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EMPEROR: The Gods of War, Book 4 (Unabridged)

Narrated by: Paul Blake
Series: Emperor, Book 4
Length: 15 hrs and 22 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (345 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The fourth volume in the acclaimed Emperor series, in which Conn Iggulden interweaves history and adventure to recreate the astonishing life of Julius Caesar - an epic tale of ambition and rivalry, bravery and betrayal.
©2006 Conn Iggulden (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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A LOT DISAPPOINTING

I usually like Conn Iggulden's writing: his first novels were excellent and the Wars of the Roses books were very entertaining. Unfortunately, I came to this Caesar series after I had read Colleen McCullough's awesome Masters of Rome series, and the historical inaccuracies and outright plot-device inventions totally spoiled the listening experience. Colleen gives all her characters depth and credibility, apparently by extensively exploring their historical backgrounds and documented actions to extract an author's sense of motivation and complexity for her characters. Conn on the other hand has paper-mache characters who have little depth at all: Caesar, Brutus, Pompey, Cleopatra etc - these are non-fictional people whose names and reputations have survived for more than 20 centuries but in this reworking of a series of well documented events they resemble secondary characters in a TV soap opera and therefore would, in one's memory, hardly survive the next commercial break.

On the other hand if you know nothing or little of the period and have no urge to find out more than the bare dramatic details then you wont be disappointed.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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Good story, fair story teller

Caesar's story is compelling. The narrator is a little stiff, the pronunciation of names sounds contrived.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Prepare to cry.

Stephen King? Try Conn King. This guy takes history to new levels of exitment.
You cannot finish this story without shedding tears.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Very historically accurate

It's just like you were there. Everything is very vividly explained and you'll enjoy every minute of it.

~ I've listened to over 60 Audiobooks and this one is one of my favorites.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Absolutely fantastic

Beyond words. So much detail and description by the author incredible read highly recommended for all very very impressive story and most importantly all historical facts are given in detail at the end of each book! A+++

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  • Xraypup
  • Waco, TX United States
  • 02-06-18

Wonderful

Great story, geat narration. This series was recommended to me and now I will recommend it to others.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Lauren L
  • Johannesburg, South Africa
  • 03-04-17

Deeply satisfying

A satisfying end to a marvelous series. While one knows, of course, how Caesar meets his end, the story as told here was so believable and compelling it doesn't disappoint.

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Emperor Series

Easy and exciting listening. Five years ago I read the series and now find myself listening to the story with the same level of interest. The reader's outstanding performance adds an additional dimension to the overall experience.

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Awesome

I have enjoyed this series of books tremendously. The author is one of a kind! I recommend everybody to check it out.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Jim
  • Boston, MA, United States
  • 10-09-11

I'm addicted

Can't get enough of these books. Kind of a guilty pleasure but rip roaring good stories. Great book and great narrator.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
  • James
  • 11-02-10

Changed the Reader!

A brilliant series. My only gripe is that they switched readers for the second half of the series and he pronounces all of the character names differently which jars as he reads: Servillia becomes Serwillia; Octavian becomes Octarwian.

18 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • @stupotpot
  • 03-12-15

Dodgy pronounciation!

Narrator consistently mispronounces characters. Although this may be historically more accurate, it is distracting considering previous narrators have set precedents. Very off putting.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Simon
  • 02-01-16

Beware the Ides of March!

In a way it’s almost tempting to say that this author has cheated, after all how can you fail to write a good story when the life of Julius Caeser was so utterly fascinating. Of course that would be doing Iggulden a massive dis-service as he once again brings history to life for us. This book is fast paced and full of all the elements that we have come to expect from this series including some of the most famous characters of ancient history.

This part of the story contains a lot of action and brings the friendship between Caesar and Brutus to its bloodthirsty conclusion. The brooding sickness of Brutus providing a strong counterpoint to the glorious light of Caesar throughout.

As with the previous book the narrator is once again Paul Blake who I personally enjoy. I think suffice it to say that if you were okay with him on the previous book you will be with him for this one. Book 5, the concluding book of the series has yet another narrator who seems to have been getting even poorer reviews . . . some trepidation again as I move on. It would be such a shame if a series as excellent as this one were to end badly through poor narration.

Finally I’d like to mention the inclusion of the authors “Historical Note”, I find it fascinating to get some further insight into the history and the writing process.

