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The year is 53 B.C. Fresh from victory in Gaul, Julius Caesar leads battle-hardened legions across the Rubicon river–threatening Rome herself. Even the master strategist Pompey is caught unprepared by the strike, and forced to abandon his city. The armies of Rome will face each other at last in civil war, led by the two greatest generals ever to walk the seven hills. Thus The year is 53 B.C. Fresh from victory in Gaul, Julius Caesar leads battle-hardened legions across the Rubicon river–threatening Rome herself. Even the master strategist Pompey is caught unprepared by the strike, and forced to abandon his city. The armies of Rome will face each other at last in civil war, led by the two greatest generals ever to walk the seven hills. Thus begins Conn Iggulden’s towering saga of Julius Caesar as he approaches his final destiny—a destiny that will be decided not by legions but by his friend Brutus and an Egyptian queen named Cleopatra, who will bear his only son.... For Caesar, the campaign against Pompey will test his military genius and his appetite for glory to their limits, as the greatest fighting machine the world has ever seen divides against itself in a bloody conflict that will set brother against brother until victory or death. But for Caesar, another kingdom beckons—a world of ancient mysteries and languid sensuality, where a beautiful, bewitching woman waits to snare his heart. The Gods of War follows Julius Caesar through politics and passion, ruthless ambition and private grief, and into the corruption of power itself. Those he has loved will play a part in his triumphs—as will the jealousy and hatred of his enemies. From the spectacles of the arena to the whispered lies of conspirators, Conn Iggulden brings to life a world of monumental drama. And at its heart is one extraordinary friendship—marked by fierce loyalty and bitter betrayal, with dark events shrouded in noble ideals. From the Hardcover edition.


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The year is 53 B.C. Fresh from victory in Gaul, Julius Caesar leads battle-hardened legions across the Rubicon river–threatening Rome herself. Even the master strategist Pompey is caught unprepared by the strike, and forced to abandon his city. The armies of Rome will face each other at last in civil war, led by the two greatest generals ever to walk the seven hills. Thus The year is 53 B.C. Fresh from victory in Gaul, Julius Caesar leads battle-hardened legions across the Rubicon river–threatening Rome herself. Even the master strategist Pompey is caught unprepared by the strike, and forced to abandon his city. The armies of Rome will face each other at last in civil war, led by the two greatest generals ever to walk the seven hills. Thus begins Conn Iggulden’s towering saga of Julius Caesar as he approaches his final destiny—a destiny that will be decided not by legions but by his friend Brutus and an Egyptian queen named Cleopatra, who will bear his only son.... For Caesar, the campaign against Pompey will test his military genius and his appetite for glory to their limits, as the greatest fighting machine the world has ever seen divides against itself in a bloody conflict that will set brother against brother until victory or death. But for Caesar, another kingdom beckons—a world of ancient mysteries and languid sensuality, where a beautiful, bewitching woman waits to snare his heart. The Gods of War follows Julius Caesar through politics and passion, ruthless ambition and private grief, and into the corruption of power itself. Those he has loved will play a part in his triumphs—as will the jealousy and hatred of his enemies. From the spectacles of the arena to the whispered lies of conspirators, Conn Iggulden brings to life a world of monumental drama. And at its heart is one extraordinary friendship—marked by fierce loyalty and bitter betrayal, with dark events shrouded in noble ideals. From the Hardcover edition.

30 review for The Gods of War

  1. 4 out of 5

    Scott Hitchcock

    Book 1: 3* Book 2: 3.25* Book 3: 3.5* Book 4: 3.25* This may have been the best book of the series until the ending which was almost rushed. If you have to choose between this and the Genghis series it's definitely the Khans which was phenomenal.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    I've enjoyed this series, but sometimes this author is a hit or miss with me. I like it when I'm caught up in the characters and their drama. I don't even need completely accurate historical facts, I just want to believe the characters. And this one had that. I'm so glad. It wasn't my favorite in this series, but I did enjoy this one....a lot. I liked that this covered Julius's history with Cleopatra. There was an ease that the dialogue had that completely worked with the characters and the histo I've enjoyed this series, but sometimes this author is a hit or miss with me. I like it when I'm caught up in the characters and their drama. I don't even need completely accurate historical facts, I just want to believe the characters. And this one had that. I'm so glad. It wasn't my favorite in this series, but I did enjoy this one....a lot. I liked that this covered Julius's history with Cleopatra. There was an ease that the dialogue had that completely worked with the characters and the history. But Brutus seemed high maintenance and a bit annoying. I have one more to read in this series. I'm hoping to get to it soon. 4 stars.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Robin Carter

