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A finales del siglo IV antes de Cristo, Roma se encontraba a punto de ser aniquilada por los ejércitos cartagineses al mando de Aníbal. Ese era su inexorable destino hasta que surgió un solo hombre, un joven oficial de las legiones, que transformó lo que debí­a ocurrir en lo que finalmente fue: la génesis de un imperio y una civilización secular en el tiempo y en la histor A finales del siglo IV antes de Cristo, Roma se encontraba a punto de ser aniquilada por los ejércitos cartagineses al mando de Aníbal. Ese era su inexorable destino hasta que surgió un solo hombre, un joven oficial de las legiones, que transformó lo que debí­a ocurrir en lo que finalmente fue: la génesis de un imperio y una civilización secular en el tiempo y en la historia del mundo. Aquel niño recibió el nombre de su progenitor, Publio Cornelio Escipión, quien fuera cónsul de Roma durante el primer año de aquella guerra. Las hazañas del hijo del cónsul alcanzaron tal magnitud que el pueblo le concedió un sobrenombre especial, un apelativo referente a uno de los territorios que conquistó: Africanus. Africanus, el hi­jo del cónsul narra con una prosa ágil y directa el tormentoso y a la vez fascinante mundo de la juventud de Publio Cornelio Escipión, el Africano. Esta novela describe con detalle las batallas de Tesino, Trebia, Trasimeno y Cannae, los asedios de Sagunto, Tarento o Cartago Nova, los tensos debates en el senado, las marchas forzadas de las legiones, el avance de los elefantes, las frí­as noches previas al combate, la amistad de los legionarios durante la campaña, el dolor de la muerte, el sinsentido de la guerra, el significado, de la gloria y el honor, las costumbres y las tradiciones de una Roma milenaria.


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A finales del siglo IV antes de Cristo, Roma se encontraba a punto de ser aniquilada por los ejércitos cartagineses al mando de Aníbal. Ese era su inexorable destino hasta que surgió un solo hombre, un joven oficial de las legiones, que transformó lo que debí­a ocurrir en lo que finalmente fue: la génesis de un imperio y una civilización secular en el tiempo y en la histor A finales del siglo IV antes de Cristo, Roma se encontraba a punto de ser aniquilada por los ejércitos cartagineses al mando de Aníbal. Ese era su inexorable destino hasta que surgió un solo hombre, un joven oficial de las legiones, que transformó lo que debí­a ocurrir en lo que finalmente fue: la génesis de un imperio y una civilización secular en el tiempo y en la historia del mundo. Aquel niño recibió el nombre de su progenitor, Publio Cornelio Escipión, quien fuera cónsul de Roma durante el primer año de aquella guerra. Las hazañas del hijo del cónsul alcanzaron tal magnitud que el pueblo le concedió un sobrenombre especial, un apelativo referente a uno de los territorios que conquistó: Africanus. Africanus, el hi­jo del cónsul narra con una prosa ágil y directa el tormentoso y a la vez fascinante mundo de la juventud de Publio Cornelio Escipión, el Africano. Esta novela describe con detalle las batallas de Tesino, Trebia, Trasimeno y Cannae, los asedios de Sagunto, Tarento o Cartago Nova, los tensos debates en el senado, las marchas forzadas de las legiones, el avance de los elefantes, las frí­as noches previas al combate, la amistad de los legionarios durante la campaña, el dolor de la muerte, el sinsentido de la guerra, el significado, de la gloria y el honor, las costumbres y las tradiciones de una Roma milenaria.

30 review for Africanus: El hijo del cónsul

  1. 5 out of 5

    Carmen C.

