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Conn Iggulden

Born in London, Conn Iggulden read English at London University and worked as a teacher for seven years before becoming a full-time writer. Married with two children, he lives in Hertfordshire.
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The Gates of Rome: A fast-paced adventure

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The Gates of Rome by Conn Iggulden

I was surprised to discover that Conn Iggulden’s The Gates of Rome isn’t a fantasy novel.

Sure, The Gates of Rome is about Julius Caesar. And there is an author’s note discussing historical authenticity at the end of the story. Clearly, this is supposed to be a work of historical fiction. Nevertheless, that doesn’t stop Conn Iggulden from borrowing liberally from fantasy’s most enduring tropes, ranging from the defiance of bullies to the ascension of a child of fate.

Caesar, or Gaius, is a willful child when we meet him. He is determined to defend his family estate and himself against bullies much older than he is. Although Gaius is defeated and humiliated several times, that doesn’t stop him from returning time and again to get the upper hand. In fac... Read More

The Death of Kings: Julius comes into power and loss

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The Death of Kings by Conn Iggulden

Julius is a young soldier. He fights in northern Africa, but he is not in command. Still, he is very well trained, is charismatic and trusts his instincts, and he is beginning to learn what it means to command and why he loves everything Rome stands for. He is confident, idealistic, and capable, a potent combination that leads to many victories. By the end of the novel, he will deal with Spartacus and Sulla, pirates, and senators who wish him ill. He will taste true power, love, and loss.

Published in 2004, Conn Iggulden’s The Death of Kings, the second of four entries in the EMPEROR series (after The Gates of Rome), is... Read More

The Field of Swords: Caesar abroad

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The Field of Swords by Conn Iggulden

Conn Iggulden’s The Field of Swords (2005) follows a Caesar who is no longer young. Though he is still eminently capable and still driven to work day and night in pursuit of glory, he is exhausted rather than energized by his work in Spain. Naturally, the real story begins when he returns to Rome to form an alliance with Pompey and Crassus.

Rome considers itself the greatest city in the world, but, to our eyes, it is consumed by corrupt political intrigue in search of power and recognition, its enemies are tortured and slowly executed in public, and its people are entertained by merciless spectacle. Julius is the hero of this text, but he is not given contemporary attitudes. He enjoys the spectacle, the fame, and the glory of Romeo a... Read More

SFF by Conn Iggulden

Tollins — (2009-2011) Publisher: These are the first three stories of the Tollins. Yes, they do have wings, but no, they aren’t fairies. Tollins are a lot less fragile than fairies. In fact, the word fragile can’t really be used to describe them at all. They are about as fragile as a house brick. In “How to Blow Up Tollins” a fireworks factory comes to the village of Chorleywood and the Tollins find themselves being used as industrial supplies. Being blasted into the night sky or spun round on a Catherine wheel is nowhere near a much fun as it sounds. It’s up to one young Tollin to save his people from becoming an ingredient. In “Sparkler and the Purple Death” our hero looks execution in the face. Luckily, the executioner’s mask in backwards. Finally, in “Windbags and Dark Tollins” Tollin society faces a threat from the Dorset countryside, which, again, is much more frightening and nail-bitingly dramatic than it actually sounds.

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