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"The Gates of Rome" is the first book in the "Emperor" series. The series concentrates on one man. His name is Gaius Julius Caesar, the first Roman Emperor. Gaius is young at the beginning and his best and only friend is Marcus, whose parents had died and so Julius Caesar took him in. The book goes through their education and the army training and then their experiences of Rome.
Gaius and Marcus worked very hard in their lessons and Gaius, in his history, proved himself to be a great general by spotting traps before they did in real life. Their army training began a year later. They were taught by the best gladiator, who was almost mad. He almost killed them once a day and at the end of their training he said that they would have finished if they managed to kill him in a dual.
At that time there are riots in Rome and Gaius, his father, the gladiator and everyone else on the estate had to defend it. His father dies in the fight and because his father was powerful in the senate then he had to take his place in turn. Therefore he went to live with his uncle, Consul Marius.
In Rome there were two main powers, Consul Marius and Consul Sulla. They try and force the other out of Rome, so that they are in sole power. Marius manages to get Sulla away from Rome and so when there is news of Sulla's return he gets his legion onto the walls to defend Rome. Sulla manages to get inside Rome by bribing people inside to kill Marius's men from behind. Sulla manages to take sole control of Rome and exiles Gaius, now Julius because he had married, from Rome.
Gaius is a determined individual who will face up to any challenge. He is an extremely quick thinker, working out people's thoughts as he goes along.
I think that this is definately one of the best books that I have ever read. I like ancient history so it appeals to me but I am sure that you will like this.
"The Gates of Rome" by Conn Iggulden is well written and expressed excellently
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.
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