Excellent. Fiction of course, but it contains enough basic historical perspective to make it enjoyable, even to a history buff. Very enjoyable stlye. I will be reading the rest of this series.
If you enjoy stories about ancient Rome, or historical fiction in general, you MUST read this book. I have not one criticism - only praise. The characters are so well developed that even those that are mentioned only within a few pages are vivid and memorable. A fanatic of hi-fi, I don't always enjoy the usual detailed battle/war scenes. This story is full of them, and they're never dull. Maybe because it's a woman writing about the victories and devastation on the battlefield? I'm now in hot pursuit to read everything McCullough has written. Feel free to email if you have any questions. ~LeAnn
Over 1,000 pages to the book, over 900 pages to the novel itself!
Book includes a very detailed 120 page Glossary giving (detailed) descriptions and definitions for roman (latin) words etc,
- plus 10 page pronunciation guide for roman masculine names,
- plus 9 page pronunciation guide to other names and terms.
Novel about Marius, wealthy but lowborn, and Sulla, aristocratic but penniless and debauched - extraordinary men of vision whose ruthless ambition will lay the foundations of the most awesome and enduring empire known to humankind.
- the major character - the women in particular - come through as real humans facing real and recognizable problems - a real work of art of words!
This is the first book in an excellent six book series about the Roman Republic. Over a thousand pages, you will feel history come alive. I cannot recommend Colleen McCullough's Rome series too highly.
In the past I have read books about the Roman Empire. This was too much history and not enough 'story'. too many characters to keep track of that I hadn't heard of before.
The first book in Colleen McCullough's epic series about the last days of the Roman Republic sizzles with political intrigue and provides us with two opposite and fascinating characters through which we view the events. McCullough's research is exemplary and the Republic blooms into vibrant life in her hands. Highly recommended.
Colleeen McCullough,the Author of The Thorn Birds has done it again. This is an Awesome and absorbing novel of love, war, intrigue and betrayal which takes place in Ancient Rome. A must read.
About the early days of Rome.Full of details that are historicalas well as entertaining.
I couldn't put it down. Also, the main characters are real I am interested in ancient history so the books was even more interesting
A must read for fans of Republican Rome and great writing.
What can I say? This book is one of the best, most engrossing historical novels in recent history. The characters are compelling, even lovable - or am I the only one who finished this book madly crushing on Lucius Cornelius Sulla? McCullough does a killer job of capturing the atmosphere and attitudes of a Rome trying to hang onto its republican ideals and practices while pursuing its perceived right to rule the world and forge an empire. The character of Gaius Marius is a great portrait of this conflict between birth privilege and the emerging meritocracy.
Can't recommend this, or the sequels, highly enough (although I think the first 3 books are the best in a stellar series).
Reading it was hard work, but worth every moment. Read the glossary first!
A wonderful, sprawling account of how Gaius Marius rose to become the First Man in Rome, much to the displeasure of much of the aristocracy.
I found this book to be extremely compelling. I have never previous been all the interested in Ancient Rome, but this book really brought it to life for me. Very very good
NY Times best seller by a master story teller, who wrote the Thorn Birds and the Grass Crown. I haven't actually read it, but if you like 900+ pages of a page-turner that got rave reviews according to the cover (from People, Chicago Tribune, Time, LA Times, Washington Post Book World,...) and you like historical novels, in this case about the last days of the Roman republic, this one could be a good choice for you. Also said to have excellent character development, especially of the women characters, who come through as "real human beings facing real and recognizable problems".
Sometimes hard to wade through, but well worth it.
I still remember it years after reading it. There isn't too much of a historical record of Gaius Marius, so she really fleshed out the story.