Andy.mack 5

Andy.mack

Add to my Circle of Trust

Subscribe to reviews

About me: So after 12 and a half years I've finally made it to Gold, thanks to everyone for the reads, rates and comments since I became a member

Member since:29.08.2002

Reviews:932

Members who trust:278

Quote-start

The Gates Of Rome Are Calling

Quote-end
25.04.2006

Advantages:
An excellent compelling story that has you gripped from the very beginning .

Disadvantages:
A bit of a sudden ending, but paving the way for the series

Recommendable Yes:

Detailed rating:

Would you read it again?

Story

Characters

Readability

How does it compare to similar books?

How does it compare to other works by the same author?

26 Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful See ratings
exceptional by (2%):
  1. mail1234
very helpful by (96%):
  1. acrossthepond
  2. lostsoul
  3. loveable_rogue
and 40 other members
helpful by (2%):
  1. ailuj34

View all ratings

The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.

Share this review on

Young Gaius Caesar and his best friend Marcus cause absolute mayhem around his father's estate. For years now they have gotten into all sorts of trouble but now their minds must be focused and it is time for them to be trained in the way of Roman warriors. While the Roman Empire continues to grow the two boys are trained by an ex Gladiator until Gaius's father is killed during a slave revolt. Gaius is left as the man of the house and heads to Rome to learn politics from his uncle Marius, one of the greatest politicians and Generals in Rome. While the city edges towards Civil War, Gaius learns his trade, but what will become of the young Roman now he is a man, Julius Caesar.

This is the first part of a series of books being written by former English Tutor Conn Iggulden. Although the series does not focus on actual events as such he has used true events as a basis. From there he has expanded each story enough to make an incredibly interesting and enthralling novel. It's important to remember that it is only loosely based on true events while you are reading it. If you are looking for true accounts of Caesar's life then I'd say hit the history books but this makes fantastic Historical Fiction.

Until I discovered the joys of fantasy writing recently I'd never really taken much of a risk away from War and espionage stories. My discovery, first of David Gemmell and now Conn Iggulden has seen my range of books increase dramatically. Although I was used to sticking to set topics Iggulden has really sparked my interest in the Historical fiction genre. He has written one of the most compelling novels I've read in quite a while in The Gates of Rome.

From the start Iggulden's tale of a young Roman coming of age and stepping up to his responsibilities is very addictive. The majority of the story focuses on the training of the young Roman's and Iggulden gives an amazingly detailed account of how he perceives life would have been like back then. Whether these accounts are anyway close to the mark doesn't really matter, Iggulden's take on events in Roman times makes for addictive reading. The couple of chapters that focus on their visit to the Gladiators arena in particularly are amazingly detailed and really make a detailed mental picture.

He writes with quite a regimented chapter set up as each chapter is roughly 15-20 pages long. This keeps the story quite punchy and I found it made Iggulden's debut novel incredibly compelling as I strived to know what would happen next. I've always thought that the less detail used the more addictive the story then becomes but Iggulden has managed to use incredibly graphic descriptions of death and fights and at the same time managed to keep the story flowing along nicely.

There will be criticism for the way the book ends. It is obvious from the ending that Iggulden is making a series of books that connect together but this means that it wont be a series of books that can be read separately. I feel this means that no matter which book is the current one to get into the series you would have to return to the first book to really understand the history of the plot and who certain characters are.

It's in the characters that I really felt Iggulden hooks the reader. The main characters Gaius and Marcus are on a voyage of discovery during the book and as the story expands and their relationship matures it becomes clear the two will do anything for each other. His development of the two is key to the story and everyone else is only a minor character in comparison. I found there to be some fascinating characters within the story with the likes of Gaius's uncle Marius, one of the top generals in Rome is quite a complex and interesting character.

I felt his use of the period and the fact that all of the major houses had Slaves was used in a very intricate way. With most of the slaves you can see the clear divide between them and the heads of their house but you can see through his descriptions that certain slaves got better treatment than others. Again whether this is factually correct or not it adds another dimension to an excellent story and an impressive debut from Iggulden.

There has been a lot of praise for the Emperor series and based on this first instalment it is easy to see why. It is an incredibly compelling read and I certainly found it incredibly hard to put down once I had started. I don't have any sort of reference point to really compare him in terms of historical fiction but he certainly brought the story to life. The front of the book proclaims "if you liked Gladiator you'll love Emperor" and I have to say I'm inclined to agree. It is quite a detailed story and although at times written in the simplest forms the story is incredibly addictive and compelling. It's a book I wouldn't hesitate recommending to anyone.

