Monday, 25 June 2012

Spartacus the Gladiator, Ben Kane

Publishers: Arrow

Pages: 467

Main Characters:

Spartacus, Ariadne, Carbo

Recently the story of Spartacus and his rebellion against Rome has become very popular. With a TV series based on the life of the Gladiator, Spartacus has become a historical icon which many people want to know more about. However, where the TV series focuses more on the blood, guts and sex of Spartacus’ time as a Gladiator, Ben Kane's Spartacus The Gladiator focuses more on the man himself, and how he was able to lead a small group of ex-slaves against the might of Rome and become its’ worst threat since Hannibal!

This is what I found most exciting about this book. Kane does an excellent job of showing how Spartacus shaped eighty ex-gladiators into an army that eventually reached over fifty thousand men and were the equals to any force the Roman Senate could field against them! And Kane makes Spartacus so real! He is not just this blood-thirsty warrior out for revenge against Rome but a skilled tactician, forcing the Romans to fight on his terms and out smarting them each time with ambushes and traps! He is a man, just like any other with his own personal problems, which further makes Kane’s character of Spartacus seem much more believable!

I also found Kane’s side story of Carbo very interesting. A Roman fighting on the side of the slaves against his own people, Carbo faces many difficult decisions throughout the book on whether he will stay loyal to Spartacus or not. As usual, Kane does a brilliant job of telling the tale of Spartacus. He fills the book with battles, love, murder and betrayal which really make the book exciting to read!

I would suggest this book to anyone who is a fan of Ben Kane’s other novels, for example Hannibal: Enemy of Rome. I would also suggest this book to anyone who has read Conn Iggulden's Emperor Series. This is because during those novels Spartacus’ rebellion happens but Iggulden does not focus on it too much (because the novels are about Caesar in Gaul and Iberia). I think reading Spartacus The Gladiator would fill in the blanks that Iggulden left out, making both series even more exciting to read! Great book can’t wait for its’ sequel Spartacus Rebellion which comes out later this year!

For author’s official website click here

P.S. Don’t forget to enter my Book of the Month competition to win a FREE copy of The Children of Hurin by J. R. R. Tolkien. To enter, follow the instructions on the widget below and for more info click here. a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thanks for the great review, Adam.

    I'm chuffed that you liked it so much!



    1. Thank you for reading my review! I loved the book, can't wait for Spartacus Rebellion to be released!


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