    Review brought by Geekly Review When writing a historical novel the balance between the ‘novel’ and ‘historical’ parts is essential. It is important to be respectful with history and maintain oneself faithful to the personalities and events that took place, but also to give them life and personalities so that these flow with logic and interest. To my knowledge it hasn’t been translated into English yet, so this review is of the original Spanish publication. ‘El hijo del cónsul’, by Santiago Po Review brought by Geekly Review When writing a historical novel the balance between the ‘novel’ and ‘historical’ parts is essential. It is important to be respectful with history and maintain oneself faithful to the personalities and events that took place, but also to give them life and personalities so that these flow with logic and interest. To my knowledge it hasn’t been translated into English yet, so this review is of the original Spanish publication. ‘El hijo del cónsul’, by Santiago Posteguillo, is the first book in a trilogy narrating the first years of the second Punic war. In it we see the ascension of Hannibal Barca, and how he brings Rome to its knees whilst these attempt to fight him. In the Roman side we are witness to the rise of Publius Cornelius (that is, Scipio Africanus), from his birth until his campaign in Hispania. The book is centred in this evolution of the character and events, from his early years and relations with his family to his training and military beginnings. It is the forge of a hero, and ‘El hijo del cónsul’ manages to make it work beautifully. It is not only believable, but also fascinating in a way that not many historical books quite manage to achieve. The characters are well written and believable, and it turns out to be a great historical novel as a whole – something that I personally haven’t had much luck with in this genre – and I couldn’t have been happier with this as a history fan. It isn’t often one gets to read a great historical novel in this aspect, particularly one that works for both those who are and aren’t familiar with the topic alike. The most noteworthy thing of the novel itself is the cinematographic style the author uses in narrating battles and their particular strategy. They aren’t just words in paper – they are very real and dangerous, and the reader flies through them from army to army, and battalion to battalion. These are easy to follow wherever they are taking place the action, without losing the reader and at the same time showing the historical aspect of them accurately. Further, it shows what’s happening from the points of view of all those involved. Carthaginians, different Roman factions, the roman people, or writer Plautus himself. The merit of the book is managing to balance out both the history and fiction aspects of it, and succeeds beautifully in filling everything with suspense and intrigue. Overall allowing for a beautiful immersion in the very particular historical period it’s based on. The writing style itself, however, come across as noticeably academic at the beginning of the book. However this didn’t really harm the overall quality of the book, and was something that instead was just noticeable in its style. As such ‘El Hijo del Cónsul’ is a book recomendable to all those interested in the Roman world, as well as those that without being so enjoy stories of self-improvement, friendship, political intrigues, and sword fights. It is worthy of 5 out of 6 stars, and definitely worthy of giving it a try at the very least. It isn’t often that one finds a historical novel as good as this one.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jose

    A fast pace book that summarizes the early years of Scipio the African. The Spaniard writer keeps you interested to the end. For those who want to familiarize with that period without recurring to heavy history books this is a good start.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Angel 一匹狼

    Horrible, horrible, horrible. Simple and lazy as they come, "Africanus: El hijo del cónsul" is a lame excuse for a book, a lame excuse where the author falls for all the worst behaviors an author can fall for. Lets start with the story: the book retells the story of the Second Punic Wars, with Hannibal crossing the Alps and attacking Rome, and the youth and first years as a soldier of Scipio Africanus. You know, the stuff of legends, history, fun (no, really, I like history). Sadly for us, Posteg Horrible, horrible, horrible. Simple and lazy as they come, "Africanus: El hijo del cónsul" is a lame excuse for a book, a lame excuse where the author falls for all the worst behaviors an author can fall for. Lets start with the story: the book retells the story of the Second Punic Wars, with Hannibal crossing the Alps and attacking Rome, and the youth and first years as a soldier of Scipio Africanus. You know, the stuff of legends, history, fun (no, really, I like history). Sadly for us, Posteguillo offers us a bar-story, the rant of a person with a crazy passion for a subject that won't let you free till they get to the end of that passionate story they know everyone else is also *passionate* about. And why do I say so? First, the book runs for almost 700 interminable pages, with chapters that have zero description, and just facts, facts, facts. Two pages telling me something of Hannibal and then two pages to tell something about Scipio Africanus's father and three pages to tell something about some other character. The only adjectives in the story are about women's bodies or when the author feels he has to go on poetic metaphors about the color of the sunrise. Second, and related to this, there is no character development whatsoever. Scipio Africanus is a hero, he is perfect, handsome, cool, mysterious, charming and smart... Hannibal is a lucky and canny barbarian (as are all his men) and Quintus Fabius only needs a white cat. This is pathetic writing as they come. I don't like my characters white and black when I read fantasy or sci-fi, but at least there is the excuse of them being in a parallel universe. In a book that has some 'history' in it, it just makes me writhe and angry (cough cough). And that is without saying anything about poor author Plauto, who becomes a page-filling character just so the author can show he knows something about literature and history. The same that goes with the passing comments about Celtic gods or similar. Posteguillo just needs to wink at us and say: look, I did research, do you see how many gods and people from the era I know about? And of course, all the characters talk as if they have come out of the fighting scenes in "Braveheart" or "The Lord of the of the Rings", with big and silly speeches and evil laughs. I have also talked about the poor use of vocabulary. Well, I also felt irked by his use of the past tenses in Spanish, between 'imperfecto' and 'indefinido'. And last but not least, Posteguillo, Hispania was not a country back then. Stop calling it that. The best: it has made me want to read some history to really know more about what really happened, instead of this one-sided heroes against monsters story. 0.5/10 (Original Spanish Version)

