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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping historical story
It is at the age of Sixteen that we pick up the story of Malco, called by some an Adonis on account of his beauty, and by his cousin Hannibal "my Thunderbolt", for that is what the Bacra family name means, a name that Malco unquestionably lives up to. It is at sixteen that Malco enters his first battle in North Africa and also distinguishes himself by saving the...
Published 2 months ago by Benjamin

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3.0 out of 5 stars An odd mixture
I found that the strange mixture of Hannibal and Roman history, did not mix well with gay romance.

The history and romance seemed to be in conflict. I found it difficult to imagine hardened warriors frollicking in the sack.
In the thick of battle the last thing on my mind would be sex, but it takes all sorts as they say.
Published 12 months ago by David Ford


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping historical story, 30 Mar. 2015
By 
Benjamin (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Thunderbolt - Torn Enemy of Rome (Kindle Edition)
It is at the age of Sixteen that we pick up the story of Malco, called by some an Adonis on account of his beauty, and by his cousin Hannibal "my Thunderbolt", for that is what the Bacra family name means, a name that Malco unquestionably lives up to. It is at sixteen that Malco enters his first battle in North Africa and also distinguishes himself by saving the life of Nessus, a young Numidian (Algerian) soldier. Very soon after he is off to Iberia to join Hannibal's army where again he proves his courage, and as Hannibal prepares his army to march into Italy across the Alps Hannibal appoints the young Malco to command a company of his own choice. So we follow Hannibal's army and Malco's adventures as the campaign moves into Italy and confronts the Roman armies and contends with the treacherous political manoeuvres back in Carthage.

Along the way Malco gets in many scrapes and saves more lives, while his is saved more than once by his now adjutant of choice, the humble and ever faithful Nessus. Already schooled in the art of love with men by his nineteen year old adopted cousin, Malco soon finds love amongst his comrades, including a young guardsman Trebon who hopes to capture his heart.

Thunderbolt is a gripping fictionalised account based around Hannibal's campaign, it is also a great adventure of the very courageous and most resourceful young man, Malco, and a touching love story. There are great battles, much loss of life, political intrigue, acts of courage and great loyalty, a humiliating rape, tender explicit love scenes, and much more. It is also very enlightening as we learn much of an historical nature, and here I am trusting to the writer who has also authored history books. However there is an anachronism in the expression, "cold enough to freeze the balls of a brass monkey" which he ascribes to "a crude Roman saying"; while of uncertain origin as far as I can discern the expression is thought to originate from the early nineteenth century, while a few suggest possible the C17th, whatever, it does seem out of place - or maybe I have more to learn. Nonetheless this is well written and a most enjoyable read about some very likable characters.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The way history should be taught, 26 Oct. 2012
By 
Julaka (Norfolk, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Thunderbolt - Torn Enemy of Rome (Kindle Edition)
Well aside from the eroticism of tale, much is learnt about the history of the Carthaginians. Whether true or false, who cares. This is a brilliant book for all and not gay specific.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thunderbolt, 19 Mar. 2013
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Excellent story. Some gay m/m novels are simply a second rate tale with some crude gay sex put in at random periods. This book is not one of those. This is a good quality book with a good story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NOT BUILT IN A DAY, 13 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: Thunderbolt - Torn Enemy of Rome (Kindle Edition)
A great story. Gay, yes but not sex on every page. Need more adventures like this! Looking forward to my next Kean novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great adventure, well told and with clear historical knowledge ..., 24 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: Thunderbolt - Torn Enemy of Rome (Kindle Edition)
Great adventure, well told and with clear historical knowledge underpinning the story. I was swept along by the narrative and it is certainly a 'page-turner'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a Great read., 27 July 2014
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I really enjoyed this and couldnt put it down. A few weeks have past and it is still fresh in my mind all the time.
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3.0 out of 5 stars An odd mixture, 6 Jun. 2014
By 
David Ford (Kent in the UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Thunderbolt - Torn Enemy of Rome (Kindle Edition)
I found that the strange mixture of Hannibal and Roman history, did not mix well with gay romance.

