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I Am Rome

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Member Reviews

“I Am Rome” is historical fiction, not to be confused with an encyclopedia, or a reference work. It’s based on the life of Julius Caesar, but with the added imaginative details provided by the author. He added these imaginative details for the reader's entertainment. His narrative creativity made this book interesting enough for me to read it through without it slipping out of my hands.
I’m fascinated by Julius Caesar, but am never disciplined enough to read reference books about him. This novel, granted with some added flare, kept my interest. And common sense tells me that conversations that were held between Julius and his wife while in the bedroom are pure speculation, but I thoroughly enjoyed the story plot their intense love affair created.
Filled with anecdotes, battles, trials, and tribulations that developed Julius into the man who faced Senator Dolabella (what a brute and a pig) in the courtroom.
Thanks so much to Random House Publishing Group- Ballantine for an ARC in exchange for my honest review. The publishing date is March 5, 2024.

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I was recommended this book by the publisher. Wasn't sure about it, but thought, why not, give it try. Turned out that I was really surprised by this novel. The subject matter, Julius Caesar and Rome, was completely unknown to me. What I thought was going to be a lot of hard to pronounce names and dates about ancient history turned into a book that I just couldn't put down. It was really good!
The author does a fantastic job of telling the story of young Julius Caesar and his life in Roman society. It seems like the treachery, gamesmanship, and politics of Rome make our current dysfunctional federal government look like preschoolers. The story is full of action, intrigue, and lessons about life in Rome.
The character development is great. The settings are described well, so you can see them in your mind as you read. The flow is a bit choppy, as the author keeps going back and forth in time for different scenes, but it works in the end.
I understand that this is the translation of a novel by a Spanish author, but the translators did a great job. Upon finishing the book, I was so impressed that I searched online and found that he has many novels about the Roman Empire. Hopefully the publishers will see fit to release his other novels in English soon! I would definitely read them!

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Wow! Enjoyed this much more than I expected. Easy to read and hard to put down. Thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book

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I Am Rome is an incredible legal thriller that can only be described as epic. I think this book has been released in Spanish previously and has only recently been translated into English. I will be looking for copies of his other works because this one is just phenomenal.

This book is a historical fiction written by a mastermind. I never questioned the legitimacy of some of the stories because he has such a handle on the facts of Julius Caesar’s life- that you find yourself marveling in wonder. I will point out that I am not a subject matter expert on Gaius Julius Caesar, but I am versed enough on the general details of his life to be amazed by how well Santiago captures the essence of Caesar: bold, charismatic, intelligent, articulate, shrewd, partially arrogant at times. He was true to his personality throughout with no deviations that distracted from the storyline. Additionally, the use of foreshadowing throughout was next level, the work of genius. And the speeches. The speeches by the heroes were so spirited and moving - it’s so hard for me to think of a favorite, but the closing arguments by Gaius Caesar had me floored.

The book tells the story of a time before Gaius Julius Caesar was the emperor of Rome- when he was a young man and his life was at risk by nature of his nearest relations. Dolabella is an untouchable, corrupt senator guilty of heinous crimes and because his power is so absolute, no one will try him— no one except Julius Caesar. Interspersed throughout the legal game of cat and mouse, we meet the family Julius and hear their histories and victories in battle. This book was so well written, you can almost watch the drama unfold in your mind’s eye. It’s descriptive without being overly verbose, and it’s action packed and full of dark twisty turns enough to keep you guessing.

The only things I didn’t personally care for were the explicit details of the crimes of the senator as well as other leaders. I wouldn’t typically argue in favor of a trigger warning for a book, but the section on the senator’s crimes is highly graphic and barbaric.

This is a 500 page work of genius that I read in two days. I inhaled it. Could not put it down. If you like legal thrillers and intrigue with war heroes and good versus evil, this is definitely one to add to your collection.

I’d like to thank Random House and NetGalley for the eARC in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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It was okay, learned a bit more about history. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to read this book.

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Review of Advance Reader’s Copy

From infancy, his mother told Gaius Julius Caesar that he was uniquely special, that he is Rome.

As some advocate for change, powerful senators want to keep things as they are and the optimates murder the troublemakers. And now, at the age of twenty-three, Caesar steps up to prosecute Gnaeus Cornelius Dolabella, an ally of the tyrannical Lucius Cornelius Sulla, the former dictator of Rome. Dolabella, accused of corruption while serving as governor of Macedonia, holds unthinkable wealth and power.

Although Labienus and others try to talk him out of prosecuting the powerful senator, Caesar is adamant, even though he knows that no one the wealthy [and cruel] Dolabella can buy off the tribunal or hire assassins.

How will Caesar fare in this highly charged political battle? And what of the conflict between the optimates and the populares?