    Review A fitting end to an epic story about possibly the greatest general in Roman history, this book takes you on the final leg of Caesars journey from Child to idealistic young man to conquering general and finally to a man who no matter how great had his head turned by power. The Line "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely" sprang to mind as I read this book, its not quite true as Caesar seemed to be more changed by it than corrupted, there are flashes of the younger man still Review A fitting end to an epic story about possibly the greatest general in Roman history, this book takes you on the final leg of Caesars journey from Child to idealistic young man to conquering general and finally to a man who no matter how great had his head turned by power. The Line "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely" sprang to mind as I read this book, its not quite true as Caesar seemed to be more changed by it than corrupted, there are flashes of the younger man still there, traces of the innocence all but destroyed by the realities of the harsh Roman world. The true power of this book is the depth of treachery that all knew was coming from Brutus, but when it arrives is shocking and if you have ever been betrayed by anyone the feeling that left would only give you a fraction of an idea how Caesar must have felt. I also agree with Conn Iggulden in his historical notes what would history have been like if Casers son had lived. Although Octavian became one of the greatest Emperors in a long line of Roman Rulers, Ptolemy Caesarion carried the blood of greatness....possibly a great loss to history but a fantastic opportunity for an alternate history author..What if....... In my opinion Julius Caesar was a truly great man and has been portrayed by a truly great writer. (Parm)

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mark Harrison

    Loved this series but not this book. Caesar returns to Rome and then chases Pompey to Greece whilst dealing with the defection of life long friend Brutus. After a protracted chase we end in Egypt with the quick explanation of Pompey's death and the courtship of Cleopatra. At the end we have a return to Rome and then, in the final few pages, the Ides of March and all that entails. After a strong four books the end is hasty in the extreme and disappointing. Such a shame as, up to that point, it wa Loved this series but not this book. Caesar returns to Rome and then chases Pompey to Greece whilst dealing with the defection of life long friend Brutus. After a protracted chase we end in Egypt with the quick explanation of Pompey's death and the courtship of Cleopatra. At the end we have a return to Rome and then, in the final few pages, the Ides of March and all that entails. After a strong four books the end is hasty in the extreme and disappointing. Such a shame as, up to that point, it was first rate but the fate of Caesar and why the conspirators acted needed more exploration. Just my opinion mind you......

  5. 4 out of 5

    Bill

    My, but this series was a letdown. While there are many fictional works that tend to bend history to their own dramatic purposes (in this genre, HBO's Rome series comes to mind), they still manage to hew close enough to the facts to make a decent mix of history and imagination. Iggulden has decided to take the ignoble path of tossing history right out the window. So many of the basic facts of this well-known story are so distorted and/or ignored that it really detracts from the enjoyment one mig My, but this series was a letdown. While there are many fictional works that tend to bend history to their own dramatic purposes (in this genre, HBO's Rome series comes to mind), they still manage to hew close enough to the facts to make a decent mix of history and imagination. Iggulden has decided to take the ignoble path of tossing history right out the window. So many of the basic facts of this well-known story are so distorted and/or ignored that it really detracts from the enjoyment one might get from it. What is more distressing is that some readers not familiar with the story of Julius Caesar might actually make the mistake of thinking that they may be learning something by reading this woe-begotten series. This series has Caesar and Brutus growing up together, whereas historically, Caesar is believed to have been Brutus' father. Once this most basic of facts is twisted... well, it's all downhill from there. This series is the equivalent of a book covering The Revolutionary War, in which Thomas Jefferson and his brother Abraham Lincoln team up to assassinate John Adams. Yes, it's that ridiculous. I probably would have given this series two stars as some sort of crazy, alternate-universe fable on the life of Caesar, but the last two audiobooks are an abomination. The reader huffs and puffs in a performance worthy of a second-rate dinner theater, and his constant mispronunciations of the names of some of history's most well-known figures (seriously, Cicero pronounced as "Kickero"?) made me imagine that I was listening to a Monty Python skit.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Roman

    Seems like it was intended as a four-book series initially. I wasn't expecting such a rushed ending and thought those final events would be spread out in the fifth installment but it was quite good anyhow.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Beorn

