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The Forgotten Legion: (The Forgotten Legion Chronicles No. 1) Paperback – 6 Jan 2011


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The Forgotten Legion: (The Forgotten Legion Chronicles No. 1) + The Silver Eagle: (The Forgotten Legion Chronicles No. 2) + The Road to Rome: (The Forgotten Legion Chronicles No. 3)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow (6 Jan. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099556286
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099556282
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,149 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"I thoroughly enjoyed The Forgotten Legion - so much so that I stayed up until 2am to finish it. Where others play in the rarefied world of senators, legates and upper class merchants, Kane delves into the grim underbelly of slavery, prostitution and gladiatorial carnage; a place where life is cheap and the thirst of the conquerors for the blood of the conquered knows no bounds. Here, we smell the grime, lie on the cold floors, face death daily with little to live for beyond the faint spark of hope that one day there might be revenge. His creation of the Etruscan Haruspex is fantastic - a man of a defeated nation who can yet give hope, and does so, to both Roman and captive alike . . . and the conclusion leaves us waiting for the sequel." (Manda Scott, author of the 'Boudica' novels)

"Historical fiction has never been more visceral and engaging than Ben Kane's debut novel The Forgotten Legion. Bloody, fast-paced, thrilling . . . what Wilbur Smith did for Egypt, Kane does for ancient Rome. Written in a cinematic style, Kane paints his lost world with such fervency that you'll swear you hear the thunder of the colisseum and the roar of the lions in the pit. Here is a masterful debut that shouldn't be missed!" (James Rollins, bestselling author of The Last Oracle)

Book Description

The Forgotten Legion - fighting for honour, freedom and revenge

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Martin Lake on 1 Aug. 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Republican Rome's underbelly exposed.

Ben Kane's novel 'The Lost Legion' is a gripping novel set in ancient Rome. Kane writes about the last days of the Roman Republic but with an unusual approach. He chooses his main characters from people on the margins of Roman society, those who inhabit the underbelly of the Republic and provide the essential services to keep the wealthy in a life of luxury. This means that the society they describe is almost as much of a mystery to them as it to the reader of two thousand years later.

Kane opens the book by giving us Tarquinius, a character from the long-conquered Etruscan society, moves swiftly to introduce Brennus a giant of a Gaul and then to Romulus and Fabiola, slave siblings who are sold into two of the most awful worlds of Rome, the brothel and the circus.

Kane chooses to develop different streams of his novel, never an easy task but one which he manages with skill. I never felt I had to go back to re-read what was happening to one of the characters even when there had been a gap since I had last read about them.

I particularly liked his portrayal of the clever, beautiful Fabiola. Many epic historical novels tend to side-line female characters but Fabiola is not a woman content to be side-lined by anybody, (including, I suspect, the author.) I look forward to seeing how she will develop.

Kane seems to me to be historically accurate, adept at capturing the essence of Romans such as Caesar, Crassus and Brutus. This dedication to authenticity led to one of my few niggles. He uses the accurate Roman words for weapons, almost all of the time. This gave me pause; I'd rather he dispensed with the Latin and said swords and shields for ease of reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Parm TOP 500 REVIEWER on 12 Jun. 2011
Format: Hardcover
A new title contender

A great debut title, is this the start of something exceptional? I hope so. This book more than many of the other new authors in the genre seems to have something different, a blend of the action of Scarrow, the pace and power of Anthony Riches and his own unique element a bit of mystery and myth that sets it apart.
As the Genre starts to get more and more crowded an author needs something unique and I think this series has it, it also has the power to make you love the people within the book, you want to read about them, you want to save them, you want to battle with them, you want to turn that page and rush to the next chapter, and then when you get to the end of the book you don't want to turn that last page and read the end, because you know it will be another year to wait before you meet again. And that's the sign of a great writer.

Im writing this having read book two so I know this isn't a flash in the pan, and im eagerly anticipating book 3 Road to Rome.
Keep up the great work Ben.
(Parm)
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Format: Paperback
The Forgotten Legion is based around one of the most infamous eras of Roman history, the triumvirate of Pompeii Magnus, Crassus and Julius Caesar. During this period of corruption and instability emerges two tales. The first is that of Tarquinius, an Etruscan warrior and soothsayer who has the ability to tell the future from the stars, the elements and from the innards of animals. At a young age, Tarquinius is told by his teacher that he will travel to Rome and there meet and befriend two Gladiators. The Etruscan keeps this prophecy in mind, and after his teacher's death, travels to Rome. In the city, his prophecy is reveal as (by accident) he is introduced to two Gladiators who are wrongly accused of murder and are on the run from Roman justice.

The second story follows Romulus and Fabiola. Romulus and Fabiola are twins who were born as slaves into the ownership of a wicked merchant. At the age of thirteen, the twins are sold into two of the harshest forms of slavery. Romulus is sold to a Gladiator school and Fabiola is sold to the Lupanar, Rome's most famous and expensive brothel. Life seems over for the two young slaves, Gladiators only last a few months in the vicious Lupus Magnus and Fabiola seems destine to live out her life as the plaything of wealthy men. However, their stories do have a silver lining.

For Fabiola this comes with the introduction of Decimus Brutus, a charming army officer and Julius Caesar's right hand man. Fabiola (after been taught the tricks of her trade) manages to seduce Brutus with the hope that one day he will buy her freedom and reunite her with Romulus. Romulus's silver lining comes in the friendship he makes with a Gaul called Brennus, who happens to be the best Gladiator in all of Rome!
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Format: Paperback
Historical fiction seems to be more prevalent today than ever before, the book stores are full of the stuff. The most popular era is the Roman Empire and more accurately the time before, during and just after Julius Caesar's reign. There is a reason for this, as it is an action packed era in time that saw great battles as well as great politics. Ben Kane enters this flooded market with `The Forgotten Legion' a story that reflects on Caesar, but tackles it from the point of view of the normal people of the time; a pair of gladiators, a fallen hero and an enslaved woman. This quadrant of characters find themselves on the peripheral of great events, but may eventually play a vital role.

`The Forgotten Legion's unique selling point is that it is about a legion that fought in the Far East and had an influence on Chinese culture. This is indeed a fresh perspective on the time, but for all the time spent talking about the Legions of Rome, it takes a very long time for them to become forgotten. The vast majority of this book is set up for the four characters and they are not even part of the army until around two thirds of the way through the book. Up to this point it is your typical Roman Epic.

Is there anything wrong with being as typical as the likes of Simon Scarrow or Conn Iggulden? Not if the book is as solidly written as Kane makes it. `The Forgotten Legion' does not try to tackle anything new in the genre, but it balances action well with information about the period. The four heroes are all likable and it is interesting to read their lives as individuals only to see them intertwine. Further books in the series will no doubt concentrate more on actually being a Lost Legion, but as long as the books retain the entertaining prose and quick pace, they will be just as good.
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