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Publisher's Summary

Julius Caesar has been assassinated. A nation is in mourning. Revenge will be bloody... Rome's great hero has been brutally murdered by his most trusted allies. While these self-appointed Liberatores seek refuge in the senate, they have underestimated one man: Caesar's adopted son Octavian, a man whose name will echo through history as Augustus Caesar.

Uniting with his great rival Mark Antony, Octavian will stop at nothing to seek retribution and avenge his father's death. His greatest hatred is reserved for Brutus, Caesar's childhood friend and greatest ally, now leader of the conspirators. As the people take to the streets of Rome, the Liberatores must face their fate. Some flee the city; others will not escape mob justice. Not a single one will die a natural death. And the reckoning will come for Brutus on the sweeping battlefield at Philippi.

The epic fifth novel in Conn Iggulden's bestselling 'Emperor' series.

©2013 Conn Iggulden (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Terrible narrator made me wince

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I'd recommend it to anyone who had read the previous books, or anyone wanting to jump in (as the death of Caesar makes a good starting point). However, I would NOT recommend this Audible version, as the narrator ruins the book completely.

What didn’t you like about Michael Healy’s performance?

Everything. It was terrible. But let me try to list my main objections:

- Healy has a strange lilt to his voice that is either an accent or terrible reading skills. The upshot is that every full stop, he lifts his voice the way you sometimes do when reading to young children.

- His reading pace hardly ever changes, meaning even in tense, action-packed moments, it's as if he's reading "My dog Spot" to a room of 5-year-olds.

- He doesn't differentiate between characters as far as I could tell, meaning that when one character interrupts another, it gets reeeeally confusing.

- I don't think he's read the book beforehand; Imagine how you'd say the sentence "I think I'd quite like a sandwich and a nice cup of tea". Now imagine Healy saying, in the exact same way "You're a disgrace to Rome!..." (the exclamation point silent), and then continuing, completely obliviously (and still just as ploddingly) "...shouted Octavian and slammed his fist into the table." The disconnect between how Iggulden claimed Octavian said it and how Healy reads it would be funny, if it wasn't ruining my book.

Any additional comments?

I had to finish this book in hard-copy. Worst narration I've experienced since "Rendezvous with Rama".

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Get a narrator who knows a little history

What a wooden narration! Made worse by an obvious complete lack of knowledge of the subject matter which led to annoying miss-pronunciation of names & places. Please, Mr Iggulden - a good narrator is almost as important as you! Try Humphrey Bower to see how it is really done.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Rollin
  • Cholula, Mexico
  • 09-04-13

A terrible reader spoils a godd story

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Actually, the story IS interesting, although less enjoyable than the previous two volumes of this great series on Rome and Caesar.

Would you be willing to try another one of Michael Healy’s performances?

No, not at all. He reads stiltingly, making pauses more appropriate for small children. I didn't finish listening to the book because of his irritating narration.

Any additional comments?

I wish I could listen to this book with a different narrator.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

why change the narrator?

this is the last book of the series...and with a new narrator? with a worst narrator...almost couldnt finish the book....but the story is great

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Not Bad

weakest of Iggulden's books on the period, but satisfactory wrap up to the series. Worth listening too

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Not Iggulden's best work

I am a fanatical historical fiction reader. And while the historical components were interesting, plot and character development were mediocre. I enjoyed the narrators' voice, but he wasn't much of a performer. The earlier Caesar were compelling and this one didn't measure up.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • gary
  • 06-19-13

Terrible narration

What did you like best about EMPEROR: The Blood of Gods, Book 5 (Unabridged)? What did you like least?

The story was good. terrible narration, felt like pulling teeth

How could the performance have been better?

Different narrator

Was EMPEROR: The Blood of Gods, Book 5 (Unabridged) worth the listening time?

No, read the book instead

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Des
  • 10-07-13

Narration made me wish for the Armies of Caeser

What would have made EMPEROR: The Blood of Gods, Book 5 (Unabridged) better?

For the narrator to have been tied down and forced to listen to his own steady destruction of a wonderful book

What was one of the most memorable moments of EMPEROR: The Blood of Gods, Book 5 (Unabridged)?

When the narrator pronounced Iggulden's name Ig-Gulden after 7 seconds - However, after 6 hrs and 39 minutes of the second part he gives in and pronounces the name correctly.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

By reading the book. The emphasis is all over the place and he sounds like a robot. There is NOTHING to redeem this terrible narration - Why oh why would ANYONE decide this farce is acceptable??

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from EMPEROR: The Blood of Gods, Book 5 (Unabridged)?

Nothing - The story is perfect

Any additional comments?

Bring back crucifiction for the narrator and SHAME on Audible for charging a single denarius for this. I hope Conn Iggulden writes many more great books and never allows them to be mashed by this narrator again.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Mike
  • 08-13-13

narrator is a cure for insomnia

What would have made EMPEROR: The Blood of Gods, Book 5 (Unabridged) better?

having somebody with a more interesting narration style read the book

What was one of the most memorable moments of EMPEROR: The Blood of Gods, Book 5 (Unabridged)?

overall good end to the Emperor series

How could the performance have been better?

get a narrator that doesn't send you to sleep

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

book overall ok, as had read 1-4 but this narrator was worse than the one in books 3-4 and that is saying something as his mangling of names was terrible

Any additional comments?

for the money think Audible should have narrators with better delivery cadence, given that this media is - audible

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Chris
  • 04-24-14

Good story, abysmal narration

Would you try another book written by Conn Iggulden or narrated by Michael Healy?

