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The Blood of Gods

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The fifth and final instalment of the Emperor series. Julius Caesar has been assassinated. A nation is in mourning. Revenge will be bloody. Rome’s great hero Julius Caesar has been brutally murdered by his most trusted allies. While these self-appointed Liberatores seek refuge in the senate, they have underestimated one man: Caesar’s adopted son Octavian, a man whose name wi The fifth and final instalment of the Emperor series. Julius Caesar has been assassinated. A nation is in mourning. Revenge will be bloody. Rome’s great hero Julius Caesar has been brutally murdered by his most trusted allies. While these self-appointed Liberatores seek refuge in the senate, they have underestimated one man: Caesar’s adopted son Octavian, a man whose name will echo through history as Augustus Caesar. Uniting with his great rival Mark Antony, Octavian will stop at nothing to seek retribution from the traitors and avenge his father’s death. His greatest hatred is reserved for Brutus, Caesar’s childhood friend and greatest ally, now leader of the conspirators. As the people take to the streets of Rome, the Liberatores must face their fate. Some flee the city; others will not escape mob justice. Not a single one will die a natural death. And the reckoning will come for Brutus on the sweeping battlefield at Philippi.


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The fifth and final instalment of the Emperor series. Julius Caesar has been assassinated. A nation is in mourning. Revenge will be bloody. Rome’s great hero Julius Caesar has been brutally murdered by his most trusted allies. While these self-appointed Liberatores seek refuge in the senate, they have underestimated one man: Caesar’s adopted son Octavian, a man whose name wi The fifth and final instalment of the Emperor series. Julius Caesar has been assassinated. A nation is in mourning. Revenge will be bloody. Rome’s great hero Julius Caesar has been brutally murdered by his most trusted allies. While these self-appointed Liberatores seek refuge in the senate, they have underestimated one man: Caesar’s adopted son Octavian, a man whose name will echo through history as Augustus Caesar. Uniting with his great rival Mark Antony, Octavian will stop at nothing to seek retribution from the traitors and avenge his father’s death. His greatest hatred is reserved for Brutus, Caesar’s childhood friend and greatest ally, now leader of the conspirators. As the people take to the streets of Rome, the Liberatores must face their fate. Some flee the city; others will not escape mob justice. Not a single one will die a natural death. And the reckoning will come for Brutus on the sweeping battlefield at Philippi.

30 review for The Blood of Gods

  1. 5 out of 5

    Apoorva

    This book has given me some firsts: 1. My first book in the series, though it shouldn't have been since it isn't in chronology. 2. My first attempt at reading books related to Roman History (not used to reading books which involve too many fight scenes nor accustomed to the language). 3. It's the first time I haven't felt like juggling between books; I usually read 2-3 books at a time. 4. I mostly read very slowly, but this book made sure I increase my pace, keeping up with the tempo building up at This book has given me some firsts: 1. My first book in the series, though it shouldn't have been since it isn't in chronology. 2. My first attempt at reading books related to Roman History (not used to reading books which involve too many fight scenes nor accustomed to the language). 3. It's the first time I haven't felt like juggling between books; I usually read 2-3 books at a time. 4. I mostly read very slowly, but this book made sure I increase my pace, keeping up with the tempo building up at each stage. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. For sure, I am gonna read more and more in this genre (and actually start with the first book). Though fictional for most parts, the plot is an inspiration from actual events, and it keeps you hooked to the end. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves reading historical fiction, the author makes sure you have sleepless nights.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Faith

    I received a free advance reader's edition of this book. It describes in vivid detail the aftermath of the murder of Julius Caesar. The book is full of political intrigue and military planning. The characters were compelling and the plot was very involving. It was a wonderful way in which to learn more about this period in history. The book was completely engaging, well written and conveyed a wonderful feeling of actually being present at the events depicted. That is exactly what I want from his I received a free advance reader's edition of this book. It describes in vivid detail the aftermath of the murder of Julius Caesar. The book is full of political intrigue and military planning. The characters were compelling and the plot was very involving. It was a wonderful way in which to learn more about this period in history. The book was completely engaging, well written and conveyed a wonderful feeling of actually being present at the events depicted. That is exactly what I want from historical fiction. The battle scenes were particularly vivid. It is not completely historically accurate, but I did not care at all. It was a fascinating novelization of history. I really enjoyed this book. I have not read any of the previous books in this series, but I now intend to do so.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lewis Weinstein

    A terrific read, full of action and true to the history. There is sadness in the horrible waste of life that war always is, in this case a civil war of Romans vs Romans, prompted by the murder of Julius Caesar. The end notes by the author reviewing the actual history were particularly illuminating.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    6.5/10 This had the feeling of a surprise party where the guest of honour fails to turn up. Fair play to Julius Caesar, he had an excuse to not be there with him being stabbed by the “Liberators” at the end of book 4 so it was obvious he would be missing but the story certainly lacked something for this. The story revolves around the days and years after the assassination of Julius Caesar and Mark Anthony and Octavian/Augustus taking it upon themselves to hunt down and kill all those involved wi 6.5/10 This had the feeling of a surprise party where the guest of honour fails to turn up. Fair play to Julius Caesar, he had an excuse to not be there with him being stabbed by the “Liberators” at the end of book 4 so it was obvious he would be missing but the story certainly lacked something for this. The story revolves around the days and years after the assassination of Julius Caesar and Mark Anthony and Octavian/Augustus taking it upon themselves to hunt down and kill all those involved with the plot that occurred on the Ides of March. There is quite a bit of politics at play here and nobody trusts anyone which is probably wise with back stabbing (literal and metaphorical) rife in this period. Things that annoyed me in this book were the fact that some of the main characters in this book were new to me and the series so there was no affinity to them, whereas Augustus took a bit of a back seat which I found odd with him being a rival to Caesar’s legacy with all he did down the line so there could have been plenty of opportunity to flesh his character further. I also found it struggled through certain parts of the book and then rushed some of the bigger battle scenes, such as Philippi which was only a small page count at the end considering the size of the battle. I read somewhere that Conn Iggulden had an obligation to his publishers to print 10 books (I think 10, could be more/less) and he wanted to write his new series about the War of the Roses but that was to be for his new publishing house. It felt like this was a book more to fulfil a commitment but this could just be something my brain was telling me after hearing that story. It was definitely the weakest book in the series and not necessary to read to complete the series. Whilst it does tie up loose endings it also did lead to more open threads, such as Mark Anthony vs Augustus. I guess you could always go to Shakespeare if you wanted something more, I’ve heard his version is good on those boys scuffling. If you enjoyed this try: “Roman Blood” by Steven Saylor

