Colleen McCullough

Connavar

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I thought this was a great series. Sulla has to be one of best characters to be written about in history. I loved the way she brought the Senate debates to life and she has a great way of using humour in the books. The last book was heart-rending in the way she depicted the end of the Republic.

One thing, I believe she has being persuaded to write another book about Anthony and Octavian.

About Octavian? really? I need books to read about him. Has she written about him already?


I hate that there arent good historical fiction books about him just cause he wasnt scandalous or war hungry enough. Its disrespecting the creator of the Roman Empire.

There are always books and movies about Ceaser(his betrayal,murder) and Commudus(the fall of rome stuff). Nero(the fire) etc

Octavian for his sake should have been less good of an emperor and have some huge wars or scandals :rolleyes:
 

svalbard

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Her sixth book in the series, The October Horse, goes right up to the battle of Phillipi. Octavian features quite heavily in the book. The seventh book, Anthony and Cleopatra is slated for a September release.

For a good read on Octavian/Augustus, look out for an author called Alan Massie. He wrote a memoir called Augustus.
 

Connavar

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A memoir? Is it a fiction story or purely historical? Cause there are alot of historic books about him but not many historical fiction.
 

svalbard

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Historical fiction, told through the eyes of Augustus. Massie has done a number of books in this vein. Caeser and King David are two to look out for.
 

Riselka

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A trip to the bookstore yesterday revealed that there is now a seventh book in the Masters of Rome series called Antony and Cleopatra. It's available in trade paperback form here in Canada, but will not be released in the US until some time in December when they will get a hardback version of it. It looks to be available in Australia as well - not surprising since she lives "down under".
 

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I have just finished reading Anthony and Cleopatra. Purchased it in the UK last week. Whilst I enjoyed it, I found the pace a bit rushed and her writing was not as good as her previous books. But it is still worth a look and there are still some vintage McCullough stories about the Senate debates.
 

Connavar

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Does Anthony and Cleopatra cover the finals years of Anthony? The war with Octavian, how they went from allies to enemies etc?


I like to watch and read about Anthony and Octavian/Augustus.


Also i wanna ask fans of her which of her works outside this series is the best? I wanna read her but i have read too many HF about Rome in the last year.
 

Riselka

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... Also i wanna ask fans of her which of her works outside this series is the best? I wanna read her but i have read too many HF about Rome in the last year.
Well, you're not getting too terribly far from Rome, but her A Song of Troy is an excellent telling of The Trojan War.
 

svalbard

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Does Anthony and Cleopatra cover the finals years of Anthony? The war with Octavian, how they went from allies to enemies etc?


I like to watch and read about Anthony and Octavian/Augustus.


Also i wanna ask fans of her which of her works outside this series is the best? I wanna read her but i have read too many HF about Rome in the last year.
It covers the whole period after the battle of Philipi. She wrote about that in her previous book the October Horse. She is quite balanced in her depiction of both Anthony and Octavian. But you are left with the feeling that if Anthony had not being such a lush he would have easily defeated Octavian.
 

Connavar

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I hope she isnt one of those that are in love with a historical character so much that she makes him bigger than he ever was..... Thats common in this genre.

How does she write Octavian? More historical correcto portrayal of his personality and ability or totaly different like Conn's Caesar series.??
 

svalbard

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Octavian is totally believable. She knows her material inside out and really gets into the minds of her characters. Her depictions of Octavian's close companions, Marcus Agrippa and Maecnas are also brilliant.

As characters go I do not think that you can get much bigger than Octavian and Mark Anthony for hubris and sense of their own self-importance.

The only thing I will say is that if you are looking for big battle scenes you will be disappointed. McCullough goes more for the politics, back stabbing and character story lines. But there are still plenty of episodes set in the legions, just no great battle descriptions.

Hope that helps.
 

Connavar

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I read HF ONLY cause the people and their times. If i wanted big battles i would read simply more fantasy......


I cant stand when people judge in advance that you read HF simply for military battles. Not my fault the most famous HF are about warring people and their heroes. Spartans,Romans,Napoleon etc.....

Sure some of my fav HF are military ones like Conn's Caesar and Ghengis,Scarrow's Legion etc But thats more to do with those writers having great characters in those times.

Heck my fav Tv show was Rome and simply cause it was so great seeing Caesar,Mark Anthony,Octavian,Cicero and The Roman political games they are almost most famous for.

Only reason i dont start reading this Rome series is simply cause i wanna read about different people and their times than The Romans. I want more ancient Greece,Hannibal,medevil euro HF etc
 

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You can also try Hannibal by Ross Leckie. There are two books by an author called George Shipman about the Trojan War. They are called Warriors in Bronze and King in Splendour. The story is told from the pov of Agamemnon and the style is gritty and realistic.

You might also like to check out Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield. This is the story of Thermoplyae and is brilliant. I highly recommend it as HF doesn't come much better than this.
 

Riselka

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Pressfield's Tides of War is a very good read too. And I second the recommendation of Gates of Fire.
 

Connavar

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Thanks both for the tips.


I knew of Manfredi and Pressfield but didnt know about R.Leckie and Shipman. A story about Trojan War from pov of Agamemnon sounds very interesting.

Next time i read HF i plan to get these books as soon i can afford a bigger haul.

Gates of Fire - Pressfield
The Last Legion -
V.M Manfredi
The Sword of Attila -
M.C Ford(ordered)
Men of Bronze -
Scott Oden(ordered)


I want a novel about Augustus too. Was wondering if anyone here have read one of these two books :AUGUSTUS by Allan Massie or AUGUSTUS by John Williams ?
 

svalbard

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I read Massie's book years ago. It is a good read, told in the form of a memoir.
 

Connavar

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The other is told in the form of letters it seems.

I plan to read Massie's first then cause it seems easier to get into the world of Augustus.

One question about Massie's book, it is somewhat historical accurate right? Specially about the things history knows about him? Wouldnt care for a 100% fiction story not about this man.
 

svalbard

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He is accurate to a point but like so much else he has to inveigh it with his own style and invent incidents to drive the plot. But he does it in a believable fashion without changing historical facts.
 
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