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Here, in the first of six planned volumes focused on Julius Caesar, readers explore the little-known first twenty-three years of Caesar’s life. Set in 77 BC and with little historical documentation available, some of the telling of this tale comes from the mind of the author. But, with strong, well-developed characters, the history of Rome during this time comes to life as Caesar defends against the corrupt Dolabella.

A strong sense of place, an intriguing plot, and characters with depth all work together to keep the pages turning as the narrative leads to a gripping courtroom scene. Readers who enjoy historical fiction will find much to appreciate here.

Recommended.

I received a free copy of this book from Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Ballantine Books and NetGalley and am voluntarily leaving an honest review.
#IAmRome #NetGalley

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I really tried to read this and love it, but simply could not get into it. There seemed to be so many names and details that I couldn't find the story. And the dialogue just did not seem natural. I appreciate the opportunity to read this, but I could not finish. For that reason I will not post a review to Goodreads.

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Thanks Netgalley for allowing me to read this book. A man is awaiting trial when a young man steps up, many lives will be changed. This book made me look at Julius Ceasar in a new light

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This year in reading has definitely been about departures from what I usually grabbed to read, and stepping outside of those boxes. A good example of this is my reading of Santiago Posteguillo's "I Am Rome", a historical fiction about the rise of, you guessed it, my birthday buddy, Julius Ceasar.
The year is 77 B.C and a trial is about to take place charging Senator Dolabella for various crimes. Story as old as time, the legal system is not a fair one and the jury and court has been bought and paid for. Career suicide awaits anyone willing to take on this case, as well as the threat of death to you and your family, but one brave unknown lawyer steps up to fight against the corruption. Ceasar.
What follows is a book that feels like an epic movie that gives us background stories and one hell of a courtroom trial tale and the aftermath. I wasn't sure that I'd really enjoy this one, (contrary to popular internet belief, some of us never once think about Rome)but I really did enjoy the courtroom saga and behind the scenes back stabbing. No pun intended.

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When the editor from Ballantine Books asked me to read, I Am Rome (Roma Soy Yo), because I had enjoyed The Tainted Cup so much, I was leery. It certainly wouldn’t have been a normal pick for me. But I found myself really enjoying it! Despite the naysayers who say it isn’t factual enough, I learned a lot about Rome and Julius Caesar and many of the other characters in the novel as I was constantly Googling them as I read. So, the book was more than real enough for me. Also, it was a compelling read with plenty of drama. I normally don’t like reading about battles and courtroom scenes, but Posteguillo managed to make those parts interesting to me, as well. Julius Caesar is only twenty-three when this book ends so he has another thirty-three to go before he is assassinated. I am looking forward to reading the translation of Maldita Roma, the continuing saga of Julius Caesar.

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Santiago Posteguillo does a great job in creating a historical fiction novel about Julius Caesar, it had everything that I wanted from this type of book. It felt like they belonged in the world and the characters didn’t feel like modern characters. I never felt bored when reading this.

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I loved the story, the world building and meeting the different characters. I felt completely immersed in the story and couldn't stop reading it.

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This is historical fiction biography about the early life of Julius Caesar up to the time that he leaves Rome due to the potential for attempts on his life. It is well written and an engaging read especially for those interested in history and what may have taken place to fill in the blanks of the historical record. I assume that this is the first novel of a series that will fill out the rest of his life.

I received a free Kindle copy of this book courtesy of publisher with the understanding that I would post a review on Goodreads, Net Galley, Amazon and my nonfiction book review blog.

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I Am Rome by Santiago Posteguillo

I was a mediocre Latin student until Latin II and I fell in love with the Chronicles of Caesar. I ended up with a decent grade. This book was reminiscent of those readings with a little more life and extrapolation. It was not an exciting read perhaps because I knew the end.
If you have never read anything about Caesar you may enjoy this. I found it a touch tedious.

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This is a very good historical novel. I found it both entertaining and instructive.

Penned by Spanish author Santiago Posteguillo and translated into English by Frances Riddle, “I Am Rome” tells the story of a young Julius Caesar as he grows into manhood and battles against a Roman Senate controlled by a rich and powerful elite--the “optimates”--seeking to retain Rome's riches for themselves while keeping average citizens poor and powerless.

The novel revolves around Caesar’s prosecution of Optimate politician Dolabella for the crimes of rape, theft, and embezzlement while serving as the Roman governor of Macedonia. In between scenes from the trial, Señor Posteguillo explores Caesar’s home life, his family, their support of the “populares” (the optimates' opposition), their conflict with dictator Sulla, Caesar's escape from Sulla's death sentence, and Caesar's first military battle. Posteguillo also delves into Roman politics and the concerns and workings of the Roman Empire.

