(2012) #29: review and giveaway of: Spartacus

Spartacus: The Gladiator

by

Ben KANE

466 pages

I reviewed this book for free, as part of

This book counts for the following Reading Challenges

       

MY THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS BOOK

First, I would like to thank Teddy Rose at Virtual Author Book Tours for inviting me to review Spartacus: The Gladiator and offer this book as a giveaway – details below.

Now I have to be honest with you and say I am really divided about this book.

I think the author did a great job on his historical background homework – and mind you, this is extremely important for me. Parts of Spartacus’ life are no longer well known, and the author is very clear at the end of his book, explaining where and why he needed to go beyond known historical data.

As for what is known, he really managed to incorporate the data in a very lively way. The book is never boring, you keep wanting to know how long Spartacus will be able to lead the rebellion against the Roman power – and you will even need to read next volume to witness his end!

I also appreciated the fact that he included an index with many technical or Latin phrases used in the book. This gave to the book an extra element of scholarship, which is unfortunately not often present in historical novels currently written.

I found it also good that the book is a mix between history and romance, mainly with the love story between Spartacus and Ariadne.

Now, am I eagerly looking forward to reading the sequel? Probably not. Why not?

As you may know, I enjoy very much another historical fiction writer: Bernard Cornwell. The level of violence with the Roman slaves and legions can easily be compared to that of the Vikings, featured by Cornwell in his series of the Saxon Stories – which I have all read.

All along, as I was reading Spartacus, I found myself comparing both works: in both, great historical background, great romance, lots of violence. But Kane’s writing is not as tight, as refined, as diversified as Cornwell’s. My biggest reproach in Kane’s book is his description of violence. You can, I mean at least Cornwell can!, describe very violent and bloody scenes without splashing the reader with blood over and over again, and without inflicting to him several very graphic rape scenes.

Maybe some readers need that type of details to perceive the stuff of history. I don’t. And that’s probably why I will look forward to next and last installment in the Saxon Stories, but not to witnessing the end of Spartacus’ life, according to Ben Kane.

BUT if Spartacus: The Gladiator still sounds like something you would like, I have a giveaway for you, a brand new book sent to you directly from the publisher – see below.

WHAT IS IT ABOUT

Historically very little is known about Spartacus. We know that he came from Thrace, a land north of Greece, that he once fought in the Roman legions and that, during two fateful years, he led a slave army which nearly brought Rome to its knees.

In Ben Kane’s brilliant novel, we meet Spartacus as he returns to Thrace, ready to settle down after a decade away. But a new king has usurped the throne. Treacherous and violent, he immediately seizes Spartacus and sells him to a Roman slave trader looking for new gladiators.

The odyssey has begun which will see Spartacus become one of the greatest legends of history, the hero of revolutionaries from Karl Marx to Che Guevara, immortalised on screen, and now brought to life in Ben Kane’s great bestseller – a novel which takes the story to its halfway point and is continued in Spartacus: Rebellion. [synopsis from Random House].

The first chapter of Spartacus: The Gladiator is available on the author’s website.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ben Kane was born in Kenya and raised there and in Ireland. He studied veterinary medicine at University College Dublin but after that traveled the world extensively, indulging his passion for ancient history. Now he lives in North Somerset, where he researches, writes and practices as a small animal vet. He is author of The Forgotten Legion and The Silver Eagle and is currently working on the third novel in the series. For a more lengthy self-presentation, go the author’s website.

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HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK YET?
DO YOU FEEL LIKE READING THIS BOOK?
HOW DO YOU REACT TO VIOLENCE
SUCH AS RAPE SCENES IN BOOKS?
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS  IN A COMMENT PLEASE

***

GIVEAWAY

To win this hardcover and receive it directly from the publisher,
please enter between today June 25 and July 2nd midnight:

  1. Please leave a comment explaining why you would like this book, and including your email address = 1 ENTRY
  2. + 1 ENTRY: subscribe to my blog through email – specify if you are already following me
  3. + 2 ENTRIES: tweet or facebook about this giveaway. And give me the url of your tweet. If I have no way to see you did this, I will not give you 2 extra entries.

So you can win up to 4 entries.

I will choose the winner on July 3rd, using random.org, and will notify the winner right away.
After confirmation, I will forward your email address to the publisher.
If you do not confirm within 24 hours, I will choose another winner!

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11 thoughts on “(2012) #29: review and giveaway of: Spartacus

  1. Pingback: Ben Kane, Author of Spartacus: The Gladiator- On Tour | Premier Virtual Author Book Tours

    • You are welcome, thanks for inviting me! I hope I managed to post a honest review, trying to recognize the positive elements, even though my personal reactions were more on the negative side.

      Like

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