The Gates of Rome (Emperor Series, Book 1) Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook, CD
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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 --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
‘Iggulden is in a class of his own when it comes to epic, historical fiction’ Daily Mirror
‘A brilliant story – I wish I’d written it. A novel of vivid characters, stunning action and unrelenting pace. It really is a terrific read.’
‘The descriptions of combat in the circus, slaves in revolt, skirmishes in Greece, amputations and street fighting are all convincing.’
‘A rich and compelling novel that draws the reader into an extraordinary time and the life of an extraordinary man.’
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Top Customer Reviews
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!!!
Many events have been completely changed, timescales compressed and even details of the people's lives, characters or physical appearance have been changed from what is known. If you are really interested in Ancient Rome keep Wikipedia handy to double check as you progress. Better still read Collen McCullough's Rome series which covers the period from Gaius Marius to Caesars assassination in great detail and with comprehensive notes. If detail and accuracy are not your thing you will enjoy these books as well written action adventures.
Emperor: The Gates of Rome is the story of two young boys, Gaius and Marcus, who are destined to become two of the greatest Romans, who are still, even today, house-hold names. Cleverly and well written, the story hides the identities of the two boys until well into the book. The reader is continually drawn into the story with Conn Iggulden's descriptive style evoking the ancient Roman world incredibly well. We are taken from the rural farm of Gaius and Marcus's youth into the opulent Rome with all the excitements of gladiatorial games, political manoeuvrings of the senate and the deadliness of war. We follow the boys on the early steps of their careers, Gaius as a senator and Marcus as a legionary, both hoping to one day to make their impact on the Rome they love so much.
The Gates of Rome is incredibly well written, although this is sometimes achieved at the cost of historical accuracy. However, this is excusable, as all the changes made improve the plot and the passage of the story. In fact, the whole story is so well written that the 600 and so pages are consumed far too quickly, leaving you with only a single consolation; that there are two more books already published and hopefully more on the way.
As I am a historian, (though specialising in medieval history, I am not an expert in ancient Rome,) the added strength of this book is that it is set in an era which is seldom portrayed either in literature or art, except in the history books of university libraries. The scene is set during the times of struggle between the two great consuls of Rome, Marius and Sulla not long before the demise of the great Roman Republic and the return to kingship and the era of the emperors. This stage in Rome's history is fascinating.
Due to the events taking place around 2 millenia ago, many fine details and facts cannot be established especially about the early lives of the characters in this book but Mr Iggulden makes no claim that his work is in any way historically accurate, but nevertheless his version of events is believable and completely absorbing.
I loved this book and cannot wait to see what the author has in store for us in his next novel in January!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not as good as Ghengis Khan books
I don't think I will buy the box set
Just started this series about Rome have previously read the war of the roses books and really enjoyed them. History with fiction mix!Published 29 days ago by paula collins
Conn Iggulden At his usual best, could not put it down 5 starsPublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
There are lots of books on Rome. Quite a few of them fictionalised accounts of the rise of Julius Caesar. This is one of them. Some of this genre are truly excellent. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Cardinal Biggles
Just started reading the book and was intrigued into buying Book 2, very well done and both exceptionally interesting on life in the Roman era, so, I had to buy book .3. Read morePublished 2 months ago by john s Mc Fall