The Gates of Rome - IGGULDEN, ConnHarperCollins, 2003, Hardback in Dustwrapper..
Condition: Very Good - in Very Good DJ.DJ taped to pastedowns but not ex-libris. Leans.
The first volume of a sequence of novels about Julius Caesar, The Gates of Rome is at its best in its scenes of gruelling training in swordplay and dirty fighting. Iggulden's Caesar is more or less fated from the start by his circumstances to be a gifted and cynical player in the great game of Roman senatorial politics--his father is an old-fashioned servant of the public good who dies in a slave revolt. Young Caesar finds himself having to hit the ground running--family alliances throw him onto the losing side in a battle for power between generals Marius and Sulla. One reservation about Iggulden's story is that he simplifies the pushing and shoving of Rome's two most powerful men to a degree that makes Caesar's choices and loyalties too simple--this is a version of Rome in which politics is only about power and never about ideas. Caesar's friendship with his blood-brother Marcus is too redolent with historical irony--Marcus will be his assassin--and Iggulden is a little novelette-ish in his portrayal of young Caesar's affairs of the heart. This is a competent, routine account of material that deserves better than this handling of it. --Roz Kaveney 408pp. Size: 8vo Medium (8" x 5½" approx.)
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