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Publisher's Summary

Julius Caesar has taken his legions north into mighty battles with the Gallic tribes. But as his successes mount, overwhelming ambition and new alliances begin to threaten his friendship with Marcus Brutus, brother-in-arms and fellow warrior. Although the conquest of Gaul has made Caesar a hero all over again, his victories on the battlefield cause still more rivalries at home. And ultimately Caesar and Brutus will have to choose whether to cross the Rubicon - together or singly - and to take the fight to Rome itself.
©2005 Conn Iggulden; (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    191
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    52
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    7
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    4

Performance

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
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    93
  • 3 Stars
    43
  • 2 Stars
    14
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    27

Story

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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  • 4 Stars
    86
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    1
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  • JB
  • 01-06-15

Narrator Change

What made the experience of listening to EMPEROR: The Field of Swords, Book 3 (Unabridged) the most enjoyable?

They changed the narrator for book three and that's the only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 for performance.

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Fine centerpiece of the sequel damaged by narratio

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Had the narrator of the first two books read it. I wouldn't have spent hours wondering who 2 of the main characters were. Carto and Serwilia? Just pronounce them as written, please.

What did you like best about this story?

The character of Caesar is so visceral, he is truly sympathetic. Iggulden was able to do this with Ghengis as well, to his great credit.

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

I have to, to continue the series.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from EMPEROR: The Field of Swords, Book 3 (Unabridged)?

Some of the politics while Caesar is offstage can be tedious, but it is necessary knowledge to understand just what is going on in Rome.

Any additional comments?

Iggulden has quickly become one of my favorite authors.

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  • Barbara
  • POTTSTOWN, PA, United States
  • 03-18-14

I am close to giving up on this series

Again, the same performer with several mispronunciations and irritating tone. I am not usually critical of performers but this person just did not do his homework. If he was reading the next volume, I would be stopping here. The story is generally good though I felt it was disconnected at times, and again the historical inaccuracies were bothersome.

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Terrible Narration

Would you try another book from Conn Iggulden and/or Paul Blake?

Loved the first two books in the series and more so with Robert Glenister doing the narration.

What was one of the most memorable moments of EMPEROR: The Field of Swords, Book 3 (Unabridged)?

The most memorable moment was the first half-hour into the book when I knew there was know way I could stand listening to Paul Blake doing the narration. It was torturous listening to Paul Blake narrating the book after following the action with Robert Glenister in books 1 & 2.

What didn’t you like about Paul Blake’s performance?

Bland: It reminded me of years ago when 'books for the blind' where read (monotone) and the narrator would use the same voice for all the characters. There are some brilliant narrators out there; disappointingly I have no desire to finish the series listening to this chap.

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

Disappointment - I was looking forward to following the series with Robert Glenister

Any additional comments?

I was reluctant to purchase this book after reading the review given by Danny from Burnie , Australia 1.09.13. I thought he may have been a bit 'harsh' and what suits one person isn't necessarily going to be the same for another. After writing this, I'm going to ask Audible to allow me to exchange this book for another one, possibly narrated by Nick Boulton.

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Change in narrator … spoils the flow

If you could sum up EMPEROR: The Field of Swords, Book 3 (Unabridged) in three words, what would they be?

Joining the queue of disappointing readers, I too think that Paul Blake's narration SPOILS THE ENCHANTMENT of the Emperor series ... Where I couldn't put the Robert Glenister narrations down, enthralled with the story and his virtuoso narration, now I can barely pick Paul Blake's narration up ... feels too much like punishment to be either enticing or enjoyable ...

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Paul Blake?

Robert Glenister was fantastic as the narrator of the Emperor books 1 & 2 ... Now it is very hard to get used to the bombast and pedantry of Paul Blake ... For example, Octavian for Blake becomes Octa-WEE-an ... maybe Blake enjoys showing off his Latin expertise, but the book was written in English. Very hard to adjust to a narration virtually devoid of the subtleties (range of voices and expressions) that were the strength of Robert Glenister in his stunning narration of books 1 & 2 where characters are easily recognized by voice tones alone.

If you could rename EMPEROR: The Field of Swords, Book 3 (Unabridged), what would you call it?

Penitence ... not sure I can get through this one.

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ROMAN PLOTTING !

I have read the first three books now in this series and have enjoyed all three. If you like Roman history, intrigue, battles, relationships then go ahead and get into the series. If you like historical accuracy then pass on the EMPEROR novels. There is plenty of literary license on the part of Conn Iggulden but what the heck this is 'fiction' not history. I've enjoyed the development of Gaius and Marcus and the twists and turns that their lives have taken and intend of listening to the last novel before moving on. The debate on the performance of Paul Blake is tiresome. Yes he does pronounce the names of many of the characters differently from common usage and that of his predecessor and yes it is 'Gauling' but his overall narration is fine.

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Pick a Bloody Narrator

There is absolutely nothing more infuriating that switching narrators in the middle of a series. Especially a switch to one as bad as Paul Blake. Overact much?

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3rd in the Julius Cesar series.

If you could sum up Emperor in three words, what would they be?

I cannot recommend this series often enough!! Conn iggelston is one of my favorite authors. He makes history come alive. You are there. It is a great read!!

What did you like best about this story?

History comes alive.

Which character – as performed by Paul Blake – was your favorite?

Julius. And everyone.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

If I had the time, yes. I did listen for hours at a time.

Any additional comments?

Read Iggelston's series on the Kahn's also.

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  • John
  • Minnesota
  • 10-31-12

Very good.I wish there were more books like this.

