©2004 Conn Iggulden; (P)2004 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
Once, ancient history was torrid current events. This tale tells of Caesar's early career including his role in the Spartacus slave rebellion, and is packed with great characters. Voicing the flawed heroes, depraved villians and the odd innocent bystander the narrator gets it just right too. The others in this series are definitely on my listening wish list.
This is a good story the only problem is that the history is so bad it makes the book annoying. If you know nothing of Roman history the story is very good but if you know anything about Roman history the book is basically unreadable.
" I have my mind... & a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." -T.L.
I enjoyed 'The Gates of Rome' thoroughly but I thought the senate backstabbing, in-depth background politics, along with all the different trials Caesar had to go thru made this book more interesting. The amount of pain & joy must have been a complete adrenaline rollercoaster if even half of it is true. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole "swaytonious" underlying, small problem he dealt with comparably speaking was funny & it made me think about all these old Roman names, don't know why lol, haven't met too many swaytonious's in my life or octavious's... for such a dominant culture that survived almost 4 times longer than the US has been around it seems that have effected every part of our major social systems except the names. Not giving any spoilers away but the conversation that swaytonious & his father have was the funny part because it really puts into perspective how many layers, like an onion, these historical stories have. I'm sure the same thing still exists today but at a different level only in tech base not motive (money & power), but when u read about it in past times it at a much primal & raw level.
I personally think after reading the first the first 2 Emperor series books they are a bit better than the Khan series but when u write at Conn's level its a matter of taste not quality. This review comes far later than when the book was released because I only moved to enjoying historical fictions after reading some Cornwell & than going thru all the different major empires that have great stories to build on. Cheers to Caesar who realized quickly he who rules the mob can hold great power over any empire, the same still holds true today, is that a good or bad thing?
I enjoyed this one (the second book) more than the first book. The character of Caesar is more interesting and the politics of the Senate are well described. Parts of the plot seem too simplistic though.
This is the second book in a four part series following the life and times of Julius Caesar and his contemporarys, such as Brutus and Pompeii.
Conn Iggulden does a great job of bringing the time period to life. He may take a lot of liberties with the historical facts, but it is always intended to drive the story on in a more interesting way. This is historical fiction after all!
Emperor: The Death of Kings takes place at the beginning of Caesars career and Political life. I found it more interesting than the first book because of the political intrigue involved.
The narrator does a great job of bringing the characters voices to life. Some may find his use of English accents a little strange, but nevertheless it works.
If you can overlook the historical inaccuracies, you will enjoy this story. I absolutely did not enjoy this performance. Too many mispronunciations and the general tone of the performance was irritating to me. I am hard pressed to listen to the next book as it is the same performer.
This book could have been written in the same style with out changing the history so dramatically. It seems that the author didn't like some of the Roman figures such as Sulla or Cato changing their ages and personalities to be evil bad gross men. As well as placing Caesar in places he never was. It seems that the author didn't bother to get more than a high school education on the subject before he wrote this story.
"Epic Adventure (start of)"
Just an excellent listen. Historical fiction, with a great pace. No long, boring descriptions of things that aren't required - just the opposite of how you expect a historical book to seem. Loads of action and adventure, no dullness.... Unfortunate that again the Audiobook of the first in the series is not available on Audible as per the Genghis series. But you can get along without it just fine, you miss out on the childhood of Julius by not having the first book available, but you get the bones of that story in here anyway. This book takes you vividly to the heart of massive battles, told from the perspective at the front line to the generals watching over - to pirates, treasure, murder, slaves, executions and more. Yes, I suppose there is quite a lot of death, but then there was at the time and it is not done in a gratiutious manner. This leaves you with a real want to learn about the true history of these things, and leaves you smiling when you see how little things were changed or added to make this a work of fiction based on true history. The book really took me to these times and places - I could not stop listening to it.
"Lose yourself in ancient Rome"
This is an easy listen and you'll find yourself wrapped up in an enthralling story of politics, ambition, battle and vengence. Although some reviewers don't appear to like him, I enjoyed Robert Glenister's narration. It was captivating, without the reader overshadowing the strength of the narrative. If you are a literary buff, this may not be for you. But if you like a good story, well told and with a basis in historical fact, then tune in and get carried away to a time over 2,000 years ago... Perfect for a very long drive.
"Well Worth a Read"
The way in which Conn Iggulden weaves history into his narrative is truly worth a listen, i found the book deeply engrossing and made me eager to listen to the next in the series.
I found it hard to pick a favourite character as everyone is so likeable and you want them all to succeed.
The best part of the book for me was when Julius addressed his new men after some had to be executed for cowardice. I found it really encapsulated who Julius was and who he would become.
As a fan of Iggulden's Genghis Khan series, I was eager to learn more about the life of Julius Caesar in these stories. Admittedly some of the surprise that the protagonists were in fact Caesar and Brutus was a little spoiled by the blurb, but it remains a fascinating story despite a slow start.
Don't expect a rip-roaring story at the very beginning, but the intrigue begins to pick up later on. Sometimes the fight scenes can seem to drag on a little but never too much so that it feels like a chore. The scene with Brutus' duel with a Pictish warrior in the late story, while a bit too obvious despite the author's attempts to hide it, is a very well-written piece.
The narration is very good, though sometimes Rennius' voice grates a little and it makes it difficult to sympathise with him. But then again, maybe that's the point. I liked this book enough to get the sequel, so I can fully reccomend it to anyone else looking for a good historical read.
"What a Book"
This book kept me captivated from the beginning, Robert Glenister was one of the best narrators I have come across, I will be listening to more of his reads. The only problem I have is I didn't realise when I purchased it is that this is book two of three, so now I've got to go back and listen to book one, not a problem this book was so good and action packed all the way through, I'll just listen to it again before going onto book tree. Although it is loosely based on historical fact the story reflects the violent times of the period an so its not the faint hearted. Best listen ever bring it on Conn Iggulden and Robert Glenister.
I had these audio before and misplaced the discs. However they were read by Alex Jennings, he bought the books alive.
They are the greatest books written and you'll have a problem putting it down or pressing pause.... if you do get the audio book then ensure that Alex Jennings is the narrator.
"Great book to listen"
That I do not know, I have only read the first of the series myself as a book. But it would sure be a great substitute anyway.
The whole story, not just one moment
No I haven't. But he is doing very good job. Totally enjoyable to listen.
You have difficult questions.... Greatness in the making.
This reader was good.
"history as it may have been."
This series is a great story with the best mixture of fact and fiction, believable. I have read the whole series and have now listened to it on audible. Still enjoyable even when you know the end.
Having read the first of the Emperor series I decided to down load the Death of Kings (book 2) from Audible. I was more than impressed.
Robert Glenister put just the right amount of enphasis and pause in all the right places. The story telling the rise of Caesar through a series of books is well written and the discriptions of people and their feeling make the listener lean forward to learn more.
I do wish he had narrated all the Emperor series. It is so annoying to get used to the way one narrator tells a story to be then have to get used to another who does not do the job anywhere near as well. It so spoils the story.
I must say it is a great story and well worth the the chinks.
"Listenable story of Julius"
Surprised when I got down to listening to it how listen-able and entertaining this narrative of the rise of Julius Caesar is. Good listen while driving around, good yarn and well read. Who knows how true it all is, but based on fact enough to paint a picture of the world of 50BC.
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