Amazon: £5.59
Amazon Marketplace: £1.94
  Write your own review

Share this review on

  Next review »

Rate this review »

How helpful would this review be to a person making a buying decision? Rating guidelines

Rate as exceptional

Rate as somewhat helpful

Rate as very helpful

Rate as not helpful

Rate as helpful

Rate as off topic

Write your own review Write a review and you will earn 0.5p per rating if other members rate your review at least helpful. Write a review and you will earn 0.5p per rating if other members rate your review at least helpful.   Report a problem with this review’s content

Comments about this review »

Abracadabra007 21.05.2007 09:41

Good review mate.. cheers

Wanchai05 15.02.2007 11:45

Very good review

mail1234 25.10.2006 11:54

Great review. I've just picked the book up and I'm going to start reading it today

Add your comment

max. 2000 characters

  Post comment

Similar offers for The Gates of Rome - Conn Iggulden »

1 to 3 out of 3 similar offers for The Gates of Rome - Conn Iggulden
Conn Iggulden The Gates of Rome (Emperor (1))

Conn Iggulden The Gates of Rome (Emperor (1))

The first volume of a sequence of novels about Julius Caesar, The Gates of Rome is at its ... more

best in its scenes of gruelling training in
swordplay and dirty fighting. Iggulden's Caesar is
more or less fated from the start by his
circumstances to be a gifted and cynical player in
the great game of Roman senatorial politics--his
father is an old-fashioned servant of the public
good who dies in a slave revolt. Young Caesar
finds himself having to hit the ground
running--family alliances throw him onto the
losing side in a battle for power between generals
Marius and Sulla. One reservation about Iggulden's
story is that he simplifies the pushing and
shoving of Rome's two most powerful men to a
degree that makes Caesar's choices and loyalties
too simple--this is a version of Rome in which
politics is only about power and never about
ideas. Caesar's friendship with his blood-brother
Marcus is too redolent with historical
irony--Marcus will be his assassin--and Iggulden
is a little novelette-ish in his portrayal of
young Caesar's affairs of the heart. This is a
competent, routine account of material that
deserves better than this handling of it. --Roz
Kaveney

 Visit Shop  >
Amazon Marketplace
Postage & Packaging:  refer to website
Availability:  refer to website

Conn Iggulden The Gates of Rome (Emperor Series, Book 1)

Conn Iggulden The Gates of Rome (Emperor Series, Book 1)

The astonishing life of Julius Caesar is recreated in a magnificent new novel that ... more

brilliantly interweaves history and adventure.
Emperor: The Gates of Rome is an epic tale of
ambition and rivalry, bravery and betrayal, from
an outstanding new voice in historical fiction.
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.

 Visit Shop  >
Amazon Marketplace
Postage & Packaging:  refer to website
Availability:  refer to website

Conn Iggulden The Gates of Rome (Emperor Series, Book 1)

Conn Iggulden The Gates of Rome (Emperor Series, Book 1)

First in the Gates of Rome series. Book 1.

 Visit Shop  >
Amazon Marketplace
Postage & Packaging:  refer to website
Availability:  refer to website

Product Information »

Product details

Type Fiction
Genre Alternate History
Title The Gates of Rome
Author Conn Iggulden
ISBN 0007136900
EAN 9780007136902

Show all Product Information

More reviews »

Review Ratings »

This review of The Gates of Rome - Conn Iggulden has been rated:

"exceptional" by (2%):

  1. mail1234

"very helpful" by (96%):

  1. acrossthepond
  2. lostsoul
  3. loveable_rogue

and 40 other members

"helpful" by (2%):

  1. ailuj34

The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.

Products you might be interested in »

The Death of Kings - Conn Iggulden

The Death of Kings - Conn Iggulden

Fiction - Alternate History - ISBN: 0007136927

User reviews (2)

Buy now for only £ 2.91

The Red Tent - Anita Diamant

The Red Tent - Anita Diamant

Fiction - Alternate History - ISBN: 0330487965, 0333906470, 0330489658, 0312427298, 0312353766, 0312169787

User reviews (4)

Buy now for only £ 53.86

The Last Kindom - Bernard Cornwell

The Last Kindom - Bernard Cornwell

Fiction - Alternate History, Historical Fiction - ISBN: 0007149913, 0007149905, 0007182821, 0060530510

User reviews (2)

Buy now for only £ 4.99



Are you the manufacturer / provider of The Gates of Rome - Conn Iggulden? Click here