Where does Emperor rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Top 15 of 85

Which character – as performed by Paul Blake – was your favorite?

Paul Blake was weak. Not the guy I would have had do this. However, Conn's story saves the day.

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Narrator change was a mistake

Within the first 15 minutes of this audiobook I am struck with how annoying the reader is and again baffled as to why authors would allow different narrators to work on the same book series. It breaks the continuity and the effects are worse when the replacement narrator is so much worse. What seemed like an interesting and even noble story of Julius Caesar has become, with the change of narrators a tale of pompous Roman ridiculousness like reading Flashman at the Charge and taking it seriously. The story will barely survive the narrator change for books 2 & 3.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Richard
  • 07-29-13

Such a comedown from the first two novels

I couldn't agree more with Paul's review that the pronunciation is so poor as to detract from the rest of the story. No matter how hard you try not to you keep listening for his mispronunciations to have them grate time and time again.

The narrator seems very self satisfied and pompous quite unlike Robert Glenister in the first two books.

Huge error to have changed narrator.

Number 4 will be read as a book not listened to.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Keith
  • 04-08-13

Ruined by the narrator

I really enjoyed the first two books and had not read the reviews of this book, so what a disappointment when I started to listen to Paul Blake. He is terrible , why did he not listen to at least some of the first two books? Every name pronounced differently and the characterisation is rubbish. I am continuing to listen out or respect for the author and the fact it is illegal to read a book while driving! Why Audible and the publishers do you do this to the public who pay for these books? This is the first time I have not liked a narrator and I truly understand now why people give up on books when the narrator does not do the book justice.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Clive
  • 03-02-11

What's the fuss?

I was apprehensive about the change of narrator having read previous reviews, but the more I listened to Paul Blake, the more I enjoyed him and looked forward to his company on my daily commute. I think his characterisation is excellent and really adds to the drama of the story. It would have been nice to retain one narrator for all four books, but it's not the disaster others are suggesting. Having done Latin at school, I think Paul Blake is technically more correct with 'Serweelia' and 'Octawee-an', but I accept it comes as a shock after Robert Glenister's renditions. Having said that, I couldn't get used to 'Car-borough'!

Putting narrators aside, the story itself is gripping and Iggulden's transformation of Julius from an idealistic and impressionable young patriot to a monster who will sacrifice everything and everyone to fulfil his lust for power is so subtle and believable. I genuinely hope that we get a film trilogy out of this at some point.

If you have started with Robert Glenister, he's a great narrator, but don't write off Paul Blake. he may not be everybody's cup of tea, but the story is too darn good to be put off by the subjective opinions of others.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • S. M. O'callaghan
  • 02-17-18

Good book

A good book but for some reason the reader didn’t seem realistic to me and as such spoiled some of the drama of the story.

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  • Mr. D. Hall
  • 02-16-18

Make up your own mind!!

Cards on the table I agree with many of the reviews that have gone before. I’ve listened to the first two parts, read by Glenister, and they are excellent, outstanding etc etc....
However we should focus on the fact that the Story is the Star here.
While Mr Blake’s pronunciations of the characters names is really annoying (I suppose he was trying to differentiate his delivery from Glenister?), his delivery of the story is as you would expect from a professional actor. It’s polished and engaging. Once you’ve got used to his ‘V/W’ thing, the story continues and is well worth your time to listen. To stop your listening because of some of the more vitriolic reviews is doing yourself and the story a disservice.
Try and filter the pronunciations and just enjoy the story - make up your own mind!
I’m off to download part 4.

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  • Paul
  • 02-08-18

another beauty

absolutely love Conn's books and this is no exception. he is a master at fleshing out historical fact and I can't get enough of his books. if you love this series also check out the Ghengis Khan series.

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  • Sara
  • 02-02-18

Poor narration spoils the story

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

The narrator of the first two books in this series was excellent. Paul Blake however has no characterisation to bring to his telling which is all done in a rather superior tone. I can’t stand to wade through another book with that voice so I have returned book 4 in the series, also narrated by Blake ...hoping book 5 which has a different narrator will be better. Anyway, I gave it 3 stars because the narration spoiled the story for me.

If you’ve listened to books by Conn Iggulden before, how does this one compare?

He’s a great one for the fight scenes...impressive! .I enjoyed the Cicero series more though, and his medieval books too. I think there are too many inventions in the Caesar stories but he is excellent at setting a historical scene. Very easy to get lost in these stories...great for long journeys...

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

Never - horrible pompous voice with no variety or capacity for characterisation.

What character would you cut from EMPEROR: The Field of Swords, Book 3 (Unabridged)?

Kind of liked the characters...disappointed that they could not be given a better performance.

Any additional comments?

Just really doubt the childhood friendship between Brutus and Caesar. This is where Conn is really stretching history....Brutus was apparently 15 years younger and sometimes rumoured to be Caesar’s son. This is not mentioned in the historical note...also the invention of Octavian as a street child when actually he came from a wealthy family. I presume he is going to be transformed into Augustus which should be fun...

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  • Daniel Hulme
  • 01-11-18

Why change narrator?

What kind of fool changes narrator halfway through a series? Even pronouncing the names differently. Great story, massively let down by poor narration.

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  • robb
  • 12-19-17

changing narrator mid series is terrible

glenister read first two books was great. paul blake terrible I think Toast is based on him, his narration distracts entirely from the story. could add more but .....

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  • Jolyon
  • 11-30-17

historical fiction at its finest

written by someone who did the research. performance is good and the story comes to life even while stuck in traffic