    A fitting end to a resounding series of novels focusing on the life of Julius Caesar. The author expertly plays with your allegiances, empathies and where you think the story is going. Let's face it, even the most rudimentary historically educated will know that Caesar is assassinated but the way in which it is expertly handled is cleverly weaved so that by the end you're can understand why it happens and, far from feeling mortified at the loss of your favourite character - as you would have earl A fitting end to a resounding series of novels focusing on the life of Julius Caesar. The author expertly plays with your allegiances, empathies and where you think the story is going. Let's face it, even the most rudimentary historically educated will know that Caesar is assassinated but the way in which it is expertly handled is cleverly weaved so that by the end you're can understand why it happens and, far from feeling mortified at the loss of your favourite character - as you would have earlier in the series - you find yourself feeling that he had it coming. Not quite a standalone novel; it's best read as the end to a series that it is. A sign of how well the series is written is if you look back after reading this and compare how the reader feels about characters such as Pompey, Brutus and even Caesar himself compared to how they felt about them in earlier books. If you don't feel your opinion of them having changed, wisened or weathered then you're a colder man than me.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Rick Brindle

    Conn Iggulden's fourth installment of the high octane Caesar series, covering the crossing of the Rubicon to the Ides of March. So, Conn Iggulden writes a great story, but I have to say, reading this the second time around, I liked Brutus more than Julius. I mean, this whole empire thing came about because Julius had some kind of Alexander inferiority complex, and Spain, Gaul and Britain were the collateral damage. And one individual wanting to be king and subsuming the existing democratic appar Conn Iggulden's fourth installment of the high octane Caesar series, covering the crossing of the Rubicon to the Ides of March. So, Conn Iggulden writes a great story, but I have to say, reading this the second time around, I liked Brutus more than Julius. I mean, this whole empire thing came about because Julius had some kind of Alexander inferiority complex, and Spain, Gaul and Britain were the collateral damage. And one individual wanting to be king and subsuming the existing democratic apparatus in the process has some kind of several equivalents in today's world. I kind of think Iggulden wanted us to like Julius, and probably some of us do, but me, I can see why they all wanted to do him in.

  9. 4 out of 5

    L

    An electrifying and spectacular conclusion to a universally loved, epic series that leaves you emotionally drained as Julius Caesar’s end comes to pass. This mammoth tale transports you back in time to when Rome was all powerful and dominating across the globe, taking the lead in social change and command changing the course of civilization for the future. Here in an Empire that is lead by a single man of great aspirations one is not prepared for the changes that occur, in regards to the leaders An electrifying and spectacular conclusion to a universally loved, epic series that leaves you emotionally drained as Julius Caesar’s end comes to pass. This mammoth tale transports you back in time to when Rome was all powerful and dominating across the globe, taking the lead in social change and command changing the course of civilization for the future. Here in an Empire that is lead by a single man of great aspirations one is not prepared for the changes that occur, in regards to the leadership of Rome and control of such a gigantic empire that stands in such high supremacy throughout the land. The tension and friction between Pompey and the mighty Caesar builds up to such a crescendo, that erupts throughout the lives of those that surround them effecting social status and the future for the great cities. Conn Iggulden has to be one of the most accomplished and recognizable writers of historical fiction, who brings the life and times of those whom he is describing accurately and realistically to life in such vivid color as to transport the reader into his creation. Surpassing all expectations I was blown away again by his creativity, imagination and brilliant writing that made this book not just a good read but a truly great one that is highly memorable. One feels as if you get to know those great figures within our history on a personal and intimate level, understanding how they thought, felt and why they acted as they did. You are able to clearly picture the surroundings that touch upon all senses, as you delve into civilian culture of the time and how great battles were made and fought. This series is so striking with its eye-catching, bold covers of bright colors being blood red, emerald and mauve they cannot fail to stand-out on the bookshelf as something distinctive and a bit special. Conn Iggulden writes in such a way as to leave a big gap between himself and other writers, who look to him as inspiration and insight, where the combination of skill and creative flair go hand in hand producing something spectacular. You can see instantly as you read how much dedication, time and effort and research has gone into forming a story that is both fascinating and enjoyable to read, hence it feels as if one has merged both fiction and non-fiction together. The importance of leadership, control and power is highlighted throughout as you study the very foundations of this city that leads the way to our present time. Social hierarchy and connections with other individuals also plays a huge role in the lives of Caesar’s loyal servants, when deciding the fate of Brutus for example or Mark Antony. Reading this book is like opening a window onto the past and seeing a changing world that is brutal, bloody and magnificent through the eyes of one of the most outstanding and remarkable rulers that ever lived. Julius Caesar was known for his determination and strength, his willpower and resolve to protect his beloved home and his people whilst encouraging change that revolutionizes the entire world. Here is an author who is as passionate about his enjoyment of the written word as he is about his history and those individuals whom we can never forget, that shaped our lives and our existence with their ideas and visionary philosophies. Completely compelling, this forceful read will move you emotionally to the core touching your very heart and soul with such a powerful force that will be forever etched within ones memory as something most poignant. This series is one that will be read again and again, as it is by far something of such enormity as to not be left on the bookshelf. If you are looking to find out about this iconic figure and time in history from a most original angle, then Conn Iggulden is an author who can present it to you in a way that you won’t forget.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Charlie Hasler

