Spartacus, Carbo, Crassus, Ariadne
Well, as promised to all of you Ben Kane fans out there, today I have a little treat for you! A few weeks ago I was approached by Ben's publishing house; Preface, who wanted to know if I'd like an advance, preview copy of Spartacus: Rebellion! Of course I said YES! So here you go, here is my sneak peak/ preview of Ben Kane's Spartacus: Rebellion which will be realised tomorrow the 16th August. And to make it even more of an occasion, I will be giving away a copy of Spartacus tomorrow in a ‘one day and one day only’ competition! (Details will be posted after this post on how to enter.) I hope you enjoy!
So, Spartacus: Rebellion is the sequel to Ben Kane's Spartacus: The Gladiator and picks up the story straight after the end of that book. It sees Spartacus's slave army divided. His biggest competitor for control of the army; Crixus the Gaul, has left with his fighters, leaving Spartacus severely crippled because much of his fighting force has been removed. To make things even worse, Crixus is beaten and killed in his first battle against the Romans, meaning that the Roman forces in Italy can now focus on removing and destroying Spartacus's men!
But, there is still a chance to escape Italy forever. As Ariadne's prophecy said, Spartacus should head East out of Italy and into his homeland of Thrace. However, getting his army to follow him will be tough! The men are content with pillaging Rome; after all it was the Romans who enslaved them, why should they not get some revenge? Also, under Spartacus's rule the slave army has never been defeated, who's to say they couldn't go on and beat every army sent against them or even sack Rome itself? These are the problems Spartacus faces with his men. Plus the other two clan leaders in the army Callus and Gannicus have plans of their own. Both want to remove Spartacus as the leader of the army; he is becoming too powerful and arrogant, leaving them out of important decisions, sending out spies without telling them and leading the battle without asking for their advice! It is time they took control of the army and marched on Rome themselves like their ancestors did. But they must wait for the right time to remove Spartacus, his wife and his loyal followers before they can usurp control.
Meanwhile, the Senate is in disarray! Every force sent to deal with Spartacus has been defeated! It is no longer just a slave rabble that is running around the countryside but a full scale Rebellion! One Senator, Crassus, feels like he is the man who can hunt down Spartacus and defeat him. After all, he is the richest man in Rome and can put any resource at his disposal, but this is not the reason why he thinks he can beat Spartacus, but because he knows him.
All those years ago in the Ludus of Capua, Crassus would never have expected the Gladiator who had won the death bout put on for him to be heard of again. Yes, the Thracian was spirited and a good fighter but his destiny was to die in the sands of a Colosseum! Not to become the leader of the biggest threat to Roman security since Hannibal! Crassus knows he has greatness in him and that he is not just a rich merchant but a leader of men. He knows that if he can outmanoeuvre and defeat Spartacus he will have achieved that greatness!
What will Spartacus do? With Crassus biting at his heels will he be able to persuade his soldiers to leave Italy forever and fight new wars in foreign lands? Or will he turn south, confront Crassus and come up with a new plan to escape Italy?
This was another great book from Ben Kane. Like Spartacus: The Gladiator it was filled with action, battles, love and betrayal. It was really fast paced; I read it in only a few days! But to be fair, I expect these sorts of things from Ben’s novels. What I found really surprising about this book and what I really liked about it was how Ben develops the two main characters, Spartacus and Carbo. In Spartacus: The Gladiator I always saw Spartacus as the unlikely hero that I love to read about in historical fiction. He was a slave, exiled from his Kingdom and training to become a Gladiator, the lowest of the low in Roman society. Yet, he had a brilliant tactical mind which managed to free him from the Ludus and which eventually made him the leader of the slave rebellion. Whereas in Spartacus: Rebellion, Kane evolves him into the general, a leader of men who puts his soldiers before his family and his friends. This sees Spartacus make decisions that he might not have made when he was in the Ludus. There are times when we see glimpses of the old Spartacus but mostly he is cold and hard. Which I thought was great because he would change as a person because of the pressures put on him in command.
On the other hand, in Spartacus: The Gladiator Carbo is the one who should have been a leader. He was from a wealthy Roman family and was young and arrogant. It should have been him leading a brigade of Cavalry in the Roman army and not some Gladiator fighting for his life! However when he enters the Ludus he is humbled and in Spartacus: Rebellion he becomes the follower, always looking to protect Spartacus and receive his praise. Again I think Kane did a great job evolving Carbo into this role.
So there you go, this was my sneak peak/ preview of Ben Kane’s Spartacus: Rebellion, I hope you enjoyed it! I would suggest this book to anyone who is a fan of Roman fictional writers such as Simon Scarrow, Conn Iggulden and Anthony Riches. Of course if you read Spartacus: The Gladiator and enjoyed it then you should definitely read this book!
Ben Kane fans remember to check out adam-p-reviews tomorrow for a ‘one day and one day only’ chance to win a copy of Spartacus: Rebellion!
For author's official website click here.
P.S. Don’t forget to enter my Book of the Month Competition for your chance to win a SIGNED copy of Strategos, Born in the Borderlands by Gordon Doherty for absolutely FREE. To enter, just follow the instructions on the widget below and for more information click here.