I found the novel challenging at times—but in a good way. Posteguillo does not shy away from using ancient Latin and Greek to give his readers a sense of time and place. Sometimes the text reads more like a history book than a novel. There are even extensive footnotes (something rarely seen in fiction). The novel is very well-researched.

Posteguillo portrays Romans who are consumed by the quest for and use of power--real-life figures such as the famous general Marius (Caesar’s uncle), Cicero, Sulla, Dolabella, Crassus, Pompey, and many others. And he shows us a Rome that is filled with cruelty, danger, and betrayal, where someone who steps out of line—no matter how far up the “food chain” they might be—can be murdered at any moment and then have their head stuck on a pike for presentation to the emperor. But it is also a Rome in which men like Caesar risk everything to bring justice to the empire, for the good of the empire and its citizens.

Some reviewers have had trouble with the structure and the translation, and I can see their points. The novel does skip around to various times and locations and can be confusing, especially in the beginning. In some places, the prose can seem very dated and, in others, jarringly modern, employing present-day vernacular that no ancient Roman would ever have uttered. The novel also seemed overlong at times. Some scenes and speeches could have used a good edit.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed “I Am Rome” thoroughly. The story was absorbing (and for the most part true). Plus, I learned much about Caesar and Roman history that my schoolbooks never covered.

My thanks to NetGalley, author Santiago Posteguillo, and publisher Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine Books for providing me with a complimentary ARC. The foregoing is my independent opinion.

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In Rome of 77 B.C., the patrician senators were in the driver’s seat. One of their most corrupt members, Senator Dolabella, went on trial for corruption committed during his stint as governor of Macedonia. He had the best lawyers, he’d bought off the judges, and he was known for using violence against any who opposed him. No lawyer would dare prosecute the case. Until an unknown twenty-three-year-old stepped forward to deny the power of the elites. His name: Gaius Julius Caesar.

Aided by his best friend Labienus, Caesar attempts to beat the odds and hold the corrupt Dolabella accountable. As the case moves forward, Posteguillo deftly weaves in the history of Caesar’s uncle Marius, a populist leader who opposed the Dictator Sulla and his ally Dolabella, as well as Caesar’s own past. As the action builds, we begin to see the qualities that made Caesar Caesar. The author does a terrific job of getting under the skin of a dry historical figure, revealing his doubts as well as his ambitions. The rigorous attention to detail, along with Posteguillo’s narrative skills, make this a fascinating read for anyone drawn to this period of history.

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Loved it, loved it, loved it. As happens so many times when reading historical novels or history of this period, one cannot help but see and become nearly overwhelmed by comparisons of that time with ours. Evil, power-driven people taking personal advantage of a great civilization and destroying it without a care in the process while driving over anything and everyone that would get in their way. That is the story of our times, and the story of the Roman Empire in many ways. Far from being some dry diatribe, I Am Rome breathes life into Julias Ceasar, his family and associates, and characters of the time they shared the stage with as the future of Rome was decided. Lovers of historical fiction will love this book but so will those who are just looking for a good story to become enveloped in.

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I enjoyed reading the historical fiction novel about Julius Caesar's early life "I am Rome" by Santiago Posteguillo. Having enjoyed reading other historical fiction taking place in ancient Rome, I was looking to being entertained while learning a bit more about Roman history and Julius Caesar. Posteguillo's book absolutely met my expectations. The book felt more authentic than other books I have read in the treatment of ancient Roman culture, society, and individuals. In addition to learning about Caesar's family and the events in first third or so of his life through the entertaining lens of a novel, I also came to understand other influential public Roman individuals from that period.

At 624 pages, this is not a short book, though it was easy to read and become I became deeply immersed in the various suspenseful plots of (and against) Caesar's early life. When I finished this book, I was curious as to how faithful it was to the known history, and enjoyed reading the encyclopedia entries that covered the events in this book. Yes, even at a high level there were differences. It seems to be within the bounds of artistic license, though a serious historian may not be so forgiving... I was sad that the book ended before finishing the full story of Caesar's life and death ("Et tu Brute?"). On the other hand, I am happy that I can look forward to more Posteguillo novels about Caesar.

I recommend this book for people interested in historical fiction, ancient Rome, and Julius Caesar. I look forward to Santiago Posteguillo's next novels in this series. And I thank both the author and Ballantine Books for kindly providing a temporary electronic review copy of this work.

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I stopped after chapter 2 (4%). I was sort of bored, but that said, I’m really not the target audience. I don’t read a ton of history. It’s well written and will likely go over well with the target audience.

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House for the ARC.

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I don't know what to say about this book. It definitely not what I expected. Couldn't finish the book.

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