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It’s a historical fiction written with great events and breathtaking brutality of the times are brought lavishly to life, from combat in circus, slaves revolt, skirmishes in Greece, amputations and street fighting are all convincing. It really is a terrific read. A rich and compelling novel that draws into an extraordinary time and life of an extraordinary man who would become the greatest Roman of them all: Julius Caesar.

The author brilliantly interweaving history and adventure, Emperor: The Gates of Rome introduces an ambitious young man facing his first great test. In the city of Rome, a titanic power struggle is about to shake the Republic to its core. Citizen will fight citizen in a bloody conflict – and Julius Caesar will be in the thick of the action.

The story, such as it is, revolves around two boys: Gaius, the broody son of a wealthy senator, and Marcus, a prostitute's mischievous child who is reared as Gaius's brother and trained with him in the arts of war. Before the two boys reach majority, they are thrust into adulthood by the untimely death of Gaius's father and take up residence in Rome with Gaius's uncle Marius, a powerful consul who is vying with Sulla for control of the Republic.

As young Gaius and Marcus grow to manhood, they are trained in the art of combat-under the tutelage of one of Rome’s most fearsome gladiator- Rome itself is being rocked by the art of treachery and ambition, caught in a tug-of-war as two rival generals, Marius and Sulla, push the empire toward civil war. When Marcus is 14, he joins the Fourth Macedonian Legion to earn his fortune; For Marcus, a bloody campaign in Greece will become a young soldier’s proving ground. For Gaius he remains by his uncle's side, the equally deadly infighting of the Roman Senate will be the battlefield where he hones his courage and skill. And for both, the love of an extraordinary slave girl will be an honor each will covet but only one will win.

The two friends are forced to walk different paths, and by the time they meet again, everything will have changed. Both will have known love, loss, and violence. And the land where they were once innocent will be thrust into the grip of bitter conflict—a conflict that will set Roman against Roman . . . and put their friendship to the ultimate test.

A major twist toward the end reveals the protagonists to be two of Roman history's best-known figures, but readers with some knowledge of the period will have guessed their identities already. Conn Iggulden conjures a stunning array of contrasts–from the bloody stench of a battlefield to the opulence of the greatest city in history, from the tenderness of a lover to the treachery of an assassin. Superbly rendered, grippingly told, Emperor: The Gates of Rome is a work of vaulting imagination from a powerful new voice in historical fiction.