  5. 5 out of 5

    Faye, la Patata

    Right now, this is what I'm thinking to myself: WHY DID I NOT READ THIS SOONER?!?! Ladies and gentlemen, I may have just finished the best historical fiction I've ever read. Granted, this is not my favorite genre, and to be honest, I have not read a lot about it, but WOW. This book hooked me from beginning to end, with its fast-paced action scenes, adorable characters, intriguing politics, talks of strategies and what have you... it was an A-M-A-Z-I-N-G experience. Period. No other Right now, this is what I'm thinking to myself: WHY DID I NOT READ THIS SOONER?!?! Ladies and gentlemen, I may have just finished the best historical fiction I've ever read. Granted, this is not my favorite genre, and to be honest, I have not read a lot about it, but WOW. This book hooked me from beginning to end, with its fast-paced action scenes, adorable characters, intriguing politics, talks of strategies and what have you... it was an A-M-A-Z-I-N-G experience. Period. No other words. I'm a big fan of Ancient Rome, and I am especially wary of historical fiction books based off it, because it's so easy to screw it up and it's so hard to make it engaging. We mostly have records that don't give a lot of details that could really tell a comprehensive story, but Conn Iggulden amazed me. He has mad writing skills, spectacularly creating a vibrant, genuine Roman atmosphere and brought characters, who I've only read about in history books, to life, making them not just a name, but a person. I swear to the highest heavens, it felt like my history books came to life. It was that immersive, engaging, and atmospheric. I totally felt I was in Rome, seeing the scandal of Julius Caesar's death and assassination and the justice that was served when the Liberatores were executed with my very eyes... etc. etc. In short, Conn Iggulden gave the stories and records of Ancient Rome justice. There are so many to love in this book. The characters, for one, were amazing. I love how the author made the people who used to be just mere names and letters to me come to life, easily making me so connected and attached to them. The fact that these individuals are based on real people that breathed the same air and drank the same water milleniums ago just made the impact all the more amazing and personal. I loved Octavian, Maecenas, and Agrippe, and to an extent, I adored Mark Antony as well. They were fantastic characters and I'm sure during their time of living, they were extraordinary people as well. Iggulden really built them up well and made them as genuine as possible, which I really appreciate. The politics and conspiracies were amazing to read as well. I just loved how governments worked at this particular time, before the Roman Empire and after. There were just so many crazies and so many awesome rulers, with a lot of intrigue and plots behind the scenes. This one did not disappoint in that aspect. Even though we know Julius Caesar was killed due to a plot by the other senators who believed he was becoming too powerful and influential with nothing to check or balance him, I kind of understood their viewpoint, too. Things are not black and white, as everyone's motives were as valid as any. Octavian's, I can understand; Brutus and Cassius and the other liberatores', I can understand as well. I loved how the book gave me a deeper understanding in this angle, to what could have happened from what could have been felt at that time in Rome — making the overall story and context a tad bittersweet. And the action scenes! My god, they were fantastic! One of my classes when I was still in university was about Ancient Greece and Rome, or pretty much the early European civilizations. For a few weeks, we talked about the military tactics that were used then - the legions, the formations, the signals, how they worked, how soldiers made up for lost/fallen people — and it was just awesome how Iggulden incorporated them here with precision and accuracy (I may be wrong, but it felt accurate to me!). Seriously, reading the book felt like watching a movie about the wars of Ancient Rome. It was so fun to read the action scenes, with the strategies and tactics discussed, the fighting on land and water, all those conflicts... ahhh... pure bliss, I tell you. Pure bliss. Overall, this was fantastic. I'm really regretting I didn't read my ARC sooner. when I found out this was a series, I had thought I need to read the first four books first, but to be honest, there's no need for that as this can stand on its own. If you're looking for a fantastic retelling of the wars and conflicts and conspiracies of Ancient Rome, get this one ASAP. It's refreshing with a writing style that's engaging and fast-paced, with a moderate amount of details done right that would instantly immerse you in its brutal world of politics and military tactics. And the characters! Don't forget the characters! What are you waiting for??!! GET ONE, NOW!!! Final Verdict: 4.5 / 5

