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I Am Rome

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I Am Rome is an historical fiction telling of Julius Caesar’s life. The story based around a legal case he prosecuted against Gnaeus Dollabella, with flashbacks to specific times in Caesar’s life leading up to the court case. Some liberties are taken, particularly with Caesar’s wife Cornelia, to make the story flow better.
The story alternates between an historical retelling of some events – the siege of Mytilene for example – and the intrigue of an attempt to prosecute a citizen whose position has protected him from any accountability for his action or inaction. The latter portions being interesting social commentary on some current issues in the US today.
Recommended for those who like historical fiction with a pulpy twist..

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Brilliantly written, the book of Julius Caesar starting at 99 B.C. was powerful, thought-provoking and captivating.

You’d think that much has changed during this time. Yet, it could easily be a story from the present time – sadly -- as not much has changed with divided political agendas. In Caesar’s time there was the wealthy conservatives known as the optimates and the populares in support of the working people.

Caesar came from a strong ancient lineage where his father and brother-in-law were involved with the top ranks of the military. After they died, Caesar’s life was challenged by the dictator Sulla, a greedy, social-climbing senator who broke promises for his personal gains. He would execute anyone that would oppose him. It was easy to visualize this person with such ruthless political dominance. Yet, there was one person that he was worried about: Caesar.

After Sulla passed, his closest trusted follower, Senator Dolabella, was accused of stealing money from their compatriots. Dolabella like Sulla was noted to be cruel and crooked with unthinkable wealth and power. He would hire assassins to murder witnesses. Caesar, a lawyer, at 23 years old was appointed in 77 B.C. as his prosecutor.

The author’s knowledge of this era is incredible – a time when Rome was undergoing wars in Africa, Asia and surrounding areas with thousands of men in combat. He jumps around to give readers the background of the characters which leads to the trial. There was one part where women slaves were abused which was harsh but realistically portrayed.

This book is highly recommended especially for those who devour good historical accounts. It’s one of those stories you can’t stop talking about. It’s packed with wisdom and intelligent ways that made Caesar a historical figure -- remembered for over 2,000 years.

My thanks to Ballantine Books and NetGalley for allowing me to read a copy of this advanced book with an expected release date of March 5, 2024.

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Thank you net galley for the advance reader copy of this novel. This was a time period I wanted to read more about but the writing style wasn't for me. Lots of good historical information in here!

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I received this book through NetGalley, and while I did not request this book myself as it is not typically the type of book I look for, I do appreciate receiving it to review. Taking that into account, I did find myself not 100% invested in this story as it wasn't the type of content I personally enjoy reading. That being said, the writing was good, and I can see why others really enjoy this story.

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Introducing a character from history from before he was famous, like hearing about General Patton when he was still a lieutenant. Interesting and fun.

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If men always think about the Roman Empire, then they would enjoy this. There are battles, corruption, love, and political intrigue. This book is about Julius Caesar and centers around his first major political trial in Rome. The story goes back and forth through time to show you how people and events helped him became the man we remember. How he became Rome.

Roman history is bloody and brutal and it is portrayed clearly in this book but not excessively. It is used to show the world that Caesar lived in and how he had to navigate in it without making it gruesome to read.

There are lots of Latin and Greek phrases in the book but there are footnotes with the translation if it isn’t expressly explained in the story.

The author truly did their research! You can tell by all the little details from how the Roman soldiers were dressed, their weapons, and even their battle techniques. There is also the religions of the Romans and Greeks and the traditions of each that is woven in with detail. The references to many different myths, legends, and literature that the Caesar would have been familiar with are also mentioned and quoted at times. Details matter and these details helped me feel like I was reading a first hand account of the different events in the book.

* Special thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for early access to this book in exchange for an honest review.

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I have always been interested in Julius Caesar, so I was eager to read this novel, especially since its author is such an acclaimed one. However, I was somewhat disappointed. The novel tells the story of a young Caesar and focuses on his dealings as a lawyer, especially of his prosecution of Dolabella, who was the Roman governor of Macedonia, but who is accused of embezzlement and rape. Although I found this to be overall an interesting read, I was not as engaged as much as I though I would be and found that portions of the novel seemed way too long and drawn out (and the novel is a long one to begin with!), so much so that I felt as though I was slogging through it. Additionally, even though I learned more about Caesar and this period of Roman history than I knew before, I did find some historical inaccuracies to be pretty offputting. All in all, I thought this was a good read (albeit a really long one), but not a great one. Thanks to the publisher and to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC.

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"Discover the runaway #1 international bestseller that has captured readers the world over - and reminds us all why we remember the name Julius Caesar.

Every legend has a beginning...