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. By far the best out of the series. Genuinely brilliant. In my humble opinion I think that Brutus didn’t kill Caesar out of jealousy (which author suggests), I think it was out of an acceptance of knowing it was a full gone conclusion when it came to Caesars fate, he new he could not stop the wheels that were already in motion (he did try and warn Caesar through a third party of the old tenth legion apparently and due to their complex relationship I believe that) Furthermore, I do not think it is By far the best out of the series. Genuinely brilliant. In my humble opinion I think that Brutus didn’t kill Caesar out of jealousy (which author suggests), I think it was out of an acceptance of knowing it was a full gone conclusion when it came to Caesars fate, he new he could not stop the wheels that were already in motion (he did try and warn Caesar through a third party of the old tenth legion apparently and due to their complex relationship I believe that) Furthermore, I do not think it is coincidence that the final killing blow came from Brutus, I think the tragic event had been engineered that way. Incidentally and somewhat poetically, I don’t think Caesar or Brutus would of had it any other way, perhaps that is the weight that tugs at the heart strings of this moment of history. In my opinion no one else was worthy to end the days of such a man. Caesar was always going to be bumped off, but what and even greater tragedy it would have been of it had been done by a lone assassin in on a foreign field and not in under the statue of his great alley and hero Pompey in his own city and birthplace.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Carrie Slager

    Emperor: The Gods of War was my introduction to both Conn Iggulden and the world of Gaius Julius Caesar, despite the fact that this book is the fourth (and last) book in the Emperor series. My mother had bought it for me for my birthday one year and she is notoriously bad at finding the first book in a series. Nevertheless, I read it and it left quite the impression on me. The Gods of War is the most exciting book in the series and is an example of Conn Iggulden at his finest. Love, lust, friends Emperor: The Gods of War was my introduction to both Conn Iggulden and the world of Gaius Julius Caesar, despite the fact that this book is the fourth (and last) book in the Emperor series. My mother had bought it for me for my birthday one year and she is notoriously bad at finding the first book in a series. Nevertheless, I read it and it left quite the impression on me. The Gods of War is the most exciting book in the series and is an example of Conn Iggulden at his finest. Love, lust, friendship, loyalty and betrayal are all prominent themes and they are what make reading this book a cinematic experience. I vote for the Emperor series to be the next series adapted into movies because the screenwriters would not even have to alter the story very much. The characters are larger than life and there’s hardly ever a dull scene. Conn Iggulden really brings his characters to life, thus making history a bit more accessible to the average modern reader. He generally sticks to the facts of historical events, but what sets his books apart is the fact that he assigns realistic motivations to the people behind these events, particularly Caesar. When he writes, it feels like he was really at these events and knew the people that caused them. One scene in particular stands out in my mind, when Brutus complains to his mother, Servilia, that Julius overshadows him: “I am the best of my generation, Mother. I could have ruled. But I had the misfortune to be born to a Rome with Julius in it. I have suffered it for years. I have pledged my life to him and he cannot see it.” She pulled back from him at last and shook her head. “You’re too proud, Brutus. Even for a son of mine you are too proud.” I think Iggulden hit the nail on the head with that scene, which of course leads up to the infamous Ides of March. I give this book 4.5/5 stars, rounded up to 5 stars for Goodreads rating purposes.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Arun Divakar