  6. 4 out of 5

    Scott Hitchcock

    Book 1: 3* Book 2: 3.25* Book 3: 3.5* Book 4: 3.25* Book 5 3* A very mediocre and disappointing series. As I've said with every book in this series if you're having to choose one read his Genghis series. I'll still read War of the Roses at some point because the Genghis series was that good. I think the problem was the characters were too stiff throughout and the pinnacle scenes lacked gravitas and were over before they picked up momentum. Book 1: 3* Book 2: 3.25* Book 3: 3.5* Book 4: 3.25* Book 5 3* A very mediocre and disappointing series. As I've said with every book in this series if you're having to choose one read his Genghis series. I'll still read War of the Roses at some point because the Genghis series was that good. I think the problem was the characters were too stiff throughout and the pinnacle scenes lacked gravitas and were over before they picked up momentum.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mark Harrison

    Belting conclusion to the five Caesar books. Having killed the Emperor poor Brutus and his conspirators are hunted down by Mark Anthony and Octavian as a new Caesar rises from the ashes. Lots of politics, violence, intrigue and huge battles as the story comes to a fitting end. Good rollicking adventure story.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Natasa

    This author is one of the few whose books I look forward to. Everything he’s written is engrossing, well written, reasonably accurate historically, and always fascinating. If you appreciate good historical fiction, with the emphasis on historical, you should, like me, love this author’s work.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Robin Carter

    Review So after a gap of 8 years since the last book in this series Emperor 1. The Gates of Rome (2003) 2. The Death of Kings (2004) 3. The Field of Swords (2004) 4. The Gods of War (2005) 5. The Blood of Gods (2013) How does this new offering stack up? does it have all that the early books did? or has it progressed with the writers skill? I’m happy to say that the book retains the passion of the early Emperor books, but incorporates all the lessons learned since that time. As usual with this series you h Review So after a gap of 8 years since the last book in this series Emperor 1. The Gates of Rome (2003) 2. The Death of Kings (2004) 3. The Field of Swords (2004) 4. The Gods of War (2005) 5. The Blood of Gods (2013) How does this new offering stack up? does it have all that the early books did? or has it progressed with the writers skill? I’m happy to say that the book retains the passion of the early Emperor books, but incorporates all the lessons learned since that time. As usual with this series you have to accept the authors slight meddling with the timeline for places and character names, this as per previous books is done to make the book a tight, fast paced novel, whilst retaining the integrity of the history (it is fiction after all). All those niggles the purist may have are answered in the author notes at the back of the book. This book tells how Octavian starts his rise to power, how does a young boy of 17 take over from his adopted father? how does he suddenly take on the devious and wily Liberatores, the men who killed Caesar? And how does he command the respect of the people and legions of Rome? Conn gives a convincing and powerful portrayal of this young man and his two friends Agrippa and Maecenas, their journey from adolescents enjoying leave in Greece, to absorbing the news of the murder of the greatest man of their age and then the audacity and prowess needed to take on the might of the senate, Cassius, Brutus, Mark Anthony and the systemic corruption and arrogance of the Roman elite. Conn charts this progress with skill and believability, we know Octavian managed all this, what many know is how, the high level story but we don’t know all the problems he faced along the way. One of the best parts of Conn’s writing and research is how he mixes in all the little facts, the nuggets that are so strange they sound like fiction, and turn out to be true. When you couple that with his natural storytelling skill, you get a stunning novel. You know the type, a person who either face to face in conversation or written down can just keep a whole room captivated. He is the type of guy you either hated at school or wanted as your best mate. I think we just need to be thankful he became a writer so we get to enjoy that natural storytelling talent, rather than him being the centre of attention in the pub on a Friday night. Are there issues with the book? Yes, it’s not long enough this story deserves a whole series all on its own, the story of Octavian is just as epic as Gaius Julius Caesar, in fact possibly more so, Octavian was thrown in at the deep end Caesar had time to build and learn. Octavian was the true father of Imperial Rome and ruled until the age of 75, which in Rome is unprecedented. This series was supposed to end with book 4 and yet we have book 5 and WOW am i glad we do…will Conn cave and do book 6? I doubt it but never say never. I still hold out hope of another Genghis book but don’t ever expect to get one. After this brilliant book we have a shift in time periods for Conn his next book is set somewhat later than this series, and when i have more i will blog on it, he will be at a new publishers also, so we should see some fantastic new cover styles to compliment the book. But for now, Conn signs off with Harper in style, with a truly powerful dramatic tale that fulfilled almost every expectation I had for Octavian’s rise to power. Very Highly recommended (Parm) Conn made my Top 10 books list, see which book and where http://headofzeus.com/article/my-top-...

  10. 4 out of 5

    Joseph Adelizzi, Jr.

    I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads. “How many times can you read the same story over and over?” my wife asks me every time I pick up a book about the early days of the Roman Empire. Logically I wonder the same thing too, but yet I do find myself repeatedly reading account after account of those days. That semi-insane behavior is made even more perplexing given there is no doubt I'd have been left on a hillside to die almost immediately upon my birth had I been born durin I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads. “How many times can you read the same story over and over?” my wife asks me every time I pick up a book about the early days of the Roman Empire. Logically I wonder the same thing too, but yet I do find myself repeatedly reading account after account of those days. That semi-insane behavior is made even more perplexing given there is no doubt I'd have been left on a hillside to die almost immediately upon my birth had I been born during my favorite epoch. Yet the bookshelves in my “Pompeii Room” - yes, I have a Pompeii Room – continue to fill with volume upon volume of accounts of the early Roman Empire from the first Gaius Julius Caesar through, oh I don't know, say Marcus Aurelius, though I have been known to stray as far ahead as Julian the Apostate. I know, “wild and crazy,” right? With my excitement over winning Conn Iggulden's latest installment of his Emperor series, “The Blood of Gods,” only slightly tempered by my wife's unanswerable question I eagerly made my way through the early days of Augustus yet again. I was not disappointed. One issue that always annoys me is seeing Caesar Augustus portrayed as somewhat sickly – or conveniently sickly – and a bit of a coward; I don't see how anyone with such a make-up could have accomplished even a small fraction of what Augustus accomplished. No such Augustus in Iggulden's latest. His Augustus is courageous, intelligent, principled, vulnerable, and conflicted, a refreshing alternative to any sickly megalomaniacal portrayals. Another issue that annoys me is accounts which eagerly don the convenient cloak of “good versus evil” when recounting the events and characters of the time. Again, I enjoyed the way Iggulden avoided that simplistic option. He deftly interweaves the thoughts and motivations of each of the main characters, often showing the degree to which each is pursuing some personal standard of goodness, moral code, justice, friendship, loyalty, and yes – entitlement, greed, and the lust for power. I also enjoy the way Iggulden limns the account with little details that significantly enhance the mental image, details like the increasingly metallic taste and profuse fevered sweating that eventually overcomes Augustus, or talking of the gingered melon slices grabbing the attention of Consul Pansa, and the horrific details of what happens in the bowels of a sheering ship after the oars are sheared off by another ship. “How many times can you read the same story over and over?” Thanks to Conn Iggulden, at least once more.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sud666

