In this blog I am devoting the entire space to
a review I wrote about an excellent historical novel, Spartacus The Gladiator by Ben Kane. He has become one of the masters of
the historical novel genre, especially, his stories on the Republican era of Ancient Rome. I admit I am not the greatest reviewer,
but I have tried to do justice to his work. This is a book worth reading.
Book Review: Spartacus the Gladiator by Ben Kane
This is an excellent historical
by Ben Kane. He has become a master of stories from ancient Rome, especially, the Republican era.
the Gladiator, using what limited information that is available (a total of approximately 4,000 written words from ancient
writings) and produces in a very logical and methodical order about the life of this famous gladiator and rebel. The characters
of Spartacus, his wife, the Dionysian Priestess, Ariadne, Crixus, the vicious Gallic gladiator, and Carbo, the dispossed Roman
who voluntarily became a gladiator are believable.
Unlike the tv mini-series, Spartacus, Blood in the Sand, which
really stretches factual history, Ben Kane remains true or at least tried to in telling what probably happened
the first volume in which we see Spartacus returning to Thrace after spending eight years as an auxiliary cavalryman. He learns
that his father and brother had been murdered by a usurper Thracian king, Kotys. He himself is betrayed and sold into slavery
and sent to Rome to be trained as a gladiator. Ariadne follows him and what many readers don't realize is that women sometime
did follow their men into this type of captivity.
Carbo contracts himself to become a gladiator after his parents
lose there farm and cannot repay their loan to Marcus Licinius Crassus, Rome's richest man.
Most of us know that ultimately
Spartacus and the gladiators rebel and subsequently flee to Vesuvius where they hold off and defeat several Roman legions.
I won't go into all the details, but Ben Kane follows very closely what is known about this time and does an excellent job
of filling in the gaps.
The first volume ends when the slave army defeats a Counselor army of two legions in
Northern Italy. Will Spartacus and his slaves be able to leave Italy? That remains to be seen.
This is a great novel and
I look forward to reading the next volume.