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Historical Fiction Discussions > The Masters of Rome series by Colleen McCullough

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Allison (The Allure of Books) (inconceivably) | 304 comments I know how much Kandice LOVES this series (not to mention the author). I am really looking forward to diving in. The books are:

The First Man in Rome
The Grass Crown
Fortune's Favorites
Caesar's Women
Caesar A Novel
The October Horse A Novel of Caesar and Cleopatra
Antony and Cleopatra A Novel


Allison (The Allure of Books) (inconceivably) | 304 comments I think April and I might try and read The First Man in Rome sometime in September. Anyone want to join us?


message 3: by Becky, Moddess (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) | 3676 comments Mod
I want to read these books badly! But you know me, I will have to have the entire series at my fingertips before I'll start.

I will be reading these though!


Allison (The Allure of Books) (inconceivably) | 304 comments yeah, my library only has the first two and the last. Figures.


message 5: by Becky, Moddess (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) | 3676 comments Mod
*shakes head* That's just shameful. Why even bother if you aren't going to stock the entire series...?


message 6: by April (new)

April (booksandwine) | 39 comments I know the books are really cheap on BWB. :-) I own the first two. Maybe we should space the books out, since I know I like to read a variety of stuff and get tired of reading the same thing. :-)


Allison (The Allure of Books) (inconceivably) | 304 comments yeah I definitely agree, April.


message 8: by Kandice (new)

Kandice These books have a place of honor on my shelves. First edition hardbacks, and I love them. I could not reccomend them enough. McCullough does NOT romanticize the Romans (or Egyptians, Greeks, Cimbri, etc.) in any way. Some of what she writes can be hard to read, but there is always the truth in there that urges you to continue, even through the fingers over your wincing eyes!

For anyone reading them the first time, I would strongly suggest you read the entire glossary first. You don't have to study or anything, but it's pretty easy to pick up, and will save frustration as you read.

Also, for any pronunciation sticklers out there: read the pronunciation guide! I promise there will be names you have been pronouncing differently than they were meant to be pronounced. I was so surprised, because I have always been interested in this period, but never knew I was pronouncing things incorrectly, or even the significance of nomens and cognomens. It makes all the difference to the reading experience.

Can't wait to hear what everyone thinks.

BTW, I was reading The First Man in Rome through the end of my first pregnancy and finished it right before I began pushing for birth. I nursed and immediately read it out loud to Shaun as I did! (took a long time)


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

Good news! My library has the first in the series, so I will be all ready to read come September! :)


message 10: by Felina (new)

Felina | 500 comments I'll read it in September.


Allison (The Allure of Books) (inconceivably) | 304 comments yay! I'm glad :) I'm so happy to have people to read it with since its so dense. I think I will take Kandice's advise and go through the glossary first.


message 12: by Felina (new)

Felina | 500 comments Okay...just so I'm clear so I can buy this book, the first in the series is The First Man in Rome, right?


Allison (The Allure of Books) (inconceivably) | 304 comments Felina wrote: "Okay...just so I'm clear so I can buy this book, the first in the series is The First Man in Rome, right?"

right!


message 14: by Felina (new)

Felina | 500 comments I'm on it!


message 15: by Felina (new)

Felina | 500 comments Oh dear... I just got this book in the mail and its HUGE. I haven't read a really large book in a few years. I'm excited for September to get this book plowed through.


message 16: by Kandice (new)

Kandice In addition to being long, I won't lie, it is a bit hard to keep track until you have names and customs down, but once you are familiar with those, you will become so emotionally attached to the characters you wont want to put it down. (I hope)


message 17: by Kandice (new)

Kandice I have had so many dreams about Romans. Marius, Sulla, Pompey, Gaius Julius (both) and then you get to the "foreigners" and some of them are also excellent dream fodder!


Jayme(the ghost reader) (jaymeiltheghostreader) | 2965 comments hahahaha


Allison (The Allure of Books) (inconceivably) | 304 comments soooo Heather and Fiona...whatcha think? :D I'm so excited you guys are reading it its making me itch to pick up Grass Crown. I probably should soon anyway, before I forget FMIR.


message 20: by Kandice (new)

Kandice Allison, I had to wait for these to be published, so I don't think you'll have a problem waiting a while between book.:) The good thing is that once you get the whole structure of the Roman Govt. down in the first book the rest are mostly story.

Heather, this is strange, but she was a neuro-psychologist before she began writing. She has an honorary degree in History that she was awarded after this series, though.


message 21: by Rachel (new)

Rachel (Snoopi) I'm going to take a go at this series, sometime soon. As long as I like the first one, I'll keep it going.


message 22: by KT (new)

KT (ktaroo939) | 2 comments I would like to read this series as well or at least read it from the beginning. I actually have read the October Horse already and I have to say I wasn't a big fan (most of it read like a military report), however, maybe that will be different if I start from the beginning. After all I absolutely adore Colleen McCullough!


message 23: by Kandice (new)

Kandice I cared not a whit for anything military...until I read this series. It's strange, but my step-dad was in the military, and I could never grasp rank or anything until I read this series. Now, I feel as if I have a handle, not only on the military, but on what war/campaigns are about.


message 24: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly (kimberly_b) | 74 comments I just finished The First Man in Rome today and enjoyed it. The political/military part of it was a bit dry and slow for me, but I enjoyed reading about their personal lives, particularly Sulla who always had some sort of drama. Overall, it was a "liked it" for me.


message 25: by LemonLinda (new)

LemonLinda (lwilliamson0423) | 700 comments I read The First Man in Rome last summer. I agree with you Kimberly that there were a few slow parts, but overall very good. I generally love Colleen McCullough and she did not disappoint me in that one. I felt transported back in time and I love it when a book does that for me.


