adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT
adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT

1 audiobook of your choice.
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
$14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $10.49

Buy for $10.49

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

Her life would be marked by scandal and suspicion, worship and adoration.…

At the tender age of 14, Livia Drusilla overhears her father and fellow aristocrats plotting the assassination of Julius Caesar. Proving herself an astute confidante, she becomes her father’s chief political asset - and reluctantly enters into an advantageous marriage to a prominent military officer. Her mother tells her, "It is possible for a woman to influence public affairs," reminding Livia that - while she possesses a keen sense for the machinations of the Roman senate - she must also remain patient and practical.

But patience and practicality disappear from Livia’s mind when she meets Caesar’s heir, Octavianus. At only 18, he displays both power and modesty. A young wife by that point, Livia finds herself drawn to the golden-haired boy. In time, his fortunes will rise as Livia’s family faces terrible danger. But her sharp intellect - and her heart - will lead Livia to make an unbelievable choice - one that will give her greater sway over Rome than she could have ever foreseen.

©2013 Phyllis T. Smith (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What listeners say about I Am Livia

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    240
  • 4 Stars
    143
  • 3 Stars
    63
  • 2 Stars
    11
  • 1 Stars
    10
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    232
  • 4 Stars
    104
  • 3 Stars
    46
  • 2 Stars
    13
  • 1 Stars
    4
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    215
  • 4 Stars
    121
  • 3 Stars
    53
  • 2 Stars
    11
  • 1 Stars
    6

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

If you loved I, CLAUDIUS. You'll love this book!

I'm a huge fan of I, Cladius and Claudius the God by Robert Graves. So, when I heard about this book, I was really excited.
It is written in the same manner as Robert Graves' books. But, this time Livia gets her say.
GREAT BOOK! I recommend it to all historical fiction fans.

7 people found this helpful

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

Shallow, dull.

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

This might be good for a 13 year old girl who wants a romance with a little history thrown in to give it a plot and motives for the characters. The book covers only her life at about 15, and then pretty much ends after a few years of being Empress with Octavian. Insipid characterizations. No feeling of being in Rome.

What was most disappointing about Phyllis T. Smith’s story?

How shallow Livia and Octavian are. Like 16 year olds.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

It was all right, given the material.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from I Am Livia?

So much with her first husband and her very early years with Octavius, with no development of her subsequent life where, indeed, lots of people died who interfered with her.

Any additional comments?

No.

5 people found this helpful

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

I wanted to like it

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

No, the two hours I spent with this book are lost forever.

What didn’t you like about Joyce Bean’s performance?

The narration is a performance, not a reading. Children's voices are squeaky, men's voices are gravelly, and the narrator's voice is flat. There's a weird pause before "he said" or "I replied" almost every time (probably so the reader can adjust her voice). There's a strange rhythmic pattern to the sentences: two are read on a rising tone, one on a falling tone, and one is flat. Rinse and repeat.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Depending on the casting, yes I would.

Any additional comments?

I wanted to like this, I really did. But after two hours, I knew It was a waste of time.

7 people found this helpful

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

Wonderful book . . .

Wonderfully written. Beautifully narrated. I spent a couple of hours studying the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, which greatly added to my understanding and enjoyment of I Am Livia., for her story plays a central role during this important transitional period of Rome's history. But don't get me wrong. Although it greatly enhanced this void is my historical knowledge, that isn't why I chose to read it. I chose it for the book's promise of being a fascinating read about real lives sometimes caught up in what seemed unresolvable human dilemmas. And the author and narrator could not have done a better job in keeping this promise.

1 person found this helpful

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

Why couldn't I have learned like this in school?

I loved every moment of this audiobook. Because of this book, at 40 years old I have gained an intense and renewed thirst for Historical knowledge. Phillis Smith uniquely empathizes with Livia Drusilla's character gives candid yet historically accurate accounts of some of the most important events to shape the world. This book left me wanting more. More knowledge of who history and even prehistory.

1 person found this helpful

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

Great characters of the History

I have read this book twice. I already did a review the first time I read it, and now I think it deserves other words. The second time I read this book, I enjoyed it more because I could find my favourite scenes and profound knowledge of their personalities.
This extraordinaire story is about the life of Octavius Agustus, a Roman Emperor, adopted son of Julius Cesar. After Julius Cesar's assassination, he ruled the Empire, and his wife, Livia Drusilla, named "Mother of Rome". Both characters were born to change History, living, loving and suffering as Patricians. Meanwhile, they gave peace to the Roman people and improved their lives with progress, art and culture.
Livia's initiatives emerging from her feminist soul and Octavius's struggle for peace and progress made them deserve the title of Augustus and Augusta of Rome.
They loved each other from the first time they encountered until their death.

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

Wonderful story

The book did such a good job of conveying the conflicting emotions and also the cleverness of a girl in a male-dominated world. It was a pleasant surprise that there was some historical accuracy regarding ancient rome and the characters that played the part. A wonderful romance that tugged at your heartstrings. My only gripe was that at the beginning of the book, the narrator seemed to unnaturally talk in a very deep voice, to maybe emphasize that the heroine was telling the story in her old age. But later on, she does a great job of playing with voices and her narration becomes less strained. Stick with it, it gets so much better.

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

A treat of Roman historical fiction

A wonderful book from the point of view of the voiceless in history. Livia has always fascinated me and Augustus is such a complex character to describe but both come to life with their strengths and flaws.

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

Great way to learn Roman history!

This book is quite interesting. I am looking forward to the sequel, Daughters of the Palatine. The reader of this book was not a good actress and her “voices” sounded a bit silly. Sorry, but her interpretation was really off-putting.

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

Amazingly good first novel! I LOVED IT

I can't believe this mature woman hasn't been a published author all her life. Livia and the other characters in "I am Livia" are almost real flesh and blood people -- only 2000 years gone now. The events are based on history, but the minor incidents are imagined in ways that demonstrate the very wit and brilliance that Livia and Octavius must actually have possessed to gain so much, so young. They are so amazing, yet so believable! The plot is exciting, the minor characters intriguing, and the narration excellent. Great job, and a great price, too!

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ratatoskr
  • Ratatoskr
  • 07-26-15

Read the book instead

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

I hated the voice of the narrator. At times it sounded like a computer-generated voice. The accent annoyed me, too.

What didn’t you like about Joyce Bean’s performance?

Her reading was robotic and, at times, too fast. She 'over-acted' the dialogue.

Any additional comments?

I was about a third through the book when I was offered a free trial of Audible, so I chose the same book to listen to. I could barely listen to a page. It was awful. It was far more enjoyable without the distraction of such a coarse voice. All I can add is please, don't let this put you off the book.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Aimee
  • Aimee
  • 01-02-16

nice, but a little hollywood/generic

the narrator of this one kind of annoyed me with her slightly gravelly voice, and strange pauses. the story itself was simple but a bit unbalanced in terms of timeline, and perspective (Cleopatra was a ruthless seductress blah blah blah). Not much charisma to the character, but was relatively easy to listen to.