In summary an excellent series continues.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Stanley
  • 09-15-10

Emperor: The Gods of War by Conn Iggulden

Despite the occasional historical digression this is a cleverly constructed novel that intertwines the imagined lives and feelings of the historical characters with the recorded events and artifacts of the era. A brutal and idealistic society is graphically described alongside the hedonism that underpins enduring legend of the most famous Caesar.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Blake
  • 04-30-18

Absolutely murdered by the narrator.

Would you try another book written by Conn Iggulden or narrated by Paul Blake?

Yes I'd recommend a book by Conn Iggulden, but unfortunately I can't recommend Paul Blake as I think he's hilariously bad as a book narrator for a number of reasons. There is the elephant in the room speech impediment/lisp, the total lack of regard for pronunciation, disregard for the characters the previous narrator set out and total lack of context and character in general.

What did you like best about this story?

Gives an excellent new human dimension to historically immortal characters.

Would you be willing to try another one of Paul Blake’s performances?

Sorry, but I don't think he's ever going to be on my list of recommendations for anything. Absolutely murdered this book in every way. I had been exercising a level of tolerance for someone who obviously has a speech impediment, but quite why you a producer would ever choose him to narrate a historical, factual fiction is beyond me. When he pronounced the immortal line "Vendi Vidi Vici", I could have cried with laughter/pain. Wendy Weedi Weeky. Agony.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The story, research etc are great. I wish I'd read it.

Any additional comments?

Just can't express how baffled I am by the production of this... audiobooks are really expensive. For the production team to think this is an acceptable standard of narration compared to the chap who did books 1 & 2 is quite remarkable.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Denise
  • 09-19-11

Fascinating Series

I loved this series, I learnt so much about Roman History and Julius Caesar, even though the author does admit taking a little poetic licence with the some of the timelines and historic facts to make more of a story, but this didn't detract from it at all for me. Nor did Paul Blake's narrative, which yes, is different from Robert Glenister who was also excellent, but I think he does a brilliant job in interpreting the cast and giving them each their own different characterisation. A thoroughly enjoyable series. I can't wait to start Conn Iggulden's Emporer series.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jason K
  • 06-29-19

Solid instalment

Enjoyed the book. There were a few sections I didn’t enjoy as much but it’s more a niggle than a real criticism.

There’s plenty of complaints about the narrator but I got used to him from previous instalments and wouldn’t let that put you off.

If you enjoyed the other books, crack on and dive into this one. The adventures of Caesar and Brutus! what’s there not to love?

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  • Mrs Pebblepot
  • 03-13-19

Narrator

I have enjoyed all of the books so far but was disappointed when the narrator changed from Robert Glenister to Paul Blake in book 3 as I found his style more difficult to listen to. The narrator has changed again for the last book - hopefully it will not take so long to adapt to his style.....

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  • DDR
  • 02-13-19

Terrible narration ruins a great story

Like some of the other reviewers I found the narration terrible, the pronunciation of names regularly used throughout the book is distracting and annoying.
I read one reviewer state that it is probably the correct pronunciation, however, in English these names are hardly ever pronounced that way and for a split second you wonder which character is in play.

Unfortunately the book doesn't sit in isolation and for years I have watched documentaries, films and plays on these characters so there is a level of familiarity and history, it's like hearing the name of your friends persistently, deliberately mispronounced.

I have listened to Robert Harris' great books on Cicero, so it is interesting to know how he fits into this story....his name is pronounced "Kick-ero".........every single time, it is a shame.

Is this enough to shun the book....no it is not, the story is too good.

To add to the annoyance the first two books in the series read by Glenister are read brilliantly.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-28-19

Well written content, distracting narration

Enjoyed the book on the whole, but found the pronunciation of names inconsistent and distracting from the story. Also, a note to the producers, please use the same narrator for all the books in a series.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-04-19

Brilliant book, bad narrator.

I have come to be a big Conn Iggulden fan through listening to his books on Audible, and the gods of war is a truly interesting book. However I can't stand the incompetence of the narrator Paul Blake, who insists on mispronouncing every name in the book. For gods sake how did no one correct him during recording? He even pronounced Augustus as Ow-gwust-us I mean come on! when it's the eighth month of the year do you say Owgwust?anyway to sum up my very amateur review love the book and author, hate Paul Blake.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-09-18

what happened

worst Narrator he destroyed the story. it made me so sad having to listen to to this screaming then whispering reader with no change in pitch.