SUMMARY: After fleeing Rome, Julius Caesar serves on a ship where his military career starts climbing higher and higher. When he is released by the pirates who had been holding him and his comrades for ransom, he forms an army to get his revenge. Far away, Marcus Brutus makes his own career, forming another army from the remnants of the Ceasar’s uncle’s legionaries. Upon Julius’ return, the two friends must join their forces against the biggest enemy they had met so far – Spartacus’ rebellious army of slaves.
In this engaging sequel to The Gates of Rome, Iggulden presents the beginnings of Caesar’s military and political career. Being taken hostage by pirates, Caesar has a lot of time to plan how to avenge his uncle and regain his status.
The Death of Kings is a dynamic book, Caesar’s dealings with the pirates, assembling an army after being released and his battles in war and at court alternating with the life of his family and friends. As his military and political ambition and achievements grow, his family and his friends who used to be a source of his strength are more and more pushed in the background.
As Caesar’s charismatic personality of a leader begins to take shape, his relationships with other people become more and more lose, slowly isolating him in loneliness. The discrepancies endangering the bonds between Caesar and his best friend Marcus deepen. Every success brings him new enemies, while the admiration of the masses increases.
The Death of Kings gives a believable insight into the life of Julius Caesar and the development of his personality. It is a gripping book I could hardly put down.
RECOMMENDATION: The Death of Kings is a perfect book for people who are interested in history, but are bored by facts alone. Iggulden fictionalizes and dramatizes historical events to give them greater appeal. However, at the end of the book, he gives an account of fictionalized and dramatized events and their actual version, which gives the book and additional value.