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Spartacus: The Gladiator: (Spartacus 1) [Kindle Edition]

Ben Kane
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (118 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The first of two epic novels which tell the story of one of the most charismatic heroes history has ever known - Spartacus, the gladiator slave who took on and nearly defeated the might of Rome, during the years 73-71 BC.



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.



Ben Kane was born in Kenya and raised there and in Ireland. He studied veterinary medicine and University College, Dublin, but after that he travelled the world extensively, indulging in his passion for ancient history. He lives in North Somerset with his wife and two young children.


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Review

Gritty, passionate and violent, this thrilling book is a real page-turner and a damn good read. It brings Spartacus - and ancient Rome - to vivid, colourful life Steven Pressfield, bestselling author of Gates of Fire Ben Kane manages to bring a freshness to the saga ... Told with Kane's usual panache and historical knowledge, this book is highly recommended Kathy Stevenson Daily Mail Eyes are merciless, blows are wicked and screams are piercing, but this is a compulsive if relentless story, vividly recounted in muscular prose. Definitely one for the boys Daily Telegraph, 4 stars Like many choosing to read a book like this, I was seeking an active and exciting plot, and in this respect, Spartacus: The Gladiator delivers handily Medieval Bookworm If you want to become familiar with the lanista and the rudus, to know your scutum from your licium, then Kane's your man ... plenty of action Independent

Review

"Gritty, passionate and violent, this thrilling book is a real page-turner and a damn good read. It brings Spartacus -- and ancient Rome -- to vivid, colourful life." -- Steven Pressfield, bestselling author of "Gates of Fire"

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2013 KB
  • Print Length: 477 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1250001161
  • Publisher: Preface Digital (19 Jan. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099561921
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099561927
  • ASIN: B00699XMMO
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (118 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,850 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
By Parm TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Spartacus:

Ben Kane has been able to deliver and deliver and deliver when it comes to Historical Fiction, His excellent (and i hope not finished) Forgotten legion Series, the wonderful Hannibal: Enemy of Rome, and now Spartacus.

At first i was a little reticent about someone doing this in tandem with the TV series, The TV series that while it had started off with the 300 style filming soon settled in to a great portrayal of an iconic character, Andy Whitfield soon came to be the face that came to mind when the name Spartacus was uttered, Kirk Douglas fast becoming a face from the past.

So when i cracked open Ben Kanes new book the face that appeared was Andy Whitfield (RIP). within just a few pages i was back in 74BC Thrace and blood had been spilled. As usual the book is written with the powerful plot and pace that Ben is well known for, but Spartacus: The Gladiator takes it further, deeper and more emotive than the TV series, it does not rely on gliz glamour, blood and guts, Tits and ass. This is the first book in a series that will take the Man and the Myth to a whole different level, and by the end of the series leave us with one of Historical Fictions Iconic series.

This Book as with all Ben Kanes books comes Highly recommended.

(BTW Ben thanks for the Sleep deprivation it took to finish the book)

(Parm)

Product Description
WARRIOR
As winter approaches in 74 BC, few travellers are abroad. But one man is making the long and weary last stage of his way home. Large parts of his homeland, Thrace, a land north of Greece, has fallen under the hated power of Rome. This Thracian has fought in the Roman legions for nearly a decade. Skilled, hardened in battle, a sophisticated fighter. Spartacus.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No.... I'M Spartacus 22 Sept. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I've waited until I finished the second book to review these two, since I read them back to back and a 2-part series is relatively rare. Given that, I will not be writing a separate review for each book. This review is for both Spartacus the Gladiator and Spartacus: Rebellion.

I've been a fan of Ben's writing from the start. His Forgotten Legion series was groundbreaking in a number of ways and quite astounding as a debut. I was then fairly stunned by Hannibal, which I consider to be one of the finest pieces of ancient Historical fiction written. Despite the high quality of FL, Hannibal showed a new maturity in writing and more depth of character and soul.

So on to Spartacus. I won't say, for the record, that this series is better than Ben's Hannibal (and its future sequels.) It is as good as Hannibal, and that's just dandy by me. I wouldn't have wanted Ben's style to change after Hannibal, as that book hit the spot just right for me. What I will say about these books is that there has been a slight change in conventions that I found refreshing and excellent (more of that shortly).

I won't say much about the plot, to be honest. Anyone who follows any review I write knows that I don't like to risk spoilers. But, that being said, the general tale of Spartacus is a matter of record that most people will have at least a basic knowledge of. So, bear in mind that you sort of know how this saga is going to end. I mean, there's only a certain amount of license a writer can realistically get away with (and Ben Kane seems to be very sparing with artistic license anyway) and to have the books end with Spartacus riding off into the sunset would be a little hard to swallow.

So prepare yourself.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Spartacus Rebooted 18 Aug. 2012
Format:Paperback
No one knows what Spartacus the man was really like. There have been suggestions that he was a savage criminal who led a bloody revolt against the Romans, but Ben Kane travels the other route, giving us a Spartacus of honour and integrity, a good man fighting for freedom and justice - a Hollywood hero.

And to a large degree Ben Kane's novel, 'Spartacus: The Gladiator' works well. Spartacus is unabashedly a glossy hero, kind to the weak, smart, resourceful and, of course, handsome. The tale sees the Thracian sold into slavery, entering the brutal world of the gladiatorial arena. Here, aided by a band of followers, he manages to cast of his manacles and lead an ever-growing band of slaves against the might of the Roman superpower.

Ben Kane possesses a keen eye for detail and the book is finely researched; generally you learn new things when reading this author. The tale rattles along at a fair pace and the simple prose allows a brevity to the slower, action-free passages. Having said that, sometimes the prose can be too simple and often strewn with cliches that seem lazy for such an enigmatic author. I found Spartacus' lover, the priestess Ariadne, a trifle irritating and tolerated more than enjoyed those sections in which she featured.

All in all, fans of the genre will enjoy this read. There is nothing too deep nor challenging here yet the pages fly by and I for one will read any subsequent sequels. I don't think Kane is quite yet in the same league as Cornwell or Iggulden, but in time I think he can match these leviathans. I hope he's not rushing his work to please his publishers, yet, alas, that is the way of things, I fear. Give this a go, anyway. It's a lot of fun.
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