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The Forgotten Legion: (The Forgotten Legion Chronicles No. 1) Paperback – 16 Apr 2009


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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: Preface Publishing; Reprint edition (16 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848090102
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848090101
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 421,420 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"Bloody, fast-paced, thrilling ... what Wilbur Smith did for Egypt, Kane does for ancient Rome ... a masterful debut that shouldn't be missed!" (James Rollins, bestselling author of The Last Oracle)

"I thoroughly enjoyed The Forgotten Legion - so much so that I stayed up until 2am to finish it. 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 ... The conclusion leaves us waiting for the sequel" (Manda Scott, author of the 'Boudica' novels)

Book Description

Three men and one woman are bound in servitude to the Republic: their odyssey begins in Rome, but ends at the very limits of the known world, where the Forgotten Legion fights against overwhelming odds.

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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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By Amazon Customer on 27 May 2015
Format: Paperback
The writing style is easy to read and pleasant. It suits the genre and what the author is trying to achieve in the series. I find it annoying that every foreign word is italicized. Just do it once Ben, unless you really want to use this technique to convey to readers that you are smart.

Some characters are interesting. I particularly liked the Etruscan. The female characters are cardboard. I wanted to care for Brennus as the series continued but I never could.

Plotting is well-paced and interesting overall. The beginning of The Forgotten Legion is exceptionally good.

Imagery is good. The author imagines battle scenes well; a gladiator fight in an arena in the fifteenth chapter of The Forgotten Legion is an example.

Research is lacking for the greater part. There is so much information out there about Parthians and tribes on the steppe that the author did not utilize.

Ben Kane is a passionate historical author, however, inspiration does not come through at times. He has a strong understanding of the events, personalities and societies in ancient Rome, but not Parthia or the steppe.

The Forgotten Legion series are entertaining novels overall, but research and certain characters lack depth. I used the series towards my research and it helped to a small extent. For a reason not provided, the author does not refer to "Arabs" or "Arabians"--a perfectly acceptable name used my many historians that I had expected him to use. Instead, he uses "Nabataeans". I am unsure whether the author does this to please vain Islamists on behalf of his or his publisher's will, or is intending to make the historical content in the novel more authentic.
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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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