Rome, 77 B.C. The corrupt Senator Dolabella is about to go on trial for his crimes.

But Dolabella owns the jury. He's hired the best lawyers in the city. And he's very willing to use violence against those who oppose him.

In all of Rome, no man dares accept the role of prosecutor - until, against all odds, an unknown twenty-three-year-old steps out to lead the case, defend the people of the city, and defy the power of the ruling elite. That lawyer's name is Gaius Julius Caesar.

So begins Santiago Posteguillo's acclaimed masterpiece of historical fiction - a tale as epic as Caesar's life itself. An irresistible page-turning novel of politics and betrayal, grand battles and impossible odds, shocking villainy and even greater acts of courage, I Am Rome brilliantly animates the moments that shaped this extraordinary young man's fate - and in so doing, changed the course of history itself."

After watching all of I, Claudius, I'm now obsessed with all things Roman.

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I Am Rome ( This review is based on an ARC sent to me by Netgalley)
A Novel of Julius Caesar
By Santiago Posteguillo
This is relatable masterpiece of historical fiction―a tale as epic as Caesar’s life itself.
“ The Julii Caesares traced their lineage back to the goddess Venus, but the family was not snobbish or conservative-minded. It was also not rich or influential or even distinguished.”
In 84 BCE Caesar committed himself publicly to the radical side by marrying Cornelia, a daughter of Lucius Cornelius Cinna the author also describes the great love story of Julius Caesar and his wife, Cornelia.
The story is told from the perspective of many characters: Caesar, his mother, his enemies, his friends.
The main story starts out in Rome, 77 B.C. The corrupt Senator Dolabella is about to go on trial for his crimes.
The prosecutor was Gaius Julius Caesar and the corruption of the jury and the Senators is evident. Through this trial, Posteguillo shows us the animosity that existed between Julius Caesar and two of his first great adversaries: Sulla and Dolabela.
The tale is epic of politics and betrayal, battles and acts of courage and Caesar changes the course of history.
Posteguillo gives the reader a comprehensive view of Roman history.

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It is perfectly clear that this lengthy novel is a labor of love for this author and I respect that. Ancient Rome and Caesar are well represented by what seems like many hours of painstaking research. If you were not already well-informed of the decadence or harsh realities that existed in this era, you might be a little surprised or even disgusted at times. It was interesting to explore an earlier period of Caesar’s life, as he was growing into an influential political player within the Roman Empire, an esteemed role that he held for a few prosperous years. This story highlights the dangerous times he lived in and how truly precarious any role of leadership could be in such an age of brutality. Despite my absolute love of historical fiction, I cannot, in all honesty, say that I was overjoyed by this particular read. If you enjoy novels that contain cruel, unlikeable characters and sadistic acts of violence this is for you.  

I'd like to thank NetGalley for an advanced copy of I Am Rome for my unbiased evaluation.  2.5 stars

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This isn't a book I would normally read, I'll start off by saying. While I grew up with a history buff brother - and one who loved Julius Caesar especially, I've never had more than a passing interest.

I was invited by the publisher through NetGalley to read this book, and when I saw the title and what it was about, I gave it a try. Part of me felt I owed it to my brother to finally find out who one of his favorite historical figures really was. And oh my gosh, what a great decision! I would have missed out on so much!

Centering around the trial against the corrupt senator Dollabella, whom no one would have though anyone was brave enough - or foolish enough - to try accusing. But Caesar does, asked to represent a group of Macedonians who have been grievously wronged. Our story also goes back to Caesar's birth and his childhood, pivotal moments throughout his youth and early days leading up to the trial, as well as before his birth, following his uncle Marius and setting the tone of what the Rome looked like that Caesar grew up in.

I've always thought of ancient Rome as bloodthirsty and corrupt. I'm sure there were some great achievements from that ancient civilization, but they've always been lost on me. Spoiler alert - Rome of Caesar's day was bloodthirsty and corrupt, and the common people were oppressed and ruled by fear. I didn't realize how much there was a spark, a hope for change. It came many times, represented and movements led by several men. But you can see how hot that fire burns, and those hopes come to rest on the shoulders of a young man by the name of Julius Caesar.

I am so thankful I got the chance to read this ARC, and also got to learn something so new! For lifelong history fans, or ones just starting to step out of their comfort zone, this was the perfect book for me. Denser than what I usually read, I did take a slower approach to reading, breaking it up into a few chapters at a time, to better absorb everything and really get a deeper understanding.

Also - for those of you like me who finish this and think - but what about the rest of his life? Did Caesar accomplish what he set out to? Did he exact change? There's a second book on it's way - published in Europe first, so it'll take a bit with translation. But watch out, I'll definitely be keeping a close eye on the publishing news for the next one!

