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Emperor: The Gods of War Hardcover – March 28, 2006


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Product Details

  • Series: Emperor (Book 4)
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press; First Edition edition (March 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385337671
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385337670
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #834,008 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Iggulden (Emporer: The Field of Swords) saves the best for last in the fourth and final novel of his well-received Emperor series, following the life of Julius Caesar. Caesar's story is a familiar one, but Iggulden writes it convincingly as a thriller: the novel begins in 49 B.C., when Caesar and his legions-fresh from their conquests in Gaul and Britain-cross the Rubicon and race toward Rome to confront his enemies. It ends five years later on the Ides of March with his assassination. Along the way, there's a civil war to be fought and won, a romantic encounter with the young Egyptian queen Cleopatra and a triumphant return to Rome where a cowed Senate names him Dictator for Life and Unconquered God. But Caesar's enemies-including his friend Marcus Brutus-plot his assassination for subverting the Republican government. Despite Caesar's larger-than-life historical reputation, Iggulden humanizes his hero and juxtaposes his bloodlust in battle and ruthless ambition in politics with an unexpected tenderness in his personal relations. Taking a rather large dose of literary license, Iggulden strays too far from the historical record, but his expert plotting, supple prose and fast-paced action will keep readers riveted until the end.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Iggulden concludes his magnificent four-part saga of Julius Caesar with a veritable bang. The many fans of the previous three volumes-- The Gates of Rome (2002), The Death of Kings (2003), and The Field of Swords (2005)--will not be disappointed by the cataclysmic final installment in this riveting epic. After tasting the fruits of victory on battlefields in Gaul and Britain, General Julius Caesar crosses the fabled Rubicon, initiating a civil war among rival Roman legions. Matching wits with cunning Roman dictator and military genius Pompey the Great, Caesar grapples for power both within the confines of the city of Rome and in all the far-flung corners of the empire. Realizing martial success alone is not enough to command the respect and loyalty of the cosmopolitan Romans, he becomes a consummate politician, exploiting his relationships with Marcus Brutus, Mark Antony, Octavian, and, of course, Cleopatra. Brimming with military, political, and romantic intrigue, this action-packed epic provides a breathtaking panorama of one of the most exciting episodes in the ancient world and breathes new life into a legendary historical figure. Margaret Flanagan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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

The author makes history come alive.
Pliny the Elder
I would recommend the series to any historical fiction fan.
Paul C.
This is the second series I have read of his.
Mary J. Marceau

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Scott Schiefelbein VINE VOICE on April 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Conn Iggulden admittedly set an ambitious goal for himself in his four volume "Emperor" series, a work of "a-historical historical fiction." Iggulden has acknowledged his numerous departures from the historical record in his books, and he repeatedly recommends Christian Meier's magnificent biography, "Caesar," for those who want a more accurate account.

I do not fault Iggulden one iota for deviating from the historical record -- he's writing fiction. The question becomes, how good is the story he tells? Why should we seek out "Emperor" in the face of so many novels about Julius Caesar?

Fortunately, Iggulden had the confidence to break from tradition and give us his own take on Caesar and his times. For those looking for a more "historical historical fiction," you should check out Colleen McCullough's awesome "Masters of Rome" series that starts with "The First Man in Rome." Hers is much more of a "you are there" walk-through of actual history.

Iggulden takes a hand grenade to the historical record to tell a more focused story of friendship, betrayal, love, war, and conquest. Caesar and his childhood friend, Brutus, rise to prominence together in books 1-3, but in Book 4 the relationship is strained. Brutus, perhaps incorrectly, interprets Caesar's use of Mark Antony and Octavian (one day to be Augustus) as insults -- how can Caesar honor anyone before Brutus, who has been there from the beginning and done more to help Caesar than anyone?

This betrayal leads Brutus to join Pompey's forces in the infamous civil war that ends up at the titanic Battle of Pharsalus. Can Brutus' friendship with Caesar survive this betrayal? Can it be revived? Can Brutus look past Caesar's colossal pride and see his childhood friend?
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Jason Frost TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 9, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I can't tell you how I've waited for each and every 'Emperor' book by Conn. This one was no different! 'The Gods of War' is one of the best books I've read this year! Tying up the loose end of Brutus, Ceaser, the wars, and the chilling ending was just pure enjoyment.

I keep seeing people who don't like this series because it's not accurate... geez!! GET A HISTORY BOOK MORON! If you want a wonderful story about Rome, her citizens, her Generals, her joy and pain, then pick up this book/series!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ronin on May 25, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I have already read and reviewed the previous 3-books in The Conn's "Emperor" series, which deals with the Roman Republic and uses Caesar and his side-kick Brutus as the main characters. In that single sentence I just identified two of the many things terribly wrong with these books.

Like the previous 3-books in the series, they are all quite readable and are fast page turners. Being a student of this period of history, I found these books absolute historical abominations. There is virtually nothing accurate and the events are entirely misleading, the characters all kinds of wrong, and you just have to wonder why someone would write something like this, or better yet, why anyone would publish it??? Like his Mongol series, I have concluded he knows virtually nothing of these subjects and merely cranked this stuff out to sell books. Ok. I guess I am bitter because I have financially contributed to this fraud.

After dragging myself through this author's other books, I had to check out on this one after 70-pages. I picked it back up a few months later. The civil war with Pompey is entertaining to read. I just don't get why a guy who makes his living off of history shows history absolutely zero respect.

The only reason I am bothering with this review is that too many others are singing the praise of these books, and it is really unjustified. Conn's brief apologies for his historical liberties, which he pitifully and understatedly does in every book, are not accepted and do not address the majority of the issues; many of which he seems completely unaware of. Invest your money elsewhere, this author is "historical" fiction at its worst.
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10 of 15 people found the following review helpful By ilmk on March 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Iggulden completes his series and this time there's not too much complaint about historical inaccuracy (though perhaps about historical characterisation). To get it all going, Julius leaps over the Rubicon, captures Corfinium without bloodshed, and traipses into Rome with consummate ease. It was going to be interesting to see how he forced the character of Brutus back onto his true historical destiny and Iggulden manages it in a single episode of childish pique as our silvered-armoured sidekick goes from outstanding general and best friend to outstanding general and worst enemy in the space of a single night simply because he feels Julius favours Mark Anthony over him. Julius, himself, doesn't seem too bothered as he laps up the adoration of the Roman crowd and spends most of his time trying to father a child before getting cuckolded and storming off to Pharsalus to hunt down his previous friend who has chucked his lot in with the aging and increasingly befuddled Pompey (who spends much of the first half grumbling about intestinal issues and managing to let Caesar out manoeuvre him) and the self-exiled Senate, caustically represented by Cicero.

In the meantime Brutus has a new aristocratic friend, Seneca and we move past page 200 into the battle for Roman supremacy at Pharsalus which takes the next hundred pages or so and ends Part One. It is during this battle that Iggulden shows why the glaring inconsistencies in plot and characterisation that so define all these novels can be swept aside through sheer brilliance of action. The battle for Pharsalus and control of Rome is executed with pathos, crisp dialogue and gladiator-esque vibrancy.
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