The Gods of War (Emperor Series, Book 4)

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9780007164769: The Gods of War (Emperor Series, Book 4)

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Review:

After the all-conquering film Gladiator, the streets of ancient Rome are thronging as authors rush to set their tales of violent combat and political machinations there. Conn Iggulden’s Emperor sequence is one of the most prestigious of entries in this avalanche, and the latest, The Gods of War, is the most accomplished yet, coming across like Robert Graves’ I, Claudius with an extra adrenalin rush.

In the first volume in this ambitious series, The Gates of Rome, the author demonstrated a master’s skill in conjuring the savagery and sophistication of the era. Iggulden's youthful protagonists, Gaius and Marcus, pledged their friendship in first century Rome. As they developed their skills in the humanities, their bodies were toughened by a battle-hardened ex-gladiator. And as they grew to manhood they became known by the names with which they will be remembered by history: Marcus Brutus and Julius Caesar.

In the latest volume, we're in the time of Caesar as world conqueror, and if The Gods of War delivers more bone-jarring action than subtleties of characterisation, the character of Caesar is still conjured with great vividness. Pompey, dictator of Rome, is at loggerheads with the youthful general, Caesar. The latter, supported by his four experienced legions, has crossed the fabled Rubicon and is heading, inexorably, for Rome. But how does a Roman general take arms against Rome? The senate remains a crucial factor for Caser--as is his association with Mark Antony, Brutus and Octavian. Is this enough to combat the massive legions, loyal to Pompey, spread throughout the conquered world?

More than most in this massive series, The Gods of War is a continent-spanning epic, with the fierce struggles, forced loyalties and Machiavellian intrigues handled with total assurance.

--Barry Forshaw

Review:

‘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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