Long the stuff of legends, Spartacus is known to most modern readers through the classic Kubrick film version of Howard Fast’s novel. Now bestselling historical novelist Ben Kane returns to the source material and presents a lively and compelling new vision of the man who was Spartacus—Roman army auxillary, slave, gladiator and ultimately the leader of an army of slaves who nearly brought Rome to its knees. Ben Kane’s brilliant novel begins in the Thracian village to which Spartacus has returned after escaping from life as an auxiliary in the R oman army. Jealous of his attachment to Ariadne, a Dionysian priestess, the Thracian king betrays Spartacus to the Romans who take him, along with Ariadne, into captivity and to the school of gladiators at Capua. Against the background of the unbelievable brutality of gladiatorial life, Spartacus and Crixus the Gaul plan the audacious overthrow of their Roman masters. They escape and flee to Vesuvius, where they recruit and train an army of escaped slaves that will have to face the conquerors of the known world, the most successful deadly army in all of history in a battle that will set in motion the legend that is Spartacus.
- Hardcover: 480 pages
- Publisher: St. Martin’s Press; First Edition edition (June 5, 2012)
- ISBN-10: 1250001161
- ISBN-13: 978-1250001160
ABOUT THE AUTHOR…Ben Kane was born in Kenya and raised there and in Ireland. He qualified as a veterinary surgeon from University College Dublin, and worked in Ireland and the UK for several years. After that he travelled the world extensively, indulging his passion for seeing the world and learning more about ancient history. He drove around the USA in a camper van, trekked the Inca trail and took a ship to Antarctica. Seven continents and more than 65 countries later, he decided to settle down, for a while at least.
While working in Northumberland in 2001/2, his love of ancient history was fueled by visits to Hadrian’s Wall. He naïvely decided to write bestselling Roman novels, a plan which came to fruition after several years of working full time at two jobs – being a vet and writing. Retrospectively, this was an unsurprising development, because since his childhood, Ben has been fascinated by Rome, and particularly, its armies. He now lives in North Somerset with his wife and family, where he has sensibly given up veterinary medicine to write full time.
FROM THE BOOK FAERY REVIEWS...This is the first I’ve read of Ben Kane and after reading Spartacus The Gladiator, it won’t be the last. It was odd at first for me to read the italicized thoughts of characters in between the narrator and then the spoken character voices (I had to read a couple sections over again) but once I got used to it, I was fine and thoroughly engaged in this harsh, violent (at times quite gory but didn’t drag on like some novels can), emotional, adventurous tale. As each page turned it became easier to mentally transport myself back in history alongside Spartacus.
I received a copy in exchange for an honest review as part of the Premier Virtual Author Book Tours.