  4. 4 out of 5

    Cristina

    Fascinating look into the 2nd Punic War and Hannibal's crossing from Spain to Italy with his army and elephants, centering on the personal lives of Hannibal and young Roman Patrician Publio Cornelio Escipio. History comes to life! Fascinating look into the 2nd Punic War and Hannibal's crossing from Spain to Italy with his army and elephants, centering on the personal lives of Hannibal and young Roman Patrician Publio Cornelio Escipio. History comes to life!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Carlos

    A fascinating combination of engaging narrative with profound historical references. This is a top choice in the suggestions list, one of those authors that draw people into the great world of books.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Naie Eian

    I was looking for a book with a mix of novel + historiy. This was a perfect mix and not just that, it has an exquisite dosis of suspense.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Chema

    Actually this was a re-reading, but as I didn't really pay attention the first time (almost 5 years ago), I thought it was worth the try. The plot revolves around a b. C. Rome, more precisely during one of their wars against Carthage (placed on the Mediterranean North-Africa; currently in Tunisia), specially focused on Hispania (current Spain and Portugal), Rome and south Italy. These areas were relevant to the conflict, as they hosted some of the greatest battles during the story - I need to hi Actually this was a re-reading, but as I didn't really pay attention the first time (almost 5 years ago), I thought it was worth the try. The plot revolves around a b. C. Rome, more precisely during one of their wars against Carthage (placed on the Mediterranean North-Africa; currently in Tunisia), specially focused on Hispania (current Spain and Portugal), Rome and south Italy. These areas were relevant to the conflict, as they hosted some of the greatest battles during the story - I need to highlight the fact that this is the first book of a trilogy. The plot itself is interesting: Ancient Rome, battles, some blood, some love and the feeling of loss flying aroung romans' heads made the mix. The characters, though very archetype-ish, fulfilled what was expected from them. Maybe one or two were somehow innovative, but nothing specially remarkable, except the figure of Fabio Quinto Maximo from the half of the story onwards. I expected a bit more of a book this long. However, it should be noticed that the author really looked into the history, he documented really well and his description during the battles scenes is astonishing. You could almost picture all those legionnaires standing firmly with their swords and shields - all S.P.Q.R-ing around. Alas, the worst aspect of this piece: Posteguillo's writing. My mum always told me that we shouldn't point at other's mistakes as none of us is perfect, but here I go anyway - sorry, mum! Whereas Posteguillo excelled during the battles, his narrative is all but outstanding and, if you read the book in its original language (Spanish) you will find several mistakes which is something unforgivable for me. Upon the publishment, a book should pass several revisions and be thoroughly and utterly analysed, and I have a feeling that this one didn't. To sum it up a little bit: really interesting if you're into History, specially Ancient History. The facts are reasonably well placed and located, and the plot has some twists you definitely don't expect. Nevertheless, my love for grammar and writing (a love I think we all share here) didn't allow me enjoy this piece to its core. Sometimes the storyline couldn't make up for the mistakes and that's something to keep in mind.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Hiram

    This is just an amazing book. It captures yourself, what a good writer who taking into account a number of sources, gives a well documented novel to introduce you in that ancient world. highly recommended due to an easy reading and learning.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Alejandro Pier

    Great history novel!! It has great balance between the historical part and the narrative related to the novel. It keeps you enterteined all the way to the end. In my case, it made me want to understand more about the characters, the time, the battles, etc.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Pinzón

    A pleasent history class.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Victor Ramirez Urueta

    Excellent. Great story, great moments, great history

  12. 5 out of 5

    Alberto Tagle

    Exceptional, outstanding

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nicolas Alvarez Bedoya

    Master piece

  14. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Rayo

    Awesome, I enjoyed this novel mix with historical facts and become really interested in the roman empire

  15. 4 out of 5

    Miguel Menacho

    Highly recommended. Read it with a nice glass of wine.