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As someone who doesn't really have a very good working understanding of the Roman Empire, this was a great book that introduced me to the idea of Julius Caesar and his history without being too overwhelming. The story jumps between the "modern day" for Caesar - when he is prosecuting Dolabella, and his past via meeting his wife, and fighting in various places. The story was clearly well researched and very thoughtfully written. The characters were realistic - not dry like history - especially this period - can be. There were clearly spots in which there was seriously upsetting points for some [trigger warning I will say for sexual violence] however, it was handled I though very well. I would recommend this book if you are like me and want to learn more about Caesar and Rome without picking up a dry non-fiction book.

This ebook was provided in exchange for an honest review.

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What a historical ride of thrilling and monumental moments. A great read for those who have studied and read about Caesar and Rome.

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I really tried to get into this book. It's so detailed that it doesn't quite read like fiction. I love this time and was really looking forward to reading about Julius Caesar in this manner. I found myself not wanting to pick this back up because I really had to focus which is not something I want in this type of book.

Thank you to NetGalley and Ballantine Books for the review copy of this book.

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The book was well written, and interesting from a historical standpoint. I picked it up because it was a little out of my typical choices. But I think I just lost interest because it was so detailed and lengthy, especially regarding the courtroom battle, which the whole book centered around, and mostly was about the politics and brutality of the time. There were so many characters I lost track of who was who doing what often.

It was a hard one for me to get into as well because it was just steeped in constant brutality and betrayal. And it probably was just that time period but good Lord, all these people are awful if this is accurate. It just made it hard for me to connect with or like anyone in the book.

I have read some reviews talk about the lack of historical accuracy but I know next to nothing about this time period so I can’t really speak to that. And as a fictionalized version, I would assume license has simply been taken, so that didn’t factor in for me.

It was an interesting book but not one I can say I enjoyed.

Thanks to Netgalley for the advanced copy of this book. All opinions are mine.

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This book was a struggle for me. I love ancient Rome, and I absolutely respect authors taking liberties with stories we know well. I don't know that I needed to know about Caesar's early life. It seemed like I Am Rome actively avoided the more exciting parts of his life, which made it a very slow read, even for an ancient lover like me.

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I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
This is the first book in a series about Julius Caesar and I wanted to like it but it was not for me.

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This book bored me to tears.
I kept going back to it, and I realized each time that I really did not care what happened next.
The settings were laid out, but it read more like a play than a novel.
The characters were clear; there was no confusion as to who was who (and what side they were on.)
The "action", if you want to call it that, was stilted. It did not move along.
I was disappointed in this book.
I give it 2 stars for the effort. I would not recommend this book.

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I am Rome is a fairly straightforward and simplified account of the early life of Caesar, and the beginnings of how he came to be the man who is remembered today. It is also a history of Rome at that time. This novel, which does take some little literary license with known history, clearly lays out many of the events occurring in Rome during Caesar's youth and young adulthood, including the wars and the political infighting that was ongoing during this time, and how they affected his life and his family. My main quibble, other than that, is that the story is very choppy at times, jumping from present to the past at times with the turn of every page, more like a screenplay than a novel. And of course, as with any historical fiction, the conversations/dialogue are what the writer supposes/imagines them to be. But all in all, a very nice intro to ancient Rome.
Many thanks to Ballantine/Random House for the e-arc. Probably a 3.5 star read for me, rounded up to 4.

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I Am Rome is an interesting historical fiction novel about Julius Caesar that I thoroughly enjoyed. Rather than discussing Caesar's more famous accomplishments, the book fictionalizes his childhood and young adult years and focuses primarily on his first trial as a prosecutor. I enjoyed learning more about Rome in general and Caesar specifically, and I loved the author's take on Caesar's internal motivations. The author references the historical documents he utilized, going so far as to have characters say the most important comments their real-life counterparts made. The book "gives flesh" to a time period we all learn about in school, but delves deeper than just the facts.

The book is long but doesn't read long; in fact, I read it faster than another book that was half the size. The story is compelling and the interpersonal relationships are especially interesting. I was sometimes confused by the shifting chapters, which jump time periods and locations very quickly, and there's a lot of "head hopping" by the omniscient narrator. Posteguillo also describes things a little too much, especially during Caesar's biggest speeches. I found myself wishing he would stop interjecting minor details about the setting and just let the character speak. Finally, I found the details in the s*x scenes were a little too much. There's no need to describe a dictator's abuse, for example; we know dictators are abusive. These minor issues didn't detract from the overall story, though, and I look forward to reading more books in this series.

Thank you to Random House and NetGalley for the eARC in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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