    Conn Iggulden is one of my favorite writers of historical fiction. He does an excellent job with whatever subject he chooses to cover. This one covers the rise of Augustus Caesar. The story starts with the death of Julius Caesar and then goes directly into how the killers, calling themselves "Liberatores", were perhaps a wee bit optimistic in how their deed would be received by the people of Rome who happened to revere Caesar. It is a good look at how Octavian became Julius' adopted son and event Conn Iggulden is one of my favorite writers of historical fiction. He does an excellent job with whatever subject he chooses to cover. This one covers the rise of Augustus Caesar. The story starts with the death of Julius Caesar and then goes directly into how the killers, calling themselves "Liberatores", were perhaps a wee bit optimistic in how their deed would be received by the people of Rome who happened to revere Caesar. It is a good look at how Octavian became Julius' adopted son and eventually his heir. The book does take some liberty with the actual history and that is something, usually, I would have spent harping on (I believe even in historical fiction to be as accurate as possible, otherwise damn fool laymen will consider it to be verbatim historical fact). But, I respect any author like Iggulden who then corrects any plot-driven changes in the Historical Notes in the back of the book. From the contraction of the time for the actual battle of Phillipi to the timing of the Naval Battle with Sextus Pompey to a few other things such as Octavian's age, I can accept for the sake of story that they were slightly changed to fit the plot. But I do respect that he points out the liberalities he has taken. An excellent story for anyone who enjoys Roman history. Mr. Iggulden is a great option for any fan of well written and exciting historical fiction.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Thomas

    I raced through this final book of the series, I have erred between a 4 or 5 rating, I would give it a 4.5/5 and rounded down. Follows the events from The Ides of March to conclusion of the Battle of Philippi. The book introduces some new characters like Agrippa and Maecenas. Also thnakfully not much romance in a book dominated by battles, manouvering and intrigue. For me this is a decent conclusion but I think a perfect ending would be another book to bring things to a close with the Battle of I raced through this final book of the series, I have erred between a 4 or 5 rating, I would give it a 4.5/5 and rounded down. Follows the events from The Ides of March to conclusion of the Battle of Philippi. The book introduces some new characters like Agrippa and Maecenas. Also thnakfully not much romance in a book dominated by battles, manouvering and intrigue. For me this is a decent conclusion but I think a perfect ending would be another book to bring things to a close with the Battle of Actium. Given the series is called Emperor, it ends with Antony greeting Cleopatra, how can you end a series named that at the final stop before the split in the triumvirate and the battles to crown the Emperor? I just think a fitting end would have been the aftermath of Actium with Octavian ascending to be the first Roman Emperor Augustus. I suppose there is John Williams book Augustus to fill that gap. I am happy to have read this series and whilst as a whole I did enjoy it, it wasn't until the last two books that I really got into it very much. There is a short story called Fig Tree which I will get around to at some point.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Tati

    So, Conn Iggulden is one of the biggest names in historical fiction for me. He is only behind Bernard Cornwell. And, the best thing? They tackle completely different moments in history. The Emperor series is about Julius Caesar, and spans from his childhood to his assassination. And that was where the series lost a bit of footing. Why? Well, because this book starts immediately after Caesar is murdered and shows the aftermath of that. From the chaos of his death, Octavian rises. At first, I thoug So, Conn Iggulden is one of the biggest names in historical fiction for me. He is only behind Bernard Cornwell. And, the best thing? They tackle completely different moments in history. The Emperor series is about Julius Caesar, and spans from his childhood to his assassination. And that was where the series lost a bit of footing. Why? Well, because this book starts immediately after Caesar is murdered and shows the aftermath of that. From the chaos of his death, Octavian rises. At first, I thought I was in for a bumpy ride, as Octavian felt a bit awkward. But he was a young man who suddenly found himself in the spotlight. And it was good to see him grow into his new role. The writing was really good, and made a naval battle incredibly fascinating. My one issue with this book: it felt inadequate as the last book in a series. Why? Because it introduces a whole new cast of characters, and has an epilogue that hints at so much more. And then that's it. I won't get to see the relationship between Cleopatra and Mark Anthony. And that made me a bit disappointed.