  16. 4 out of 5

    FrReads

    A very good reading

  17. 4 out of 5

    Liviu

    What a ride! A huge historical novel, first in a trilogy about Scipio Africanus, it follows the hero from birth in 235 to New Carthage in 209 though it has a huge cast with many notable characters (Fabius Maximus, Plautus, Hannibal, Scipio's father and uncle); while the first part is somewhat episodic, the novel gets going from the siege of Saguntum on and the last third is nothing short of awesome with some of the most emotional moments, some of the most intense all interspersed with plautus de What a ride! A huge historical novel, first in a trilogy about Scipio Africanus, it follows the hero from birth in 235 to New Carthage in 209 though it has a huge cast with many notable characters (Fabius Maximus, Plautus, Hannibal, Scipio's father and uncle); while the first part is somewhat episodic, the novel gets going from the siege of Saguntum on and the last third is nothing short of awesome with some of the most emotional moments, some of the most intense all interspersed with plautus debut and huge success as comedic playwright. Starting the second volume now and another doorstopper

  18. 4 out of 5

    Diego Iglesias

    Good historic novel about the second punic war between Rome and Carthage. Great for remember and learn some more history about this two civilizations. The author shows the history from all perspectives: the main character Publio,a patrician. Tito Macio Plauto, famous roman writer, and my favourite, Anibal the general from the carthaginian side. I love how the battles are described and the strategy both sides follow in critical moments. The book is written with a fluid prose, that makes you devour Good historic novel about the second punic war between Rome and Carthage. Great for remember and learn some more history about this two civilizations. The author shows the history from all perspectives: the main character Publio,a patrician. Tito Macio Plauto, famous roman writer, and my favourite, Anibal the general from the carthaginian side. I love how the battles are described and the strategy both sides follow in critical moments. The book is written with a fluid prose, that makes you devour the whole book in little time. Looking forward to read the second book of the trilogy!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Cyriaco Bernardino Duarte de Almeida Brandao Jr

    Certainly the best way of learning about one of romans best general while understand romans life in the republic.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Daniel T

    I most definitely have a predilection for historical novels, and Santiago Posteguillo's "Africanus: el hijo del cónsul" just further strengthened this predilection. After starting this book, I simply could not put it down. This is a great read for anyone interested in the history of ancient Rome. I already purchased and stand ready to devour the second book of this trilogy "Las Legiones Malditas". I most definitely have a predilection for historical novels, and Santiago Posteguillo's "Africanus: el hijo del cónsul" just further strengthened this predilection. After starting this book, I simply could not put it down. This is a great read for anyone interested in the history of ancient Rome. I already purchased and stand ready to devour the second book of this trilogy "Las Legiones Malditas".

  21. 5 out of 5

    Miguel Mancera

    Great narrative of the life of two of the greatest man of all time. The even mythical figh beteween two outsandingly great generals that will do anyting to acheive their goals. A little frustrating that the great Hannibal ends ups that way, after all he is the one that kickstarted everything.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jorge

    Interesting and informative, I learnt many things about Rome nd its empire. Nevertheless, against most of the reviews I have read , I found it too long, too many battles , too much blood. I doubt I will give a chance to the second part

  23. 5 out of 5

    Pedro Lima

    Super historical novel..just could not stop

  24. 5 out of 5

    Marcela

    Highly recommended if you like history!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Natalia Santamaria

    One of the best historic novels I've read. Passion, legend, war, honor... you will find it all One of the best historic novels I've read. Passion, legend, war, honor... you will find it all

  26. 4 out of 5

    J.A.

    History lesson abound; however the author took some liberties which play well in the novel. Got me wanting to continue with the second part.

  27. 4 out of 5

    William Bettencourt

    Very good, well written, there are some sub plots that i cant see why are they there, but overall is a pretty good book

  28. 4 out of 5

    Gustavo Adolfo

    The First ot the Fifth I read this Summer ;-)

  29. 4 out of 5

    May Nantes

    Best book ever!!! I adore Publio!!!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jose Luis

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Excellent................

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