The history and romance seemed to be in conflict. I found it difficult to imagine hardened warriors frollicking in the sack.
In the thick of battle the last thing on my mind would be sex, but it takes all sorts as they say.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece of Accurate Historical Gay Love & Adventure, 4 April 2013
By 
Tom(C) (Upstate, NY) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Thunderbolt - Torn Enemy of Rome (Kindle Edition)
Malco is indeed a bold warrior but he is also stunningly beautiful as the cover shows. At full size, Oliver Frey's masterpiece of cover art reveals a sparkle of fire in the young soldier's eyes that shows his commitment to bravery and passion in both love and war. Roger Kean has created a most singularly captivating young man in our hero Malco and a spectacular adventure of a war within a war in this historical rare gem. Malco is the cousin of the one of the greatest militarily leaders in history, Hannibal (247-182 BC.)

Malco was well trained before becoming an officer in Hannibal's army at age 20. It was said of young Malco while he was still in training,
"He handles a mean sword, swims like an otter, is a great endurance runner over distance, throws a javelin with unerring aim, and sends an arrow to the mark as well as the best Libyan archer."
He also is a natural born leader who gains the respect of the soldiers under his command despite his youth."

While the book is an historical account of the Second Punic War (Roger Kean is the author of a plethora of non-fiction history books) His historical novel, Thunderbolt: Torn Enemy of Rome is also an account of Malco's loves, particularly the love of his life, fellow soldier Trebon. He also forms a loving friendship with Juba, a Numidian tribesman who is a mercenary fighting with Hannibal's troops. Juba is completely dedicated to his friend Malco but is not blind to Malco's sometimes overeagerness in his fight against the Romans. Juba refers to Malco and says to Trebon, "He has a fondness for getting into trouble."

Malco loves Trebon with all his heart but sometimes war preempts his passion. Juba tells Malco that Trebon has been wounded by an arrow in his arm and urges Malco to go see him. Malco responds,
"I can't. I must get cleaned up and attend Hannibal with the other commanders."

Juba sighed. "It's said when he thought you lost in the Rhône he considered taking his own life for failing you."

Malco steeled himself and glared at Juba. "He was ever for exaggeration."
Malco of course does go see his beloved Trebon but only after reporting to his cousin and leader Hannibal.

Danger abounds in this adventurous tale of war. War is bloody and people die. Those who cannot accept the violence of battle scenes should avoid it and stick to romances where the only things that get wounded are feelings. Despite the uncertainty of combat there is no reason to fear for Malco's life because he is the narrator of the novel. The story is being told by an elderly Malco entertaining his grandchildren. Yes he has children and they have children. Hannibal had no problem with Malco's homosexuality so long as he carried on the tradition of family. When Hannibal informs him of his duty to marry and procreate, Marco bristles saying:
...but you must never expect me to feel again for anyone as I loved Trebon."

Hannibal's smile faded a degree and his face took on a sterner expression.
Hannibal replies,
"Then you must learn to separate love and sex."

As the war drags on the leaders of Carthage make excuses and do not send Hannibal the supplies he needs to carry out the war. Once Malco fought for the glory of Carthage. Now he fights to honor Hannibal and the sacrifices of his comrades fallen in battle. As it becomes clear that Carthage has abandoned Hannibal Malco feels so betrayed that he has no more love for Carthage than he has for Rome. The one who remains true to Malco is his beloved friend Juba. While Juba could return to his village in Africa a rich man, he refuses to go anywhere except to be with Malco.

As for Malco:
But the warmth which moved his heart, which beat in the pulse and made life worth living... this came from Juba, the mutual release of their seed which transported him to the heavens.
Having fought against Rome and then been betrayed by Carthage Malco longs for a place where "it's free and independent, where courage, manliness, and honor still count." That sums up Malco well, independent, courageous, manly, and honorable. But he is also generous with his steadfast love and gives his heart wholly to the man he loves.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 18 May 2015
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This review is from: Thunderbolt - Torn Enemy of Rome (Kindle Edition)
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