrast, having got past the farcical upbringing of Octavian in the previous novels, we see a character that perfectly explains his future destiny as Augustus and matches his historical personage perfectly.
The quartet of novels are extremely well written stories, Iggulden demonstrating a remarkable capacity to capture his reader’s attention and imagination, his ability ensuring he has produced a story that, as the quote on the front jacket claims “the great events and breathtaking brutality of the times are brought lavishly to life.” It is this great capacity to tell a story that rescues a historically awful series punctuated with inane characterisation at times. So, buy it, because it is compelling, but there are other series out there that tell the story of the fall of the Roman Republic in a more historically satisfying way (Colleen McCullough’s Masters of Rome series being the best).
It’ll be interesting to see what Iggulden comes up with next.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterful telling of a fantastic story., 2 Jan. 2006
By 
Mr. M. G. Whitehead (uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Gods of War is a fantastic end to the brilliant Emperor series. Gone are the days of childhood friendship and even the years of young adulthood which saw the first signs of tension between Caesar and Brutus. What we are presented with here are the world leaders the main characters would always become. Accordingly the reader is shown a Caesar devoid of any doubt on and off the battle field. Brutus on the other hand is more than willing to take any wedge between them and drive it in futher, in the name of fame, power and just a little jealousy.
The conflict between the main characters has been in evidence from the first pages of the first book, The Gates of Rome, and is carried through here with finesse.
The real beauty in the Emperor series, and no less in Gods Of War, are the smells, sights and sounds the writer conjours up in the readers mind. The city of Rome and the battle fields beyond come to life with vivid reality. The welcome return of old friends from the previous books and the meeting of some new ones all mix to plunge the reader into the world that is Rome. There are moments of pure brutality as well as the kind of humanity rarely seen in a book of this type.
Conn Iggulden is proving himself to be a master story teller and, Gods of War, only serves to confirm this view.
I have no hesitation in recommending this book to anyone who wishes to read one of the greatest stories of all time wonderfully told.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Roman Fiction at its best., 9 May 2008
By 
S. J. Lilley (Essex, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
As someone who has studied this period of Roman history extensively, I found myself correcting Iggulden's inaccuracies. AT FIRST.

By the third chapter I was completely engrossed; the story (however inaccurate) is captivating. If you are someone who spends their time correcting others mistakes and fretting over every little detail, then avoid this book.

I can honestly say that of all the fiction books I have read about this period, the Emperor series is the best. And I have read many, both fictional and factual.

Iggulden apologises at the back of each book for the historical inaccuracies and provides the correct details as well as explaining why he changed some of the facts.
For the sake of storytelling he did alter quite a bit of the history, but the finished story is well worth the alterations. Conn Iggulden writes with fluency and skill, holding the reader's attention throughout with the exciting, gripping and downright addictive narrative.
The superb story alone was enough to distract me from the inaccuracies (which aren't as bad as some might lead you to believe) and I couldn't put this book down, or any of the others for that matter.

Definitely worth reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, 12 Jun. 2011
By 
Parm (A bookshop near you) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Review

A fitting end to an epic story about possibly the greatest general in Roman history, this book takes you on the final leg of Caesars journey from Child to idealistic young man to conquering general and finally to a man who no matter how great had his head turned by power. The Line "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely" sprang to mind as I read this book, its not quite true as Caesar seemed to be more changed by it than corrupted, there are flashes of the younger man still there, traces of the innocence all but destroyed by the realities of the harsh Roman world.

The true power of this book is the depth of treachery that all knew was coming from Brutus, but when it arrives is shocking and if you have ever been betrayed by anyone the feeling that left would only give you a fraction of an idea how Caesar must have felt.

I also agree with Conn Iggulden in his historical notes what would history have been like if Casers son had lived. Although Octavian became one of the greatest Emperors in a long line of Roman Rulers, Ptolemy Caesarion carried the blood of greatness....possibly a great loss to history but a fantastic opportunity for an alternate history author..What if.......

