EMPEROR: The Death of Kings, Book 2 (Unabridged)

Narrated by: Robert Glenister
Series: Emperor, Book 2
Length: 17 hrs and 57 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (610 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Abandoned after months of captivity, Julius Caesar gathers recruits that he will forge into a unit powerful enough to gain vengeance on his captors. But soon a new crisis threatens: a gladiator named Spartacus.
©2004 Conn Iggulden (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about EMPEROR: The Death of Kings, Book 2 (Unabridged)

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Very Bad History

What would have made EMPEROR: The Death of Kings, Book 2 (Unabridged) better?

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.

Has EMPEROR: The Death of Kings, Book 2 (Unabridged) turned you off from other books in this genre?

No

7 people found this helpful

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Fairly decent historical novel

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.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful tale

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.

2 people found this helpful

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Good fiction but TERRIBLE history

Is there anything you would change about this book?

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.

4 people found this helpful

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Good story, but Poor history

If you read historical fiction to learn, not just be entertained, this well-written story will cheat you. I enjoyed the first volume & decided to give this one a try, despite reviews that said it was seriously misleading or just wrong about too much of the history. Unlike some reviewers, I knew little about this history before starting this series. So, I enjoyed listening to it most of the way through. I did notice then that events & relationships seemed almost too perfectly suited to a good story to be actual history. So, remembering the critical reviews, I paused before the end of the book to check out the history.

It wasn't just poetic license to fudge a little bit, in my view. I felt seriously misled about major figures and their relationships, so that my understanding was skewed. I don't want to be a spoiler, so I will just suggest a couple of things to check out. Was Marcus really taken in by Gaisus's parents? Or might he have lived with another figure of the time who becomes important in the narrative later? What was Octavian's living situation really like when he lived with his widowed mother?

If you don't care how accurate the history is, even if the inaccuracies are not minor, it is an enjoyable read. This author is a very good storyteller. I had been looking forward to working my way through this series and his other series. However, because a big part of my pleasure in reading historical fiction is to learn history, I won't read more because I don't trust him.

1 person found this helpful

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Better Than Book 1

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?

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Very Entertaining!

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.

3 people found this helpful

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A great book for anyone into historical fiction. <br />

Loved World History in high school and it was cool to listen to it come to life.

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goodun

enjoyable book. my understanding is that it is not 100% accurate historically, but still a fun read.

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Annoying file system but great performance

The face that the book is split into three parts is annoying, why not just have one file or already an automatic continue rather than me having to pick the next file manually?
The narrator was great and I can definitely recommend.

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  • Simon
  • 01-19-16

This Pretty Much Has It All

This second book in the series raises the bar and sets an incredibly high standard. It really does have it all: epic battles, pirates, rebellion, political machinations, assassins and even a little sexual intrigue. The great events that shaped the fate of possibly the world's most famous empire are told through a variety of well-rounded characters against a vast backdrop. The story moves along at a very entertaining pace and is engaging from start to finish which in audio form is also a testament to Robert Glenister's undoubted talent as a narrator.

From what I have seen of the series so far it is a definite treat for fans of historical fiction. it has genuine depth and scale without bloated explanations of detail. This author has clearly researched his subject thoroughly but unlike some others doesn't feel the need to lecture us about it. He does however grow his characters with patience and subtlety as their experiences shape them

Highly recommended from what I have seen so far, my confidence is very high that the rest of the series will deliver too!

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Martin
  • 05-28-09

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.

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Phil
  • 08-25-10

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.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Macwoman
  • 10-27-14

Epic account of the days of power in Rome

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Gripping second volume in the Emperor series. The hero, Gaius Julius Caesar, is coming into his prime as a general, and beginning to taste the excitement and horror of Roman politics. The series has been nicely set up in the first volume (worth hearing), with a deep, abiding friendship between Caesar and Marcus Brutus, and anybody who has seen Shakespeare must be wondering by now how this apparently unshakable bond can be broken?I did not think I would last the whole series but I think now that I will. It is told in such a compelling way, and so superbly read by Robert Glenister, that it becomes unputdownable. There are some descriptions of battles that pull no punches - don't listen if you dislike violence and bloodshed - but there is something fascinating about power, what men (and some women) will do to get it and to hang on to it. And while it's hard to love the Romans, you have to admire them for their sheer toughness, guts and determination to go for what they wanted. I think the author does well to maintain our interest in and liking for Julius, despite all this! He does attempt to suggest that there is a difference between the ruthless dictators like Sulla and the men who loved Roman justice and honour like his own heroes. Sometimes I'm hard pressed to tell the difference, but he keeps me interested anyway - quality historical writing.

What was one of the most memorable moments of EMPEROR: The Death of Kings, Book 2 (Unabridged)?

I liked the court room scene in which young Julius defends his honour from the charge of theft of Marius's house - and begins to show his gift for capturing the minds and hearts of the mob.

What about Robert Glenister’s performance did you like?

First rate reading. I could not fault it. And I don't say that often. No irritations to get in the way of the story.

Any additional comments?

Probably it helps to listen to the series in sequence, as it is easy to get lost amid the variety of characters.

1 person found this helpful

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  • chris
  • 12-07-13

Well Worth a Read

Where does EMPEROR: The Death of Kings, Book 2 (Unabridged) rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

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.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I found it hard to pick a favourite character as everyone is so likeable and you want them all to succeed.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

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.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Martin G Burgess
  • 05-29-10

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.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mark Songhurst
  • 08-01-20

Wonderful wonderful book


Briiliant book. Well narrated. Gripping from start to finish. What more can I say. If only the next book in the series were narrated by the same fellow. Perhaps if enough people complain, they might re-record it with this narrator.

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  • Chris the gardener
  • 07-24-20

Good yarn but some historical inaccuracies

An enjoyable story but I cannot understand why the author has strayed so far from the accepted truth in some places. Normally the departure between fact and fiction is explained at the end by this author but that is absent in this book. Great narration brings ther characters alive but a little more respect for history would have made this book worthy of five stars.

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  • HellRazor
  • 07-14-20

Good, solid storytelling 3.5 Stars

IIggulden’s, knows how to keep a plot moving along and tell a story.

Reasonably good characterisations and the odd golden nuggets of detail, without which a story lacks the verisimilitude necessary to believe that life is being described and it could have happened the way it is laid down here.

The author puts enough red blood into some of his characters so that we occasionally recognise some of our own familiar emotions, complexities and ambivalences in a description.

Is this “history come alive”? Not knowing enough of this period of history well, myself I cannot say.

The narration is very good and adds to the flavour of the take.

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  • Squiresean
  • 07-06-20

Great story , great narration

I loved book 1 and book 2 was no disappointment in terms of a follow up. Great historical fiction.

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  • david l.
  • 03-04-20

Do yourself a favour and listen to this.

Conn Iggulden makes learning about history exciting. Wish he was my history teacher back in the day!

Roberts narration is excellent and adds to the flavour!

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  • Rodney Woods
  • 09-01-17

Excellent

Good narrative, well read. Other reviews about the reading being poor are from people it seems who have no imagination and want to be spoon fed. Don't read/listen to a book if you can't create the characters in your minds eye - go watch a movie.