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Summary

From the best-selling author of Warrior of Rome comes the first book in a new series set in third century Rome, a dramatic era of murder, coup, counter-rebellions and civil war. In a single year six Emperors will lay claim to the Throne of the Caesars…Spring AD235 Dawn on the Rhine. A surprise attack and the brutal murder of the Emperor Alexander and his mother ends the Severan dynasty and shatters four decades of Roman certainty.

Military hero Maximinus Thrax is the first Caesar risen from the barracks. A simple man of steel and violence, he will fight for Rome.The Senators praise the new Emperor with elaborate oratory, but will any of them accept a Caesar who was once a shepherd boy? And in the streets of the eternal city, others merely pray to escape imperial notice.

In the north, as the merciless war against the barbarians consumes men and treasure, rebellion and personal tragedy drive Maximinus to desperate extremes, bloody revenge and the borders of sanity.

Iron & Rust, the first book in a major new series, creates a world both sophisticated and brutal, yet firmly rooted in history; a world of intrigue, murder, passion and war, a world where men will kill to sit on the Throne of the Caesars.

©2014 Harry Sidebottom (P)2014 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

"Sidebottom's prose blazes with searing scholarship" ( The Times)
"Superior fiction, with depth, authenticity and a sense of place" ( TLS)
"A storming triumph…wonderful fight scenes, deft literary touches and salty dialogue" ( Daily Telegraph)
"Explosive action and knuckle-whitening drama"( Guardian)
"Sidebottom knows how to keep readers hooked from first to last" ( Daily Express)
"The latest in this series of novels on Rome's Persian Wars, Lion of the Sun, is, like the first two, a book to keep you up well past your bedtime. It's all about war and killing; I loved it"( Evening Standard)

What listeners say about Iron and Rust (Throne of the Caesars, Book 1)

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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Ok but not amazing

I found it really hard to get in to this one at points I feels more like a narrative rather then a story that you can really Imerse yourself in to. to many long list of names ect.

3 people found this helpful

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Hard going

Listened to 5 or 6 of the books before this one, But this was a very convoluted History lesson vey hard to grasp and very little action🤷‍♂️

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Wake me up when it is all over...

I have read this physical book, and it was fine. Not great, just fine. Having listened to the Warrior of Rome series by the same author, which is a great listen, I thought i would move to this series, listen to the book I knew, and then listen to the rest of the series that would be new to me.

There is not a chance I will continue however. What was OK on paper is awful in audio. The story jumps around from place to place, and from person to person, sometimes seemingly mid-sentence. When reading the book, i did not notice this so much, but when listening to it - it is just unfathomable.

What does not help is the narrators performance. It is the worst i have ever suffered ( and i really did suffer ). It is so boring, i had to take a break to go and watch some paint dry, in order to liven my day up ! At one point fairly early on there is a scene where two guys are fighting hand to hand in the midst of a battle - most narrators would give a sense of drama, of danger, of fear, of adrenaline pumping - Not this narrator - he makes it sound as if he is reading a shopping list of particularly dull ingredients..

I have never before advised people to avoid a book, as everyone has different tastes etc - but there is a first for everything, so - AVOID! AVOID! AVOID !

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Bored

Really struggled to finish this, slow, drawn out and boring story! Dull from start to finish.

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jarring performance

the narration is delivered in a jarring and oddly punctuated manner with unexpected pauses. very odd pronunciation at times.

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Lacks the Excitement of the Warrior of Rome Series

What disappointed you about Iron and Rust (Throne of the Caesars, Book 1)?

I loved the Warrior of Rome series and while this was just as well written, the novel is more political, less focused on the military and lacks the near-death excitement of following Ballista.

What character would you cut from Iron and Rust (Throne of the Caesars, Book 1)?

I didn't know who to like. There is no main character and as the story jumps around the Empire I cannot engage with any of the characters as they move fleetingly through the narrative.

1 person found this helpful

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Sorry, but ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ...

What would have made Iron and Rust (Throne of the Caesars, Book 1) better?

There are some interesting parts, but more often than not the narrative drags. Not consistently entertaining; often slips into tedium and the mundane. Too many names to remember; too many unrelated scenes, to the point that one stops paying attention.

Has Iron and Rust (Throne of the Caesars, Book 1) put you off other books in this genre?

No. Just this series.

What three words best describe Colin Mace’s performance?

Loud, then whispers.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Boredom.

Any additional comments?

Unusual Anglization of some Latin pronunciations. You don't hear, for example, RO-man-EYE-tus rather than Ro-MAN-ee-TAS every day. Causes a few double takes.The volume of the audio is uneven. One finds oneself reaching for the volume control because one moment it will be loud and the next it will fade to a whisper.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-05-17

Great voice reading and writing but weak in other

I liked Mr. Sidebottom's "Warrior of Rome" series more as it had more "lively" plot and characters while this book is a longer version of the primary sources on the era it describes. I would certainly like more revisionist approach to this subject. though in technical sense the writing is still good.