The Gates of Rome (Emperor Series, Book 1)

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9780007136902: The Gates of Rome (Emperor Series, Book 1)

The astonishing life of Julius Caesar is recreated in a magnificent new novel that brilliantly interweaves history and adventure.

Emperor: The Gates of Rome is an epic tale of ambition and rivalry, bravery and betrayal, from an outstanding new voice in historical fiction.

From the spectacle of gladiatorial combat to the intrigue of the Senate, from the foreign wars that created an empire to the betrayals that almost tore it apart, the Emperor novels tell the remarkable story of the man who would become the greatest Roman of them all: Julius Caesar.

Brilliantly interweaving history and adventure, The Gates of Rome introduces an ambitious young man facing his first great test. In the city of Rome, a titanic power struggle is about to shake the Republic to its core. Citizen will fight citizen in a bloody conflict – and Julius Caesar will be in the thick of the action.

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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

Review:

'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.' (Bernard Cornwell)

'A rich and compelling novel that draws the reader into an extraordinary time and the life of an extraordinary man.' (David Gemmell)

'The descriptions of combat in the circus, slaves in revolt, skirmishes in Greece, amputations and street fighting are all convincing.' (TLS)

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Iggulden, Conn
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