In my opinion Julius Caesar was a truly great man and has been portrayed by a truly great writer.
(Parm)
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5.0 out of 5 stars a thrilling end to an epic saga, 11 Aug. 2012
An electrifying and spectacular conclusion to a universally loved, epic series that leaves you emotionally drained as Julius Caesar's end comes to pass. This mammoth tale transports you back in time to when Rome was all powerful and dominating across the globe, taking the lead in social change and command changing the course of civilization for the future. Here in an Empire that is lead by a single man of great aspirations one is not prepared for the changes that occur, in regards to the leadership of Rome and control of such a gigantic empire that stands in such high supremacy throughout the land. The tension and friction between Pompey and the mighty Caesar builds up to such a crescendo, that erupts throughout the lives of those that surround them effecting social status and the future for the great cities. Conn Iggulden has to be one of the most accomplished and recognizable writers of historical fiction, who brings the life and times of those whom he is describing accurately and realistically to life in such vivid color as to transport the reader into his creation. Surpassing all expectations I was blown away again by his creativity, imagination and brilliant writing that made this book not just a good read but a truly great one that is highly memorable. One feels as if you get to know those great figures within our history on a personal and intimate level, understanding how they thought, felt and why they acted as they did.

You are able to clearly picture the surroundings that touch upon all senses, as you delve into civilian culture of the time and how great battles were made and fought. This series is so striking with its eye-catching, bold covers of bright colors being blood red, emerald and mauve they cannot fail to stand-out on the bookshelf as something distinctive and a bit special. Conn Iggulden writes in such a way as to leave a big gap between himself and other writers, who look to him as inspiration and insight, where the combination of skill and creative flair go hand in hand producing something spectacular. You can see instantly as you read how much dedication, time and effort and research has gone into forming a story that is both fascinating and enjoyable to read, hence it feels as if one has merged both fiction and non-fiction together. The importance of leadership, control and power is highlighted throughout as you study the very foundations of this city that leads the way to our present time. Social hierarchy and connections with other individuals also plays a huge role in the lives of Caesar's loyal servants, when deciding the fate of Brutus for example or Mark Antony. Reading this book is like opening a window onto the past and seeing a changing world that is brutal, bloody and magnificent through the eyes of one of the most outstanding and remarkable rulers that ever lived. Julius Caesar was known for his determination and strength, his willpower and resolve to protect his beloved home and his people whilst encouraging change that revolutionizes the entire world.

Here is an author who is as passionate about his enjoyment of the written word as he is about his history and those individuals whom we can never forget, that shaped our lives and our existence with their ideas and visionary philosophies. Completely compelling, this forceful read will move you emotionally to the core touching your very heart and soul with such a powerful force that will be forever etched within ones memory as something most poignant. This series is one that will be read again and again, as it is by far something of such enormity as to not be left on the bookshelf. If you are looking to find out about this iconic figure and time in history from a most original angle, then Conn Iggulden is an author who can present it to you in a way that you won't forget.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The brilliant conclusion, 21 July 2007
By 
Lance Mitchell (Hampshire, UK, Northern Hemisphere, Planet Earth) - See all my reviews
Every schoolboy and girl knows what is going to happen at the end of a quadrilogy about Caesar's life. Nevertheless, the story continues with relationships building and fast-moving action from battle to battle, as the inevitable conclusion approaches.
Julius and his supporters confront Pompey and pursue him to Egypt. From that point onward, it is impossible to put this book down until you have read the final words. The twists and turns, and the intrigue that the powerful Cleopatra brings to the scene, just make this story totally captivating.
The only disappointing part for me is that the first unbelievable line of all four books is the way that Brutus is persuaded to join the assassination plot against his lifelong friend by their mutual lifelong enemy. You would expect that, with all that had gone before, Brutus would just have skewered the man who made such a treacherous suggestion, wiped the dirty blood off his sword, and left the traitor where he deserved to be. Although that would fly in the face of all that we were taught at school, it would have satisfied me, because I never did believe very much of what my history teacher told me.
I would conclude that a historical fiction has to be extremely well told to keep the reader interested through the passage of four books. I was much more than merely interested, I was swept along by the pace and the style and had to keep reading at all times, just to find out what happened next. Pick up The Gates of Rome and read the first chapter, and you won't rest until you've read the final chapter of The Gods of War.
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The Gods of War (Emperor Series, Book 4)
The Gods of War (Emperor Series, Book 4) by Conn Iggulden (Paperback - 1 Sept. 2011)
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