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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (640 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Steven Saylor Narrator: James Langton Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2010 ISBN: 9781427210920
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"May Steven Saylor's Roman empire never fall. A modern master of historical fiction, Saylor convincingly transports us into the ancient world...enthralling!" —USA Today on Roma

Continuing the saga begun in his New York Times bestselling novel Roma, Steven Saylor charts the destinies of the aristocratic Pinarius family, from the reign of Augustus to height of Rome's empire. The Pinarii, generation after generation, are witness to greatest empire in the ancient world and of the emperors that ruled it—from the machinations of Tiberius and the madness of Caligula, to the decadence of Nero and the golden age of Trajan and Hadrian and more.
Empire is filled with the dramatic, defining moments of the age, including the Great Fire, the persecution of the Christians, and the astounding opening games of the Colosseum. But at the novel's heart are the choices and temptations faced by each generation of the Pinarii.
Steven Saylor once again brings the ancient world to vivid life in a novel that tells the story of a city and a people that has endured in the world's imagination like no other.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Meticulous research and brilliant storytelling... What impressed me most was the novel's powerful emotional impact: the pain of unrequited love, hopes disappointed or friendship betrayed as well as the joy of a love returned, spiritual enlightenment or simply being alive. This is a great book by a great writer. newbooks magazine
  • Love stories, including forbidden ones, intrigue, action in the Arena, thrilling escapes, tons of 'it can't be true but actually it was' anecdotes...as well as many superb characters--you will find all in these almost 600 pages. With extraordinary detail and world building, Empire is a clear work of love for the author and the single best novel he has written. Fantasy Book Critic
  • Historical events provide plenty of depraved details and comparisons that beg to be drawn to today; lions and gladiators in the arena, volcanic eruptions, live burials, and master illusionists abound to fire up any number of dinner conversations....Recommended for anyone who enjoys Roman history. Library Journal
  • Saylor...vividly describes how the family survives the volcanic destruction of Pompeii, the burning of Rome, and the persecution of Jews and Christians. Publishers Weekly
  • Filled with tales of intrigue, ambition, violence, and suspense...a vivid evocation of the bloodthirsty, chaotic spectacle that was ancient Rome, and an example of how the best historical fiction brings the past to life. Archaeology Magazine

  • “The Pinarii characters afford an excellent lens through which to view both imperial and daily life, and the great events of the span from 14 CE through 141 CE, including the Great Fire, the persecutions of Christians, numerous military campaigns, and, of course, insanity and perversion among the emperors. Saylor is an excellent guide through this fascinating underworld. Superb historical fiction. Booklist (starred review)

  • Saylor's encyclopedic knowledge and sense of detail are on ample display, as is his impressive ability to weave centuries of history into an entertaining narrative...[a] magnificent feat of storytelling. Historical Fiction Review
  • May one day be seen as his magnum opus. It is certainly the most ambitious of his novels thus far, and the grandest in its sweeping scope and attention to detail...full of power and pathos. Ben Witherington, The Bible and Culture
  • I rate a book by whether I simply read it or devour it. This I devoured. Rob Cain, Ancient Rome Refocused

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tom Landry | 2/8/2014

    " I was having a hard time deciding whether to give this book three or four stars. I was reading it from the mindset of it being Roma part 2 which it basically is. What I noticed was that the individual stories went on for a long time. The first half of the book covered only two people. Well actually three but two were at the same time and only one of them was the dominant character. Roma had covered several different people/time periods by half way. Roma also covered a lot more of the development of Rome. Initially that all bothered me but now that I am finished and look at it as a whole I am satisfied. Empire covered much more of each persons life so there were still many different stories for each one. I have to admit it did seem to slow a bit in the middle of the book but otherwise had a good pace. Roma covered over 1000 years where Empire was less than 150. In the end I was left with a good feeling and was happy I read this book. I think anyone who enjoyed Roma would enjoy Empire as well. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Harley Gee | 2/5/2014

    " Fun read. Continues on in the same vein as Roma except we cover a hundred years or so instead of a thousand. Nero, Domitian, Caligula, are depicted as excessive and capricious. They apparently lived up to their reputations. Lots of gladiator and coliseum action. I look forward to a sequel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Helen | 1/31/2014

    " Somewhat reminiscent of "I,Claudius" but not as well written. Actually, the writing style is fairly mediocre, but the subject matter is interesting. If you like the history of ancient Rome, you will probably like this one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Travis | 1/21/2014

    " Had its moments, but was not as good as his other works. I liked ROMA more, but that might just be because I enjoy the history of the Republic more than the Empire. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christine | 1/14/2014

    " Even better than the first, am looking forward to another in this series "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kay | 1/1/2014