  14. 4 out of 5

    happy

    In the 5th and final installment of his Emperor series, Mr. Iggulden gives an interesting take on the aftermath of Julius Caesar’s assassination. The main character in this novel is Julius’ nephew and successor, the young Octavian. The author builds his story around Octavian’s reaction to the news of Julius’ death and the Senate’s giving the assassins pardon’s for what they had done. This novel opens in Greece where Octavian and the man who would become his best general, Agrippa and another frie In the 5th and final installment of his Emperor series, Mr. Iggulden gives an interesting take on the aftermath of Julius Caesar’s assassination. The main character in this novel is Julius’ nephew and successor, the young Octavian. The author builds his story around Octavian’s reaction to the news of Julius’ death and the Senate’s giving the assassins pardon’s for what they had done. This novel opens in Greece where Octavian and the man who would become his best general, Agrippa and another friend, Maecenas are looking for the murderers of a local girl. After catching and executing the villains the trio learn about the death of Caesar and proceed to Rome and the reading of Caesar’s will. With this beginning Mr. Iggulden traces the growth of a young man into the ruler of the known world. He shows the mistakes Octavian makes, but also his successes. He shows an Octavian obsessed with extracting his idea of Justice on the killers of his uncle. In some ways he is guided by his friends, esp Maecenas, in navigating Roman society to obtain this end. I thought the novel was well paced and the battle scenes were excellent. He digs into the politics of the Senate and the arrogance of the ruling elite, who thought they could get away with assassination. Octavian’s relationship with Mark Antony is also well done. The author shows two men using each other for their own ends. It is a kind of “an enemy of my enemy is my friend” sort of relationship. Antony is shown as resentful that he wasn’t the main heir, but willing to use Octavian to obtain money to pay his legions and the approval of the masses. Octavian on the other hand uses Antony for his prestige and the legions he has under his control. The novel ends with the battle of Philippi and the defeat of Brutus and Cassius. The battle is well told and the author gives a different explanation of why Octavian always seemed to miss the battles. (view spoiler)[ He is depicted as having epilepsy and this is used as an explanation for his missing battles. Mr. Iggulden explaintion for using this is since it ran in his family and he doesn't believe Octavian was a physical coward, it was as good as any. (hide spoiler)] As with most historical fiction, some of the known facts are moved around a little, but not as much as some of the others in this series. All in all a very entertaining and for me at least a quick read – solid 4 stars

  15. 4 out of 5

    Barry

    I have read and thoroughly enjoyed ten of Conn Iggulden's books including the series on Genghis Khan and the Series on Julius Caesar (best know for the salad named after him). It is important to understand that these books are historical fiction because they include many things, like dialogue, that could not possibly be known. I read them as such and not as history books. Iggulden does a superb job of taking what is known of the history of the time and reshaping and fleshing it out with the end I have read and thoroughly enjoyed ten of Conn Iggulden's books including the series on Genghis Khan and the Series on Julius Caesar (best know for the salad named after him). It is important to understand that these books are historical fiction because they include many things, like dialogue, that could not possibly be known. I read them as such and not as history books. Iggulden does a superb job of taking what is known of the history of the time and reshaping and fleshing it out with the end product being a thoroughly engaging story with beautifully fleshed out characters and extraordinarily detailed events. In an Author's Note, at the end of the book, he describes where he departed from accepted history and why. If you are interested in an extremely well-written story about the period following Caesar's death, you will enjoy this book BUT, I would strongly recommend that you start with the first book in the series and, after completing that, decide if you would like to read the next, etc. Postscript: I am not much interested in the War of the Roses but I will probably read Igguden's series covering it simply because it is Iggulden's series. The End

  16. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Millin

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This series was fictionally great. Caesar's life is interesting enough to stick to non-fiction. However, it makes sense to a story to have it the best friend from youth betray him. Still really enjoyed the series though! This series was fictionally great. Caesar's life is interesting enough to stick to non-fiction. However, it makes sense to a story to have it the best friend from youth betray him. Still really enjoyed the series though!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Bruno

    The final book in the series serves as the end of one and, at the same time, a new beginning of another story. It reminds me so much like The Heritage of Arn, but the protagonist has been introduced in the earlier books and witnessed all the events that transpired during the last 30 years or so. Some of the characters return and some new are introduced, while the others are no longer mentioned. Unlike previous titles, this one doesn't jumps years ahead, because it's main purpose is to conclude u The final book in the series serves as the end of one and, at the same time, a new beginning of another story. It reminds me so much like The Heritage of Arn, but the protagonist has been introduced in the earlier books and witnessed all the events that transpired during the last 30 years or so. Some of the characters return and some new are introduced, while the others are no longer mentioned. Unlike previous titles, this one doesn't jumps years ahead, because it's main purpose is to conclude unfinished businesses left in the previous title. Because of that, there is a chance for a new title, but that depends on the author. Can't imagine how difficult for him was to return to the same series he started almost a decade ago, so there are obvious differences between the first four books (published every year from 2003-2006) and this one (published 2013). If I must nitpick something or someone that bothers me, I must say I didn't like the character of Marc Anthony, since the beginning. Every time something happens or the decision must be made, he acts so passively, but Caesar trusted him more than anyone and encouraged him to run for the position of the consul, which is an important detail for the plot, that I'm not going to spoil it. You must seek it out for yourself. Despite that annoyance, it was a great journey and I enjoyed it every moment and every page. If you're looking for a month long plot, I would recommend you to get this books, as well as Conqueror series, that I've started reading (the first book was amazing) last week. I'm going to review it later, when it's finished. Until that, I wish you all a successful week.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    I had no idea this book was part of a series when I requested it. I had heard from a co-worker that I needed to check out Conn Iggulden’s books, and after reading it I can understand why. I tend to be a real stickler for reading series in order, mainly because so much has happened in previous books, and I tend to feel lost. Not so with The Blood of Gods. This book immediately captured my attention, and I loved the portrayals of all the characters. I found it very interesting how the author would I had no idea this book was part of a series when I requested it. I had heard from a co-worker that I needed to check out Conn Iggulden’s books, and after reading it I can understand why. I tend to be a real stickler for reading series in order, mainly because so much has happened in previous books, and I tend to feel lost. Not so with The Blood of Gods. This book immediately captured my attention, and I loved the portrayals of all the characters. I found it very interesting how the author would show an event from one character’s perspective, then do it again from another character. It made me better understand the characters and their motivations, and tied the story together making it easy to understand all the politics at play. Octavian was a fascinating character, and I enjoyed reading about how he gained the respect of his people and became their leader. Mark Anthony was also well portrayed, and I admired his desire to avenge his friend Julius Caesar. Octavian’s friends, Agrippa and Maecenas, provided good advice and support to Octavian and I liked reading about their friendship and how it endured through all the changes these characters went through. The story was easy to understand and follow, and I read the book quickly over one afternoon. I am looking forward to picking up other books in the series. I’m sure they will be as interesting and entertaining as The Blood of Gods was! Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me a copy of this book to review.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Robin Webster