The Romance Reviews (Carole) (The_Romance_Reviews) | 15 comments This series caught my eye and I was thinking to start from the first book. however, I don't want to buy until I've seen a sample of the writing, which I can't get to work in amazon (the search inside feature)! So, wanna ask, does it read like a novel or like a textbook? Or, if you've read Philippa Gregory's The Constant Princess or The Other Boleyn Girl, do the books read like that? Or more like Jean Plaidy's The Captive of Kensington Palace?

Thanks


message 27: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly (kimberly_b) | 74 comments Carole of The Raving Readers wrote: "This series caught my eye and I was thinking to start from the first book. however, I don't want to buy until I've seen a sample of the writing, which I can't get to work in amazon (the search insi..."

Hmmm...for me it read more like a novel, but it's definitely dryer than Philippa Gregory's books. I haven't read any Jean Plaidy, so I can't compare it to that. Overall, I would say it reads like most HF novels but with more facts interspersed throughout the story. That's just my take on it though.


The Romance Reviews (Carole) (The_Romance_Reviews) | 15 comments Kimberly wrote: "Carole of The Raving Readers wrote: "This series caught my eye and I was thinking to start from the first book. however, I don't want to buy until I've seen a sample of the writing, which I can't g..."

Thanks, Kimberly. Appreciate your opinion.


message 29: by LemonLinda (new)

LemonLinda (lwilliamson0423) | 700 comments The only one in the series that I have read thus far is The First Man in Rome. I really enjoyed it and at some point I will get to the others. There were parts that were detailed factual accounts - mostly of military campaigns, etc. There were also definitely parts that were more like a novel - their love lives, their ascent to power, etc. It was a mixture - very well done, but then it is by McCullough.


The Romance Reviews (Carole) (The_Romance_Reviews) | 15 comments LemonLinda wrote: "The only one in the series that I have read thus far is The First Man in Rome. I really enjoyed it and at some point I will get to the others. There were parts that were detailed fact..."

Thanks, Linda.


Allison (The Allure of Books) (inconceivably) | 304 comments I have been meaning to start Grass Crown for weeks, I'm going to try to get to it sometime in early June. :) I even picked it up and read the first few pages and was immediately sucked back in...but I had too many commitments to keep going.


message 32: by Kandice (last edited May 20, 2010 08:21AM) (new)

Kandice This is one of my favorite series ever, but Fiona is dead right. You shouldn't read it without having the time to really pay attention and wrap your mind around it. McC doesn't just tell the personal story, she really does hide a history lesson in there. I think you can enjoy the personal story, but you are missing a lot of what's offerred if you start skimming battles or strategies.


The Romance Reviews (Carole) (The_Romance_Reviews) | 15 comments Kandice wrote: "This is one of my favorite series ever, but Fiona is dead right. You shouldn't read it without having the time to really pay attention and wrap your mind around it. McC doesn't just tell the person..."

That's interesting! I'm eager to start now, but I have several books lined up already so maybe in July. I've had a sneak peek at her books in the library and they're written in a way that I want to read. Very fiction/novel-like.


message 34: by Kandice (new)

Kandice Fiona wrote: "McCullough's a brilliant author Carole. I really loved Morgan's Run it's a lot lighter then the Rome ones too."

*beams with happiness*


message 35: by Ed (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 10 comments LemonLinda wrote: "I read The First Man in Rome last summer. I agree with you Kimberly that there were a few slow parts, but overall very good. I generally love Colleen McCullough and she did not disapp..."

McCullough's Roman series is one of the best Historical Fiction Series I've ever read, maybe only next to Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin books. I've been through all but the last book.

It's a can't miss choice.


message 36: by The Romance Reviews (Carole) (last edited May 26, 2010 07:45PM) (new)

The Romance Reviews (Carole) (The_Romance_Reviews) | 15 comments Fiona wrote: "McCullough's a brilliant author Carole. I really loved Morgan's Run it's a lot lighter then the Rome ones too."

Thanks, Fiona, I've already decided to get her books. I'm looking forward to reading The First Man in Rome


The Romance Reviews (Carole) (The_Romance_Reviews) | 15 comments Kandice wrote: "Fiona wrote: "McCullough's a brilliant author Carole. I really loved Morgan's Run it's a lot lighter then the Rome ones too."

*beams with happiness*"


Hi Kandice. I can tell you're a big fan. :)


message 38: by Kandice (new)

Kandice Oh, I am! I read the first of the series towards the end of my first pregnancy and then read the next couple out lousd to my nursing son. I then made it a tradition with each of my children. They had to have soaked up a little of that history, right? :)


message 39: by Holly (new)

Holly Weiss (hollyweiss) | 305 comments I'm so glad to see this here. I read the first 2 years ago. Now I'm going to get the rest.


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