The ultimate Rome story
From the spectacle of gladiatorial combat to the intrigue of the Senate, from the foreign wars that created an empire to the betrayals that almost tore it apart, the Emperor novels tell the remarkable story of the man who would become the greatest Roman of them all: Julius Caesar.
Brilliantly interweaving history and adventure, The Gates of Rome introduces an ambitious young man facing his first great test. In the city of Rome, a titanic power struggle is about to shake the Republic to its core. Citizen will fight citizen in a bloody conflict – and Julius Caesar will be in the thick of the action.
‘Iggulden is in a class of his own when it comes to epic, historical fiction’ Daily Mirror
‘A brilliant story – I wish I’d written it. A novel of vivid characters, stunning action and unrelenting pace. It really is a terrific read.’
‘The descriptions of combat in the circus, slaves in revolt, skirmishes in Greece, amputations and street fighting are all convincing.’
‘A rich and compelling novel that draws the reader into an extraordinary time and the life of an extraordinary man.’
About the author
Conn Iggulden is one of the most successful authors of historical fiction writing today. His two number one bestselling series, on Julius Caesar and on the Mongol Khans of Central Asia, describe the founding of the greatest empires of their day. Conn Iggulden lives in Hertfordshire with his wife and their children.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Not For History Buffs, But . . . ?
Personally, I could listen to Alex Jennings reading a phone book and consider my time well spent. He’s a fine and underused actor with a voice capable of inhabiting the widest ranging cast, and with a smoothness of delivery that can make dross sound elevated. Had it been a more average reader, I would have only given 1 or 2 stars to this passable, if somewhat hackneyed reimagining of the life of Julius Caesar.
And, I’m really reviewing the whole, abridged series, as read by Jennings, here. Considering Iggulden’s scrupulous attempts to follow historical accuracy in his Wars of The Roses series, and the copious notes he gave the listener about his inaccuracies and explanations for them, this is rather odd? The author takes liberties with timelines, people’s ages, the places they went to, even placing many characters in the most intimate scenes, when they never met in real life, and building whole narratives around physical impossibilities. And all without any note or explanation as to why he did it that way? He may Just as well have written a fiction about Rome, without any basis in fact, but without borrowing the names of famous Romans, all mashed together in impossible situations. And, when Cicero gets omitted completely from the Cataline Conspiracy, in book 3, a defining moment in the history of Rome, the story lurches from the improbable and impossible, to the downright bonkers!
For all that, I kept thinking, Iggulden can write a page turner, and it’s all entertaining enough. But, it’s going to have anyone with a classical education; or any historian, frothing with anger, I think? If you accept that the author has taken a bunch of famous names from Roman history, and slapped them onto a completely unrelated story, it’s still kinda’ fun, just as a swords and sandals romp. But, for the life of me, I cannot imagine WHY he bastardised his history quite SO badly? He took some liberties with his Roses saga, but there was always plausibility, or explanation for why certain (small) facts were changed for the sake of story. This time, he decided to just sod it all and do a disservice to all of the people who lived through that time in history, and all the historians who worked so hard for over 2,000 years, to chronicle real events from that day to this.
Makes me wonder what’s next? Oliver Cromwell meets Dracula? Why, Conn, why? . . .