    ‘The Blood of Gods’ is Conn Iggulden’s fifth book in his ‘Emperor’ series. The previous four books were based loosely on the life of the Roman Emperor Julius Caesar right up to his assassination: while the central character in this book is his adopted son Octavian, who later went on to become the Emperor Augustus. The book opens where the last book left off. Julius Caesar has just been assassinated and the young Octavian makes his bid for power and is looking to take revenge on all those who con ‘The Blood of Gods’ is Conn Iggulden’s fifth book in his ‘Emperor’ series. The previous four books were based loosely on the life of the Roman Emperor Julius Caesar right up to his assassination: while the central character in this book is his adopted son Octavian, who later went on to become the Emperor Augustus. The book opens where the last book left off. Julius Caesar has just been assassinated and the young Octavian makes his bid for power and is looking to take revenge on all those who conspired to kill Julius Caesar. ‘The Blood of Gods’ can easily be read as a stand-alone book but in my view it is best to have read the previous books in the series. Like many historical writers, Conn Iggulden does not let historical accuracy interfere with a good story but always states at the end of his books in the historical notes what he has changed for the sake of keeping novel flowing. That said, this is a really good action packed entertaining fast moving novel. Iggulden’s fans will not be disappointed. However, I do feel this should be the last book in the series. In my view, one more book could be compared to a really good singer coming back to do one encore too many.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Zitong Ren

    I liked Wolf of the Plains, but I can say that I genuinely enjoyed, Emperor, Blood of the Gods. This books tales off after the assassination of Caesar and goes through some of the most important events in Roman history such as the formation of the second triumvirate. I greatly enjoyed seeing the Roman world through these historical figures which I found that Iggulden managed to do really well, making them not just historical figures, but rather bringing them to life as real people who lived two I liked Wolf of the Plains, but I can say that I genuinely enjoyed, Emperor, Blood of the Gods. This books tales off after the assassination of Caesar and goes through some of the most important events in Roman history such as the formation of the second triumvirate. I greatly enjoyed seeing the Roman world through these historical figures which I found that Iggulden managed to do really well, making them not just historical figures, but rather bringing them to life as real people who lived two thousand years before us. Really good historical novel. 9/10.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    Conn Iggulden ends his Emperor series with a magnificent account of the aftermath of Caesar's assassination and the determined mission of his adopted son Octavian to hunt down his killers. This is familiar history but it has new life here especially thanks to Iggulden's recreation of Octavian, his friends and Mark Antony. Agrippa is my particular favourite here. A superb novel. Conn Iggulden ends his Emperor series with a magnificent account of the aftermath of Caesar's assassination and the determined mission of his adopted son Octavian to hunt down his killers. This is familiar history but it has new life here especially thanks to Iggulden's recreation of Octavian, his friends and Mark Antony. Agrippa is my particular favourite here. A superb novel.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lejla

    This book is so well written that I regret when I finally came to the end of it. I wish I just could keep reading. I can't wait to start reading his serial about Genghis Khan. This book is so well written that I regret when I finally came to the end of it. I wish I just could keep reading. I can't wait to start reading his serial about Genghis Khan.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Nigel

    All I can say is I loved this book and the series. Conn you are reaching the heights of David Gemmell. Yes I said it .

  24. 5 out of 5

    Fuzzball Baggins

    Weird pacing, felt like the beginning of the book for almost the entire thing and then there was a weird rushed ending. But despite that, an entertaining read - it's hard to go wrong with a Caesar as a main character Weird pacing, felt like the beginning of the book for almost the entire thing and then there was a weird rushed ending. But despite that, an entertaining read - it's hard to go wrong with a Caesar as a main character

  25. 4 out of 5

    Anna Bowe

    I've been struggling to write this review - I just found it blah. Maybe it's my tendency to dislike Roman forum politics... it didn't manage to help me past my disinclination. Sadly it slid into a 2*. I've been struggling to write this review - I just found it blah. Maybe it's my tendency to dislike Roman forum politics... it didn't manage to help me past my disinclination. Sadly it slid into a 2*.