    On the Ides Of March, the Roman senate bore witness to the end of the Roman republic. A man fell under 23 stab wounds and the curtains came down on an era.The liberators as they chose to call themselves thought they were ridding Rome of a tyrant but what they created in the wake of the murder was a legend. The buildup and assassination of Julius Caesar forms the story of Conn Iggulden's fourth installment in the Emperor series. Caesar's troops arrive in Rome across the Rubicon and from then on pu On the Ides Of March, the Roman senate bore witness to the end of the Roman republic. A man fell under 23 stab wounds and the curtains came down on an era.The liberators as they chose to call themselves thought they were ridding Rome of a tyrant but what they created in the wake of the murder was a legend. The buildup and assassination of Julius Caesar forms the story of Conn Iggulden's fourth installment in the Emperor series. Caesar's troops arrive in Rome across the Rubicon and from then on pursue Pompey across Greece, Asia Minor and finally to Egypt. There they meet up with Cleopatra and the story rushes headlong to Caesar's murder at the hands of the conspirators. As with the others in the series, this one is packed with action and battle scenes. However, compared to the previous two books the action is subdued and sort of muted here and are not as numerous as before. The reason could be that while the earlier books focused exclusively on the campaigns of Caesar in Gaul, Britain and against Spartacus this one speaks more of Caesar as a egoistic, power lusting human being. Here again I could find cracks, wounds and scabs in the character that the author hadn't revealed before. It makes for a good character study of this giant of a man whose flaws were as big as his strengths. Like before, Iggulden throws any aspect of historical accuracy that does not fit his genre of kick-ass action out of the window. This book by far veers away farthest in terms of association to real historic occurrences. I have come to understand that real history told as it is will not sell as many books as historical fiction would and also that the word "artistic license" has an elaborate meaning. Keeping the historical accuracy part aside, Iggulden has created a compelling portrait of Julius Caesar as a military commander. His is the kind of dangerous charisma that soldiers will blindly follow to their deaths !

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kara

    The book picks up right where the last one left off, with Caesar crossing the Rubicon. As everyone takes sides, all of the main characters, plus literally boatloads of extras, head off to Greece for the battleground where they will fight for dominance. (Because it’s just so uncivilized and barbaric to fight wars on your own land. Think of the expense!) From there, it’s a battle all around the Mediterranean as Caesar mops up his enemies with more of Iggulden’s trademark action style, and then- and The book picks up right where the last one left off, with Caesar crossing the Rubicon. As everyone takes sides, all of the main characters, plus literally boatloads of extras, head off to Greece for the battleground where they will fight for dominance. (Because it’s just so uncivilized and barbaric to fight wars on your own land. Think of the expense!) From there, it’s a battle all around the Mediterranean as Caesar mops up his enemies with more of Iggulden’s trademark action style, and then- and then Cleopatra bursts on to the scene, and it all starts to feel like a crossover episode. Cleopatra is certainly worth her own series, but here it feels as though she has been in a separate side series we should have been following as well – she is a complete story unto herself and the reader is left feeling a bit left out of inside jokes as she smirks around Egypt. [Side note on Cleopatra’s appearance: I was disappointed Iggulden went with the sexpot version of Cleopatra, when historians make a strong case that Cleopatra wasn’t superbly attractive physically – but that her brains, language skills, political acumen, and power made her quite attractive in a power sense. Having a personal Wardrobe and Makeup department on hand at all times helped, I’m sure, but let us not forget she was the result of several generations of inbreeding, and that always does a number on the facial features.] Back to Rome where Caesar is determined to embrace what he feels is rightfully his (i.e. everything) and it all builds up to the bloody climax that feels both sudden and yet, inevitable. A betrayal that was decades in the making, but a complete surprise to Caesar.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Thomas

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This was the final book in the emperor series (about Julius Caesar, not Octavian). The novel, was throughout, a finely crafted finale. The only thing that slightly spoiled it was I already knew the ending well in advance due to history lessons at school many years ago, as well as having watched the TV show Rome with Ciaran Hinds as Caesar. After his victories in France and Britain, Caesar has returned to Italy, only to find that Pompey has ordered his death. Now Caesar must stand against his form This was the final book in the emperor series (about Julius Caesar, not Octavian). The novel, was throughout, a finely crafted finale. The only thing that slightly spoiled it was I already knew the ending well in advance due to history lessons at school many years ago, as well as having watched the TV show Rome with Ciaran Hinds as Caesar. After his victories in France and Britain, Caesar has returned to Italy, only to find that Pompey has ordered his death. Now Caesar must stand against his former ally and take the fight to Rome itself and journey through Greece, Turkey and Egypt in this final chapter of this epic saga. One of the most interesting things I found in book 4 was how Iggulden chose to display the betrayal of Brutus. Historically Brutus’s betrayal stemmed from Caesar stopping the betrothal of his daughter to Brutus, but here the seeds of Brutus’s betrayal are far more numerous, and, in a way, I understood his motives. My favourite section of the book was Caesar’s experiences in Egypt and the time he spent with Cleopatra, which made me think I would quite like to look at a historical Egyptian series. Who knows? Maybe Iggulden will write one. Even though I knew the ending before it happened, it was still a sad thing considering what might have been if Caesar had lived, but unless this was an alternative history series it was always going to be inevitable. This one will be awarded 4.5 out of 5 stars and I will be reading The Blood of Gods soon. I have no doubt Iggulden will deliver another satisfying novel and leave me hungry for more of his work.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Thomas

