Jeff Yoak's Reviews > The Gates of Rome

The Gates of Rome by Conn Iggulden
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's review
Oct 27, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: audio-collection, read-in-2011
Read from October 27 to November 01, 2011 , read count: 1

This book is fantastic! If you are interested in historical fiction, or are perhaps historical fiction-curious, by all means start here.

The Gates of Rome is the first of a series of books on the life of Julius Caesar. It starts out tracing the relatively normal lives of two boys in ancient Rome. We get a real taste of the flavor of life in that time and place and watch as the two boys lives separate , one bound for fighting abroad with Roman Legions and the other immersed in political fights in Rome. Though the setting is prior to the rise of Caesar, the plot is high-action and interesting throughout.

Another things I really liked about the book is that the writing style is very accessible and easy to read. For whatever reason, historical fiction is often denser than other forms, and you really have to invest attention in the belief the story will eventually be very compelling. This is certainly true of my personal favorite, Bernard Cornwell. I love his books, but often you have to trudge through the first third. By contrast, the Gates of Rome opens with simple language on the topic of a conflict two boys have with children on the neighboring patrician's estate. It is simple story-telling at its best that builds into an epic tale.

I can't wait for book 2. (Though I have to wait until my personal "Audible Day" on 23rd of each month.)

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