  26. 4 out of 5

    MG Mason

    Imagine my delight and surprise to learn that Conn Iggulden was to write a fifth book in the series about the life of Julius Caesar. I read the first four around 15 years ago shortly after their release. I thought, as many no doubt did, that that was that – Caesar dead, story over. But no. This fifth book in the series follows Octavian (later to become Emperor Augustus) as he sets about righting the wrongs of the senate. My first concern was that this would be a shameless cash-in, but Iggulden tr Imagine my delight and surprise to learn that Conn Iggulden was to write a fifth book in the series about the life of Julius Caesar. I read the first four around 15 years ago shortly after their release. I thought, as many no doubt did, that that was that – Caesar dead, story over. But no. This fifth book in the series follows Octavian (later to become Emperor Augustus) as he sets about righting the wrongs of the senate. My first concern was that this would be a shameless cash-in, but Iggulden treats the material and the period with the same respect and diligence that he did before. My other concern was that this would continue beyond Caesar’s life and dilute the series. It was also clear that this would not be the start of a new series but more like an epilogue to Caesar’s story. Again, I was pleased with this. After all, Emperor is the story of Gaius Julius Caesar. In an odd way, it fulfils exactly that. Julius Caesar does not feature (of course) but it remains his story nonetheless. It is not even about Octavian, but about the actions he took against the group of men who assassinated his adopted father. The book ends with the death of Brutus and with the triumvirate intact. In this, Iggulden has clearly drawn a line under the series in demonstrating his determination for it to remain Caesar’s story. He could easily have written about Octavian’s rise to power, his civil war with Marc Antony and declaration as the first emperor, but chose not to do so. Some have criticised leaving out this element, complaining that it ends too early and doesn’t go enough into Octavian’s story enough. Respectfully, I disagree in the strongest possible terms. This is not Octavian’s story, but that of Gaius Julius Caesar. It makes perfect sense to end the story where he did. Iggulden’s work is always easy on the eye but full of detail. He is a master storyteller of the historical fiction genre. Nothing has changed. Historical fiction is often not quite as gripping or flows well as it should. Again, Iggulden bucks this trend with ease. At 450 pages it is an average novel length too, going against the trend for 1200 word tomes bogged down in too much detail and too little story. Great job! Should you read this? Not as a stand alone. Ultimately, you will find it unsatisfying to cover such a short (yet pivotal) period of Octavian’s life. It is book 5 in a series so if you read the first four, you should certainly read this.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Valwis20

    Emperor The Blood Of Gods Book Information: Author: Conn Iggulden Title: EMPEROR Blood Of Gods Publication Date: 2013 This book is about the chain of events that started with Julius Caesar’s assassination, and ended with tens of thousands of deaths. It takes us through a number of historic battles, example the Battle of Philippi where the war was finally ended. It gives us a window into Octavian’s rise, a real testament of determination and what it can accomplish as seen in the quote "I sent into e Emperor The Blood Of Gods Book Information: Author: Conn Iggulden Title: EMPEROR Blood Of Gods Publication Date: 2013 This book is about the chain of events that started with Julius Caesar’s assassination, and ended with tens of thousands of deaths. It takes us through a number of historic battles, example the Battle of Philippi where the war was finally ended. It gives us a window into Octavian’s rise, a real testament of determination and what it can accomplish as seen in the quote "I sent into exile the murderers of my father, punishing their crimes with regular tribunals, afterwards, when they made war to the Republic I twice defeated them in battle”. He was twenty when he first started his conquest to avenge Caesar. The author takes historical stories and writes a book on it, from the main characters point of view. It is a very educational book but it does at times have bad facts, for example historically Octavian was nineteen when he started his war against the senate but in the book he was twenty two. This book could be for anyone twelve and above. The author gives the characters personalities of his own, but he does give good evidence based on the characters actions. It is a very interesting book for someone like me who enjoys Roman history, but it’s a good book even if you don’t like or know the Romans. I can trust this author because he has written many books previously and all of them are based on the past. The author Conn Iggulden was once a headmaster in a St. Gregory’s school, so I believe he does have a good academic background. The author clearly enjoys history and his work is often influenced by history. He probably wants more people to take an interest in history, and he says that he has always enjoyed writing. While being a headmaster on its own doesn’t sound like a qualification, it means had the qualification to become a headmaster. You can’t make connections to this book with your own life but I believe that is by design. In many old stories about hero’s you can’t make connections and he has written this book in much the same way except with more detail. I believe the author’s goals were to give people a historical story based on facts without the reader needing any previous historical knowledge. It was very convincing and he used historic facts as evidence, this book is great for getting people interested in history. The author’s representation of the characters is as quality as you could get nowadays, they might seem slightly glorified but it’s purely based on their actions. I really enjoyed it, there were moments when I just stopped and waited contemplating what has happened. It was smart and philosophical but at a fast and stimulating pace. My favorite part about it was that it had no real villians, but things played out like there were. I would recommend this book for anyone above twelve. It gives insight into all the characters and doesn’t show any favoritism from the author. The only thing I would change is more time spent on the political battle between Mark Anthony, Octavian and the Senate.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Arun Divakar

