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. The Gates of Romeintroduces 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. Dazzling in its imagination and storytelling, Gates of Rome is a masterpiece of historical fiction.
©2010 Conn Iggulden (P)2010 BBC Audiobooks America
This audio is one of the best historical fiction books I have ever read or listened to. It has the best of what the historical fiction genre should be - a great point of view, well-imagined historical figures who are fleshed out to become real people, thorough research that doesn't get in the way of the story, broad sweep that also narrows down to individual stories. The narrator was excellent - his female characters were good, too - and the story was gripping, causing me to gasp aloud a few times, even though I thought I knew the story of Julius Caesar quite well. If you liked HBO's "Rome," you'll love this - it's like getting the backstory. Just a great example of historical fiction - I'm on to the rest of the series and looking forward to reading more Conn Iggulden.
I thought his Genghis series was great, so I couldn't wait to see what he would do with another historical figure of significance. I wasn't disappointed! He wove a great story and I can't wait for the next installment!
With relatively no historical accuracy, don’t look to this series to actually teach you anything about the rise and fall of Caesar. Apart from the names of some famous Romans being thrown about in some loose linear context, many of the events in the book are so loosely based on fact that the work is nearly entirely fiction. Essentially, Iggulden has brought you a story without the need to have invented his own names. If you can get over all of that, it is an entertaining series.
I was doubtul and dubious at first but recent studies of the Middle Ages following Rome's fall got me interested and this author found an ideal way to describe one era of the Roman Republic as it was about to change and make it live............and vitally interesting. I thoroughly enjoyed this book after my early hesitation.
First off Conn Iggulden is one of the best story tellers of historic fiction there is. Even though you know that it's fiction based on real history it comes across so alive and realistic as if you're right there witnessing history in the making that you forget this is his creation and not actual history. I haven't came across anything that wasn't great by this author. The worse part of his books is when you realize it's coming to an end. I'm a trucker and this author really helps eat up a lot of highway. I hope the second book is released before long.....
As an adventure story taking place during the the years leading up to fall of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Empire, it was entertaining with well developed characters, an good plot and solid narration.
However as someone who likes to continually map real events with major plot points when I read historical fiction, the liberties taken with actual history became so distracting,as the book progressed, that it took away from my overall experience. Several events, battles and victories and defeats plainly didn't occur in the manner described. For example -Brutus And Gaius Julius Caesar were not boyhood friends raised together - instead they allied much later as adults, And Julius uncle Marius did not get defeated in the manner described in the climactic battle in this book and in fact eventually triumphed. And for that matter, his Uncle was related to him entirely differently than described in the book. The real history around these characters could have been just as exciting so i found the need for theses deviations even more baffling.
As these major inaccuracies mounted it really took away from a good book - and I will not read any more in this series as a result.
In my opinion a good read could have been a much better one - with a more accurate mapping to real events. A good example of mapping fictional adventures and real historical events, such as Alexander Dumas' The Three Musketeers, shows a much more deft touch in doing this.
when I started to listen to this book I was not aware that it was the story of Julius Caesar and Brutus as youths. I truly enjoyed it. I look forward to the next book.
As it mentions at the end, the story is mostly not accurate. Though no one knows the truth of Julius' early life, I would've hoped that the history that was known would have been recorded accurately.
The historical figures in this are so badly represented contrary to history. Gaius Marius is a paragon of virtue with only the good of the republic at thought and Sulla is a perverted terrible man who wants to be King. The facts are so radically wrong I just can't enjoy the good writing and story. Check out Dan Carlin's "Death throes of the Roman republic" if you want to know from the best surviving sources of what happened in these times.
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