Rating: 4 out 5 stars.
The book opens immediately after the Roman Emperor, Julius Caesar, has been assassinated by a group of Senators who name themselves the liberators of Rome. From that moment onward, Roman history is laid bare by the actions of the Senate and the boy who returns to Rome in order to collect his inheritance. Octavian Caesar Augustus is not content to let the murderers of his beloved father enjoy their hastily awarded amnesty. They must face Roman justice and he will die trying to fulfill that oath. Joining forces with Mark Antony and other characters from Roman history, they seek out those hiding from retribution and attempt to deliver justice in any manner fitting.
I was very fortunate to win an ARC of this book in a Goodreads.com giveaway. Delving into the historical fiction genre is new to me but I'm finding that it's a worthwhile genre when the author is as dedicated and talented as Conn Iggulden. Right from the beginning, the reader is thrown into the action and we see the aftermath of a brutal assassination. While there are a number of battle scenes, both on land and sea, there isn't an over-the-top amount of description of the blood and gore associated with such scenes. The author does a wonderful job of revealing the underlying thoughts and feelings that each major (and often minor) characters are balancing in order to achieve his goal. Overall, the book is very well written and flows easily from scene to scene. Because I'm not well versed in military strategy or fleet manuevers, I had some difficulty with those scenes. It was not because of the writing but my lack of knowledge in those areas. The book is definitely a must read if you are a lover of tales concerning Ancient Rome or any of the players involved in the Caesar era.
The Blood of Gods: A Novel by Conn Iggulden will be available in hardback and Kindle form on July 2, 2013. It can be pre-ordered at Amazon.com with the link below.
The Blood of Gods: A Novel of Rome by Conn Iggulden