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Emperor: The Field of Swords: A Novel of Julius Caesar Paperback – June 23, 2009


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Emperor: The Field of Swords: A Novel of Julius Caesar + Emperor: The Gods of War: A Novel of Julius Caesar + The Death of Kings (Emperor, Book 2)
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Product Details

  • Series: Emperor (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Delta; Reprint edition (June 23, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385343426
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385343428
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,884 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The third (after Emperor: The Gates of Rome and Emperor: The Death of Kings) of four projected volumes in the much-praised fiction series based on the life and times of Julius Caesar, this sweeping epic resumes the narrative in Spain where young Julius is fantasizing about the conquests of Alexander the Great. After four prosperous years with the Tenth Legion in Spain, Julius has discovered gold and decides to return to Rome with his loyal general, Brutus. There, rich with Spanish loot, Julius enters into an alliance with Pompey, a popular and autocratic military leader, and his older, wealthy co-consul, Crassus. Sponsored by this pair of influential and unscrupulous politicians, Julius is elected consul and assumes charge of an expedition to Gaul with full powers to take spoils and rule his conquests in the name of Rome. His eventual victory over Vercingetorix is only postponed by a daring side campaign in Britain. The novel ends as Julius receives word that Pompey plans to have him slain, and Julius, Brutus and Mark Antony prepare to march on Rome, leaving avid readers athirst to read the final volume. Iggulden has been gathering momentum gradually over his first two installments, and here he blasts full steam ahead, with blistering battle scenes ("there was more flesh than grass") and rapier-sharp political intrigue.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

This title is the third volume in Iggulden's projected four-volume Emperor series, following Emperor: The Gates of Rome (2003) and Emperor: The Death of Kings (2004). The series continues to be a highly (and authentically) detailed, fast-paced, and elaborately plotted saga based on the life of the greatest Roman of them all, Julius Caesar. As the second volume ended, readers saw Caesar gathering an impressive record as a military leader. Now, in the new installment, Caesar is taking significant steps into the complex arena of the politics of the Roman republic and moves further to the forefront with his famous conquest of Britain. Caesar is inarguably a man of ambition, and the results of his ambition are dramatically played out as the series proceeds. Brad Hooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Despite finding time to write historical novels and The Dangerous Book for Boys, Conn Iggulden is in some ways better known as a trainer of Tollins. His Tollin troupe, "Small and Mighty," are famous in Tasmania, where they often play to packed houses. "It used to be just a hobby," he says, "but when you've seen a display of Tollin synchronized flying, you realize it's your life's work. Also, they can be transported in shoe boxes, so it's pretty cheap to get around."

Customer Reviews

I think Iggulden felt a little rushed on this book.
Paul Hopper
The book is beautifully researched and Iggulden does a fine job of making what could be dry history very interesting reading.
shrinkucci
The author's style of writing had me at the scenes he was describing.
Christine Mail

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 50 people found the following review helpful By ilmk on March 1, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Knowing full well that Igguldens' retelling of Gaius Julius Caesar's life owes very little to actual historical fact and much to pure fantasy I set about this third installment curious to know precisely what period had gone through the mangle this time and what the result would be. Apart from the wincing at the total exclusion of Marcus Tullius Cicero's finest hour in 63BC in stopping the Catiline Conspiracy (Julius gets the credit here and it's brought forward 4 years as well - never mind), the blatant chronological reversal of Clodius' death in 52 and the invasion of Britain in 55/54, and the casual use of Cabera to act as the soothsayer for the infamous Ides of March quote nearly a decade ahead of reality... I was cautiously optimistic by page 200 or so.

The third in Iggulden's Emperor series opens with our young praetor with his Tenth legion in Spain with Brutus and his extraordinarii cavalry. Dark, moody and brooding the mix is swiftly stirred as Brutus' courtesan mother, Servilia, turns up with three girls to make a handsome profit and catch Julius' eye. From there he swiftly returns to the political mire of Rome, coming up against both Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus and Marcus Licinius Crassus as he seeks to establish himself in Rome and take his first consulship. Much of this is given over in two very lengthy episodes - the first his quelling of the Crassus backed Catiline conspiracy, the second over a gladiator contest for Marcus Brutus to be First Sword in Rome. Once this has been achieved Caesar hotfoots it to Gaul with his comrades in tow wearing silver armour to start conquering the land.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Scott Schiefelbein VINE VOICE on April 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Conn Iggulden's "The Field of Swords" continues his "Emperor" series, to borrow a phrase, it's like the first two books, only more so.

From his first book in the series, Iggulden has demonstrated a willingness to depart from the historical record. When it comes to Julius Caesar, that's playing with fire, if for no other reason than that Caesar's life is astounding enough on its own that it leaves little room for editorializing. However, we must respect Iggulden is writing fiction, not another biography of the historical giant (and to Iggulden's credit, he repeatedly recommends Christian Meier's masterful biography, Caesar, for folks who want the straight story).

By making some rather harsh choices (for example, Cicero merits barely a mention in Iggulden's novels), Iggulden has offended many readers, to be sure. For readers familiar with the historical period, it is harder to suspend our disbelief when reading about certain events when we know that they just did not transpire in the manner described. I imagine that the less familiar one is with the subject, the more entertaining the series is.

Fortunately for all concerned, even Roman history buffs, Iggulden is a fine writer and creates many memorable scenes in "Field of Swords." Several battle scenes quicken the pulse, but Iggulden also writes excellent scenes around more domestic fare, such as a bunch of humbled Roman blacksmiths learning the intricate art of Spanish swordmaking.

And the broad strokes are all here to create a fine theater for our favorite characters. Caesar rides from Spain to Gaul to Britain and eventually comes to a crisis point at the Rubicon. Crassus builds his astounding fortune but chafes under his less-than-stellar military reputation.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ronin on May 20, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Some reviewers are critical of other reviews of both this series and this author in general that take issue with the poor historical qualities of these books, and are quick to point out that these are "historical fiction". Actually they really aren't. There is so little historical value delivered by The Conn in both his Emperor series or his Genghis series. This book continues the story of Caesar, but the author simply took a character and selectively chose other figures that suited his story line while leaving out other crucial figures who played major roles. For example, in this book I was stunned to follow a Gaulic campaign where the general Titus Labienus, who also played a pivotal role in the upcoming Civil War, was absent, as were every noteworthy centurion of the 10th.

This is really just a fiction novel that took a major figure in history and thrusts him into an almost complete fantasy. For readers who know this history, it really is frustrating to find so many glaring errors every other page. One example is his repeated reference to "corn", a New World crop that was completely unknown to the Roman world. Wheat would have been correct. I use this example to illustrate Conn's lack of understand of his subject matter. This is now the 3rd book and I am still reading about corn; didn't anyone advise him from a historical point of view? Wheat was a crucial component of Roman life, and you would think someone qualified to write for a mass audience would first know his subject. Considering this is supposed to be "historical fiction", you would think this would be important.

Then there are lines like Pompey on pg128 "politics was a practical business", taken straight from the mouth of "Gracchus" in the film "Spartacus". Is this supposed to be like, an homage?
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