    The name of Julius Caesar is now on everyone’s tongues in Rome. He fell to the knives of the liberators and Rome stands stunned at his funeral. Across the sea, in Greece a young man named Octavian is blinded by grief and fury. The consul Mark Antony while staggered by the death of Caesar tries to reap his own rewards from amidst these murky waters. The last installment of Conn Iggulden’s series on Rome begins at the funeral of Caesar and concludes in the battlefield of Philippi with the defeat a The name of Julius Caesar is now on everyone’s tongues in Rome. He fell to the knives of the liberators and Rome stands stunned at his funeral. Across the sea, in Greece a young man named Octavian is blinded by grief and fury. The consul Mark Antony while staggered by the death of Caesar tries to reap his own rewards from amidst these murky waters. The last installment of Conn Iggulden’s series on Rome begins at the funeral of Caesar and concludes in the battlefield of Philippi with the defeat and death of Cassius and Brutus who were the last among the men who slid their blades into Caesar to meet up with the grim reaper. The book ends with Octavian standing triumphant over the dead bodies of the villains and Mark Antony getting his first look at the enigmatic and sensual Cleopatra. Let me be rather blunt here by stating that the way in which this book is written and presented made me feel that it was more of an afterthought than a carefully crafted work. All of Iggulden’s earlier works in this series have been riveting and first rate page turners. This one however prompted me to turn a lot of pages without in fact reading them. And needless to say, I did not miss much by skipping over it all. It was a rather small plot which was stretched to breaking point by elaborating it to book length. The first time when we met Octavian, he was a street urchin struggling to stay alive and since then under the tutelage of Caesar and Brutus he grew into a fine soldier in earlier books. Out here however, he comes across as a character who tries hard to be another Caesar. Iggulden portrays Octavian as a sort of Caesar reborn which in turn robs the character of uniqueness. The battle scenes are the only places where Iggulden shines through again. He dazzles you with the sea battles of Agrippa and Sextus Pompey and also with the final show down at Philippi. Also, the author does appear rather sloppy in terms of the language he used here. For the life of me, I cannot imagine a Roman soldier using the word 'Shit' as a way of expressing his consternation. We can debate whether that word existed during this time, but for a writer who produced some fine Roman backdrops in his earlier books this clearly stands out as an oversight. This can be read strictly as a means to logically finish the series but beyond it the tale really holds no water. The Series : I would shy away from calling this historical fiction for it bears very little similarity to what actually transpired in Rome at the time of Caesar. I was treated to an almost exclusively militaristic view of Rome at the time of Caesar and the parts he played in making Rome the world power at that time. It is a fun read but added next to nothing to the knowledge of history. For the entertainment value alone, the series is a four star one.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jason Golomb

    "...walk as their heir to a god and the richest man in Rome. Walk as one who can call down the wrath of Mars with a snap of his fingers." Conn Iggulden's "The Blood of Gods" is everything that makes Iggulden so successful and such a fun read: characters that are solid, if not completely three dimensional; colorfully evocative prose that can't help but get any testosterone-laden blood pumping; and an undeniably compelling mix of history, action and drama. "The Blood of Gods" is officially the fifth "...walk as their heir to a god and the richest man in Rome. Walk as one who can call down the wrath of Mars with a snap of his fingers." Conn Iggulden's "The Blood of Gods" is everything that makes Iggulden so successful and such a fun read: characters that are solid, if not completely three dimensional; colorfully evocative prose that can't help but get any testosterone-laden blood pumping; and an undeniably compelling mix of history, action and drama. "The Blood of Gods" is officially the fifth entry in Iggulden's "Emperor" series, which follows the life and career of Julius Caesar. "Blood" picks up the story of Caesar as he's being killed by members of the Roman Senate, led by his long time friend and ally Brutus. After this brief prologue, the story revolves around Octavian, better known through history as Augustus, Caesar's adopted son. The book requires no prior reading or knowledge of the earlier books in Iggulden's series. Nor does one even need any specific background of this particular time in Roman history. Iggulden is always elegant in placing his stories in historical context and providing an equitable amount of background and backstory. In "Blood", he's no different, and this novel stands completely on it's own. "All along the lines, the legionairies raised their shields against the storm of wood and iron. The rushing hiss became a thumping clatter, with men yelling in shock and pain on both sides." Iggulden is as eloquent in simplifying a complex political landscape, as he is detailing battlefield tactics and combat. While emphasizing the testosterone-driven themes and action that make his books so appealing to his fan base, Iggulden tells a terrific story, crafts complex characterizations so his key characters avoid cliche, while maintaining a deep sense of historical drama and tension. I'm a huge fan of Iggulden's "Conquerer" series which traces the history of Genghis Khan and his Mongol lineage. I didn't love his first two books in the "Emperor Series", but found "The Blood of Gods" a fun and satisfying read. I highly recommend for any fan of historical fiction, focused on action and drama. This will make for a terrific summertime/beach read. I received "The Blood of Gods" through the Amazon Vine program.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl M-M

    It started off with an oomph that developed a slow pace and petered out. The scene of betrayal and the subsequent actions of those that murdered him was very well done. The only scene that topped it was Mark Anthony describing Brutus walk towards his victim in the final moments. Unfortunately I felt it lost its initial swagger after that. The story seemed more like reading/watching a TV show. When it comes to staying clse to historical facts you often find that the author has to to be mindful not It started off with an oomph that developed a slow pace and petered out. The scene of betrayal and the subsequent actions of those that murdered him was very well done. The only scene that topped it was Mark Anthony describing Brutus walk towards his victim in the final moments. Unfortunately I felt it lost its initial swagger after that. The story seemed more like reading/watching a TV show. When it comes to staying clse to historical facts you often find that the author has to to be mindful not to be overly academic or over the top fanciful fictious. It is a double edged sword and quite a balancing act. The read was pleasant but it wasn't memorable. Iggulden didn't replicate the same aura of camaraderie and sense of power in this book, as he did with the previous ones in the series. These strong historical characters become mere afterthoughts due to weak character description and depiction, instead of the powerful figures they actually were. At least that's what it felt like for me. It almost felt as if the author wasn't really into it or was just going through the motions. Not at all like his Wolf of the Plains (Conqueror, Book 1) Genghis Khan series. I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley.

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