    " I read this book as well as Roma, one after another. I'm not an historian and generally read suspense but something about the cover blurb caught my interest and I'm so glad it did. Excellent read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jude Grebeldinger | 12/28/2013

    " The Empire of Rome told with cunning realism,humanizing and detailing life in ancient times. Looking forward to reading book previous books by Saylor. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David Gott | 12/27/2013

    " Not nearly as good as Roma, but still worth a read if you like this type of book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Shelly | 12/22/2013

    " I liked that he did a continuation of the family lines, but I didn't like where it ended. But I admit that is personal preference. I can't stand Roman Historical fiction with a Christian angle, even though I know it's inevitable historically speaking, I still don't prefer it fictionally speaking. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nicole | 12/5/2013

    " Very good. Made me research the empirers of rome. very intersting especially when they talk about buildings I have seen. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joe Pecht | 11/7/2013

    " One of my favorite authors. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ian | 10/26/2013

    " An enjoyable read. Better than the first in the series. The story of the fascinum and the Pinarius family is carried forward through the early empire to the time of Hadrian. Well told, a few twists and turns. The darks side of the emperors is revealed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lukas Nisztuk | 10/18/2013

    " liked it a lot though not as much as ROMA. Still it was pleasure to read it. I am expecting 3rd part to be published ,otherwise the work would be incomplete "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melinda | 2/3/2013

    " I was absolutely gripped by both Roma and Empire. It has rekindled my interest in Ancient Rome, particularly after making my second trip to Rome earlier this year. How I wish there was a third volume to jump straight into! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Piper | 2/2/2013

    " I didn't finish this one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vickie | 10/7/2012

    " The story of imperial Rome (from Augustus to Hadrian)from the perspective of several generations of one family. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 + Dragonfly+ | 8/8/2012

    " I won this BFB book from first reads, My apologies to the author for not having read the first book. Having said that I just wanted to say I enjoyed reading this book. Made me remember how much I liked reading about history while in school. Look forward to more from Steven Saylor. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pamela Mclaren | 9/30/2011

    " A wonderful intriguing book about a single family and the twists and turns of fate as they live through some of Rome's most renown emperors from Tiberius to Caligula, Nero and Hadrian. Truly he makes the history come alive. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Allen D. | 5/29/2011

    " The sequel to Roma, following the same blood-line from around 14 -140 AD. While I prefer Gordanius the Finder stories, this was still an interesting, quick read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shawn | 3/11/2011

    " A raucus, racy ride! You'll definitely want to read the first book Roma, to get an idea of the family and characters. But this was far more interesting than Roma, and definitely more sexual! Wow, those Roman emperors were a randy, unpredictable lot. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joe | 2/28/2011

    " One of my favorite authors. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vickie | 2/7/2011

    " The story of imperial Rome (from Augustus to Hadrian)from the perspective of several generations of one family. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David | 2/2/2011

    " Nice follow on to his book Roma. Good read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Walter | 1/2/2011

    " heavy - physically and philosophically "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 John | 12/29/2010

    " Saylor did a good job with the history of Rome. But the book lacked a central theme and ended without a flare. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Helen | 11/21/2010

    " Somewhat reminiscent of "I,Claudius" but not as well written. Actually, the writing style is fairly mediocre, but the subject matter is interesting. If you like the history of ancient Rome, you will probably like this one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jude | 11/8/2010

    " The Empire of Rome told with cunning realism,humanizing and detailing life in ancient times. Looking forward to reading book previous books by Saylor. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David | 11/1/2010

    " Not nearly as good as Roma, but still worth a read if you like this type of book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jesse | 11/1/2010

    " Love it so far. Loved the last one. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John | 10/31/2010

    " I thought he did a great job of using members of a fictional family to let us learn about the roman empire from Augustus to Trajan. The book is well-written and kept my interest. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kay | 10/27/2010

    " I read this book as well as Roma, one after another. I'm not an historian and generally read suspense but something about the cover blurb caught my interest and I'm so glad it did. Excellent read. "

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About the Author
Author Steven Saylor

Steven Saylor is a freelance writer, editor, and the author of novels set in ancient Rome. He studied history at the University of Texas at Austin. Saylor’s writing has appeared in the Threepenny Review, San Francisco Bay Guardian, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, and the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. He lives in Berkeley, California, and Austin, Texas.

About the Narrator

James Langton, born in York, England, trained as an actor at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. Winner of fourteen AudioFile Earphones Awards, he has performed many voice-overs and narrated numerous audiobooks, including the international bestsellers The Brotherhood of the Holy Shroud by Julia Navarro, The Virtues of War by Steven Pressfield, and The Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan. He is also a professional musician who led the internationally renowned Pasadena Roof Orchestra from 1996 to 2002.