    My favourite of the series so far, this one was a pleasure to read and thoroughly enjoyable. A lot of poetic license but this one was more realistic than the others, and less Servilia (which is a good thing!) I look forward to the final book and finishing the story, curious to see where it goes, although I am well acquainted with the real history of the transition from Republic to Imperial. Hopefully the last installment is as good as this one, though I suspect it will be Servilia and Cleopatra h My favourite of the series so far, this one was a pleasure to read and thoroughly enjoyable. A lot of poetic license but this one was more realistic than the others, and less Servilia (which is a good thing!) I look forward to the final book and finishing the story, curious to see where it goes, although I am well acquainted with the real history of the transition from Republic to Imperial. Hopefully the last installment is as good as this one, though I suspect it will be Servilia and Cleopatra heavy.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Fuzzball Baggins

    The characters changed too much towards the end, I could no longer understand their motives

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jill

    What happened to Arsinoe? I guess she was left out for the sake of narrative, but it sure makes for an alternate history

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Great battle descriptions...

  19. 4 out of 5

    Prajwalit

    *If you don't know the history - Spoiler Alert* This book is about Julius' last major war when he decides to go against Pompey's dictatorship. How he prepares for war against Pompey to protect what he loves most - Rome. And what happens afterwards when he defeats Pompey. With all this politics, betrayals, military tactics, advanced weaponry, you can't believe you're reading a true story that has happened more than 2000 years ago. Mongols sound ancient compared to Roman empire. Though mongolian mi *If you don't know the history - Spoiler Alert* This book is about Julius' last major war when he decides to go against Pompey's dictatorship. How he prepares for war against Pompey to protect what he loves most - Rome. And what happens afterwards when he defeats Pompey. With all this politics, betrayals, military tactics, advanced weaponry, you can't believe you're reading a true story that has happened more than 2000 years ago. Mongols sound ancient compared to Roman empire. Though mongolian military tactics were much better/brutal/crazier. Overall, Egyptian chapter in Julius' history sounds so ridiculously crazy, you, for a second forget you're reading a real history and not some fantasy. But it was this era which changed Julius. Even though it sounds a bit cheesy, I can't help but quote two-face in TDK - "You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become a villain." Julius Caesar, as described, was not that bad. He had done some crazy impossible things. But when you have no opposition, and you let lose your mind, you don't know what you'll become. Caesar started forgetting what he stood for a couple of years ago. And because of that he made some enemies which he couldn't have beaten with an army. Role of Brutus in the assassination of Julius Caesar is really sad. But Conn Iggulden has portrayed his emotions very well.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    The last in the Emperor series, this one was the hardest for me to get through. There is an inherent problem: the historical spoiler. This is the end of the story of Caesar. You guessed it: Brutus and Caesar don't just make up and live happily ever after. The author therefore makes a fatal mistake by dwelling on their relationship, making it central to the novel and losing the suspense completely. There is a sense of melancholy, too much reflection, too little action in the novel, as though the The last in the Emperor series, this one was the hardest for me to get through. There is an inherent problem: the historical spoiler. This is the end of the story of Caesar. You guessed it: Brutus and Caesar don't just make up and live happily ever after. The author therefore makes a fatal mistake by dwelling on their relationship, making it central to the novel and losing the suspense completely. There is a sense of melancholy, too much reflection, too little action in the novel, as though the writer was having a hard time parting with the characters he created, yearning to fondle each detail, describe any omitted thoughts and expose every character trait. The result is a sense of the world slowing down as the Emperor series and his life come to an end. Another negative mark for inconsistencies between the last book and the first two. Nothing glaring - but the behavior of characters often does not make sense given their earlier actions. On the plus side, there is a very interesting description of Alexandria and the Egyptian life. It was the best part of the book for me.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Phil