Id listen to more from the author but never this narrator again

What didn’t you like about Michael Healy’s performance?

Strange cadence, awful characterisation

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

Narration ruined it

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Aggie B
  • 08-03-13

I can't listen as the narrator is terrible!!!!!!

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Michael Healy?

One of the previous ones, Robert Glennister or Paul Blake.

Any additional comments?

Conn is an amazing author and I have all of this series on audio books however this time I will have to buy the book. I am very disappointed.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Richard
  • 08-13-13

Good book although a strange narrator.

What made the experience of listening to EMPEROR: The Blood of Gods, Book 5 (Unabridged) the most enjoyable?

The plot was good and for those who have read the other other four books you will not be let down.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Michael Healy?

The narrator was very different to any other I have listen to and was very hard to get use to but I did after a hour or two.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Simon
  • 02-04-16

Vast Colour Delivered in Monotone

If you have invested yourself in Rome and its characters from the previous books then this is definitely a story worth hearing. This book was an afterthought with a logical conclusion of the series having occurred in the fourth novel. However I fully agree with the author that this story is just as compelling and in some ways even more interesting. The naval battle scenes and the story behind the innovation that shaped them were particularly fascinating. Of course, all of the usual senate and society intrigue that we expect from this series is there plus of course the gritty reality of going to war with the legions. By the end you are left with a sense of wonder at how Rome became so great given the in-fighting.

So the story is worth hearing. The question is whether or not you want to hear it on Audible or read it for yourself. I can only recommend you listen to the audio sample. There is once again a change in narrator, coupled with significant changes to the way names and other words are pronounced, mostly reverting to the style of the earlier books. In addition I am afraid that Michael Healy is probably never going to win many awards for his narration. To me he just didn’t have the voice for these characters or the variation in tone that makes listening for extended periods as enjoyable as it could be. To each their own but I can’t recommend this personally and if I had my time again would opt for the Kindle edition.

I do wonder if Iggulden will ever be tempted to write a sixth book. From his excellent historical note it would actually be very fitting for the series title and who could resist Anthony and Cleopatra? If he does then I hope he reverts to one of the previous narrators.

As a series though this has been massively satisfying and even a little educational. The narration problems will definitely put some off but to overlook this series as a result would be a mistake in my book.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Phil M
  • 10-09-14

I can't listen to the final episode to the series

What disappointed you about EMPEROR: The Blood of Gods, Book 5 (Unabridged)?

The narration, my god I thought the narrator from books 3 and 4 butchered a great series but I had no idea it could get worse.

What could Conn Iggulden have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

I have no idea, the narrator makes this book un-listenable

How could the performance have been better?

Using another narrator, this is the first time I've looked to see what else the narrator has done to make sure I avoided them

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

anger, I want a refund

Any additional comments?

On the whole audible books are fantastic, this sucks, avoid

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Martin
  • 09-01-14

Great Story, not so great narration.

In a nutshell - Great story from Conn Iggulden, but you have to grit your teeth with the narrator to get through it at times, not so horrible I could not carry on but some odd accents and odd pronunciation and a bit flatly told at times too, sometimes distracting and verging on irritating. Father = Fourthar, Chasm = Shasm etc.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • J4
  • 05-27-14

Don't buy this audiobook - read the book and enjoy

What would have made EMPEROR: The Blood of Gods, Book 5 (Unabridged) better?

A decent narrator which more than one level and pace to his voice.

What was one of the most memorable moments of EMPEROR: The Blood of Gods, Book 5 (Unabridged)?

The story is wonderful - a fitting finish to a great series of books.

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Michael Healy?

Paul Blake or Robert Glenister who narrated the previous audiobooks

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from EMPEROR: The Blood of Gods, Book 5 (Unabridged)?

None - there is nothing wrong with the story.

Any additional comments?

How could anyone think that Michael Healy was capable of narrating an audiobook. Simply terrible.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Victor
  • 05-29-17

Tethering on great but not quite there

I loved the other emperor books and waited many years for this one.

The final battle sounds like it was a difficult one to describe and detail. But the lack of detail of the fight was disappointing for me personally.

A lot of times there was not anything really going on, but felt like conn tried to get too much into too few pages and the result was little detail.
That said I did enjoy it and look for are to more

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • jordan
  • 05-25-17

Great Book

Brilliant story, amazingly written. It's a pity he didn't write one more book about what happened after the Battle of Philippi.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Patricia
  • 05-10-17

Narrator detracts

This would be a good story if it wasn't for the boring narrator! I like many others will only just get through the book due to the poor narrator. This is a story of Ancient Rome and should be a good rollicking historical tale but there is no rollicking in the narrator's (Michael Healy) voice! What a pity!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jill
  • 03-31-17

Reader

The reader of this iBook is very much of lesser standard than the reader of the first of the books in this series

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Greg
  • 01-25-16

Another great story but the reader was painful

Three different readers over 5 books distracted from the enjoyment. The historical note was important.


  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Fresh Fish
  • 01-12-15

Good story, horrible narrator

I only just managed to get to the end of this. The narrator is terrible. There is no excitement in his voice and the story suffers as a result.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • raelene
  • 06-16-14

not fussed on this narrator

love con igguldens books. found this difficult to stay excited. narrator very drab, monotone. disappointed