    The final book in Iggulden's four-volume saga very loosely based on the life of Julius Ceasar. In this book we meet Cleopatra and track the rise of Octavian. Ceasar has turned into a bad guy, he's gone too far and Brutus, led on by his courtesan mother Servilia, finally delivers the coup de gras in the last pages. The whole Plutarch, Shakespeare narrative of the fall of the Late Republic has been abandoned in this series. The old factions and the interplay of the political forces are missing, ab The final book in Iggulden's four-volume saga very loosely based on the life of Julius Ceasar. In this book we meet Cleopatra and track the rise of Octavian. Ceasar has turned into a bad guy, he's gone too far and Brutus, led on by his courtesan mother Servilia, finally delivers the coup de gras in the last pages. The whole Plutarch, Shakespeare narrative of the fall of the Late Republic has been abandoned in this series. The old factions and the interplay of the political forces are missing, abandoned to advance the pulp-fiction plot. A nice light, forgettable read, nothing more.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    just finished these 4 emperor books. i liked the conqueror series a lot more, and i'm not quite sure why. did iggulden get more license there because the details of his life (and mongol culture) are fairly unknown in the western world? or is it that caesar is just an ambitious aristocrat and general, whereas genghis khan was left on the plains to die as a boy and then lived to create a nation? whatever the case, i found myself less impressed with the emperor books.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Aaron Bright

    Really sad this one is over; fantastic bit of writing yet again from Mr. Iggulden. This is the second series of his I've read now, so I'll probably just read anything else he's put to paper as well, never disappoints. The ending here was not a shock, but you're still upset to see it happen, and so vividly told. I feel like I've leaned a good deal about leadership from this one, perspectives I haven't looked from before. A great series all around.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Wayne

    Absolutely wonderful book and a fantastic series. So well written, fast paced, great characters...I couldn't put it down.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sam

    The fourth installment of Conn Iggulden's Roman series begins with Caesar's entry into Rome after crossing the Rubicon, and the civil war against Pompey. The character development that has been building throughout the series for the most part works well - the growing resentment of Brutus at being in Caesar's shadow finally comes to a head with his betrayal of his oldest friend by joining the ranks of Pompey. The increasing desperation of Pompey as he sees his dreams of power crumble about him ar The fourth installment of Conn Iggulden's Roman series begins with Caesar's entry into Rome after crossing the Rubicon, and the civil war against Pompey. The character development that has been building throughout the series for the most part works well - the growing resentment of Brutus at being in Caesar's shadow finally comes to a head with his betrayal of his oldest friend by joining the ranks of Pompey. The increasing desperation of Pompey as he sees his dreams of power crumble about him are also well written. However, it is what happens after Caesar's victory (his time spent in Egypt and eventual return to Rome) that things aren't quite as good. The majority of the plot revolves around the Civil War, which means the rest of the narrative feels a bit rushed. This particularly impacts the development of Caesar. In what seems like a short space of time, he goes from fighting to free Rome of tyranny, to wanting to be seen by its people as a king. The influence of spending time in Alexandria (founded by his idol, Alexander the Great) and his relationship with Cleopatra clearly have a say in his actions, but it doesn't develop within Caesar; its just suddenly there. It is a similar problem with the Senate's plot against him on the Ides of March: there's no real build-up to what is a momentous occasion, it all happens rather quickly. While the book is a very enjoyable read, I think maybe less time on the Civil War, and more on Caesar's desire to be king/emperor would have made for a more compelling story.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Katy

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Julius responds to pompey’s threats by crossing the rubicon and bringing his army to Rome forcing Pompey to flee. He re-writes the laws and elects a new senate and sets Mark Anthony up to rule Rome while he is gone chasing Pompey. This upsets Brutus who storms off in a huff, defecting to Pompey. Julius crosses to Greece, where Pompey twists himself in knots worrying about Julius’ reputation for unexpected tactics in battle. The war is pompey’s to win but, his health failing, he throws away chanc Julius responds to pompey’s threats by crossing the rubicon and bringing his army to Rome forcing Pompey to flee. He re-writes the laws and elects a new senate and sets Mark Anthony up to rule Rome while he is gone chasing Pompey. This upsets Brutus who storms off in a huff, defecting to Pompey. Julius crosses to Greece, where Pompey twists himself in knots worrying about Julius’ reputation for unexpected tactics in battle. The war is pompey’s to win but, his health failing, he throws away chance after chance. Finally goaded into making a stand he is roundly beaten, his soldiers pardoned and he escapes to Egypt. Julius chases him there, receives his head in a jar as a peace offering from the Egyptians and is not very impressed by the boy king Ptolemy. He is much more impressed by cleopatra, and storms the palace and captures the king at her bidding. He negotiates a treaty but Ptolemy betrays him as soon as he is released. It is a close call but Julius and the romans win once again. Cleopatra announces she is carrying Julius’ son and takes him on a pleasure cruise up the Nile. Julius’ head is turned and on his return to Rome, tries to get himself crowned king. His loyal followers are horrified he is throwing over the proud Roman democratic traditions and eventually stab him to death.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Cat Bezubiak

    While I did enjoy this book a great deal I must say that overall there was a sense that it was rushed. Not in writing, the writing was impeccable as always, but rather in the speed of the plot. I’ve always praised Iggulden on his ability to balance the plot well with the battle scenes. This book seems like an endless battle. It differed so much from the previous three books. I would have liked more details on Cesar’s time in Egypt. And it felt strange that there was so little at the end of Cesar While I did enjoy this book a great deal I must say that overall there was a sense that it was rushed. Not in writing, the writing was impeccable as always, but rather in the speed of the plot. I’ve always praised Iggulden on his ability to balance the plot well with the battle scenes. This book seems like an endless battle. It differed so much from the previous three books. I would have liked more details on Cesar’s time in Egypt. And it felt strange that there was so little at the end of Cesar’s wife and daughter. I think it would have been better as two books, or even one longer book. Perhaps one about his defeat of Pompey and another following his time in Egypt, return to Rome, and eventual murder. But as I said, it’s still a great book. His descriptions of Alexandria through the eyes of a Roman are intriguing and fascinating. His portrayal of Brutus is brilliantly done and you really feel the tension build steadily all the way to the end. Overall, I highly recommend the series.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Max

    Iggulden provides a fitting end to his Caeser series in 'Gods of War': fresh from conquering Gaul, Caeser is demanded home by Dictator Pompey, though most likely to his death and not the tribute he deserved. This powerful, epic novel summarises Caeser's mercy and wrath, lust for power and driven nature as he brings his armies home and chases Pompey across Italy, Greece and even North Africa to exact his revenge. It's a somewhat melancholy novel as we see Caeser further corrupted by the lust of po Iggulden provides a fitting end to his Caeser series in 'Gods of War': fresh from conquering Gaul, Caeser is demanded home by Dictator Pompey, though most likely to his death and not the tribute he deserved. This powerful, epic novel summarises Caeser's mercy and wrath, lust for power and driven nature as he brings his armies home and chases Pompey across Italy, Greece and even North Africa to exact his revenge. It's a somewhat melancholy novel as we see Caeser further corrupted by the lust of power, seemingly losing belief in the Roman people (those not in the legions) and falling in with Gods and Kings in Egypt. Caeser overreaches himself and puts his ambition beyond the reaches of the already-strained limits of his friendship with Brutus, but it's a magnificent thing to watch as he overcomes larger armies with measures of clemency and diplomacy as much as at the tip of his sword. Awesome.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    Probably the most exciting in the series. Per the epilogue, the author hadn’t even originally planned on writing a 5th in this series, but was eager by the end of this one to take a stab at it. (PUN NOT INITIALLY INTENDED.) My own bad memory had me on the edge of my seat waiting for (view spoiler)[the spectacularly macabre murder of Mark Antony (hide spoiler)] but evidently that happens later, so I will officially be reading the 5th as well. Either way, it was magical to see the bits and pieces Probably the most exciting in the series. Per the epilogue, the author hadn’t even originally planned on writing a 5th in this series, but was eager by the end of this one to take a stab at it. (PUN NOT INITIALLY INTENDED.) My own bad memory had me on the edge of my seat waiting for (view spoiler)[the spectacularly macabre murder of Mark Antony (hide spoiler)] but evidently that happens later, so I will officially be reading the 5th as well. Either way, it was magical to see the bits and pieces I knew of history being stitched together in this text, from the transplanted civil war to the streets of Alexandria and back to Rome. The war in Greece contained some masterful suspense, but it did lag at times. After that, though, the shocks and twists were juicy.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Pascal Van

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Thought this book was as great as the others in the series. It would have been best though to stop after the battle with Pompey and spend a whole new book on his trip to Egypt and his trip back to Rome. This part looked rushed and the deceipt leading to his death should have taken more then 20 pages. I dont get people discussing the historical accuracy. It is historical fiction. Also what is accurate? Of course there are “facts” altered, but I doubt that if we go back in history with a time machi Thought this book was as great as the others in the series. It would have been best though to stop after the battle with Pompey and spend a whole new book on his trip to Egypt and his trip back to Rome. This part looked rushed and the deceipt leading to his death should have taken more then 20 pages. I dont get people discussing the historical accuracy. It is historical fiction. Also what is accurate? Of course there are “facts” altered, but I doubt that if we go back in history with a time machine and see everything as it really happened that it will be an exact copy of the facts written in the books. Its a long time ago so each person in the chain will tend to "interpret" the story and tell their own tale.

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