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on 9 May 2017
I bought this book along with others by the Author as I really like historical fiction. This is by far one of the best historical fiction books to date I have read , so much so I couldnt hardly put it down until I had finished it. I have the second in the series and this was exactly the same, I just couldnt put it down as I wanted to know what was happening.
Highly recommend this book or any book by this Author. Up to now I have read most of his books and I cannot find fault with any of them, all real gripping fiction that keeps you wanting to keep reading. The suspense is page by page and just when you think, you have got to a point to put it dopwn for another time, something happens that makes you want to keep on reading
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on 3 January 2016
I bought this series because I am a big fan of historical fiction and also because I have not read much about the Punic Wars. We all know the period before and after Chr. in the Roman Empire, but this was more unknown territory.
Of course we all know Hannibal leading his elephants through the Alpes but I wanted to know more about the whole war and life in that period, but in a readable and exciting way.
Kane manages to do this introducing 2 families both in Carthage and Rome, they will cross each other's path, there is friendship, betrayal, courage, hate and in the end of the book lots of action of course
It's a nice and entertaining read, it reads very fluently and at the same time I learnt more about the war in that period.
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on 24 June 2016
If you enjoyed Conn Igggulden Emperor Series about Julius Ceaser you will enjoy this going back well before his time. This is the first I have read about Hannibal and combines facts as much as they are known with a good story line. The book is interesting historically and the story has pace and really gets you into the period and the characters. You won't want to put it down and I am already looking forward to reading the second of five in this series. It makes a great read.
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on 12 April 2016
I don't really know how to judge fiction objectively, I usually gauge a novel's worth by how difficult I find it to put down, and by that standard this book (and 'Fields of Blood') are classics.

The author has really done his research, and the level of detail in which ancient Carthage, Italy, and the Alps are portrayed make it a fascinating read for history nerds like myself. Of course, what I really wanted was violence, and I wasn't disappointed. Siege of Saguntum and the battle of Trebia in particular are described in a way that I can only describe as riveting.

Previous reviews have mentioned how Hannibal himself is more of a supporting character in the plot, and his presence is felt more often than it is seen. This made me hesitate before making my purchase ("what's the point of a book about the Second Punic War that isn't focused on Hannibal?"), but having read it, I think the author uses his character extremely effectively. We see him through Roman or Carthaginian eyes: either a terrifying, blood thirsty monster, or a charismatic, almost godlike figure of reverence. Either way, the great man plays his part in the story without ever setting aside his aura of legendary mystique.

Given how little we know of the historical Hannibal's character, it seems appropriate.
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on 16 June 2012
Some time ago I read and reviewed (with a very favourable review) Ben's first trilogy - the Forgotten Legion. At the time, those three books, along with a few works by Anthony Riches, Douglas Jackson and Simon Scarrow, very much set the standard for Roman historical fiction. Certain scenes from those books have stayed with me, no matter how much other Roman fiction I read (and that is most of what I read). I consider a book that still has an effect on the reader a long time after reading to be a rousing success.

Move on one book, and up a thousand notches.

Hannibal took me by surprise. I have an interest in all Roman history, but my knowledge of the Punic war period is considerably less than other eras. I did understand beforehand that at this point the Roman army was more of a Graeco-Etruscan force than the military machine the world generally remembers, drawn from citizen volunteers rather than a standing force. I knew (as does everyone) about the crossing of the Alps. Beyond that, my knowledge of the conflicts and the peoples is almost entirely drawn from holiday visits to Spain, Italy and Tunisia. I was unsure what to expect with the book, as I really didn't know how much of an enthralling tale Ben could spin out of the bare bones of what I knew.

The upshot is that, despite the title of this book, the tale is not about Hannibal. Oh, it's about that campaign, and Hannibal is in it, even to the point of being an important supporting character. But it is not about him. Equally, those events from the sacking of Saguntum, through the crossing of the Alps and the first conflicts in Northern Italy, are the central events around which the story hinges, but they are not the story itself.

The story is actually the tale of a Carthaginian nobleman and his three sons, and a Roman/Oscan family from near Capua. It is a heart-wrenching tale of friends and enemies experiencing the build-up to, and beginnings of, a war between their peoples, and the effects this has on their lives and relationships. Don't get me wrong: this is no family saga of the little-old-lady variety, and includes just the right amount of warfare, intrigue, danger and adventure to make it a page-turner in every respect, but it has the refreshing aspect of being a family saga as well - something I've not seen done well in ancient novels before.

In fact, as I think about it, the only book I can use to compare is Guy Gavriel Kay's `Lions of Al-Rassan' (and I consider this a high complement, since GGK has been my favourite writer since my teens.) There is a similar doom between the books, looking at friends separated by a gulf of nationality and fated to meet in those most unhappy of circumstances.

Essentially, I loved Hannibal and rank it up with my faves now. I think it has seen Ben's writing take on a whole new strength and its particular draw for me is his depth of character and family on both sides, the realism of the people and the sympathy and empathy the reader cannot help but feel. Having read this I am now champing at the bit for the two Spartacus novels (one of which is waiting on my shelf and the other is released shortly.)

Bravo Ben. Hannibal 2 now eagerly awaited.
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on 11 April 2016
Following the Fortunes of Hanno, (Carthaginian) and Quintus (Roman) as they become embroiled in the 2nd Punic War, with Hannibal.
Hanno was enslaved and as an escapee struggling to reach Hannibal's Forces before recapture, Quintus his Masters Son and friend helps him.
This is an excellent depiction of Hannibals crossing of the Alps and the subsequent 20 years of war that followed with the two friends battling on both sides, a wonderful tale that is the start of a fantastic trilogy (or more) well worth the time to read.
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on 17 November 2014
I have read this book first of the series. It approximately takes about 2 weeks to read as only have 2 hours every night to do so. I absolutely recommended this trilogy
Exciting gripping and knowledge about our past history
Another lot of 4 books I recommend is Conn Igguldens books of the Roman Empire. So Hannibal is the other side of history against the Romans. I am halfway through the second book
Fields of Blood
Equally interesting, gripping, and exciting.
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on 19 December 2013
After completing the forgotten legions a while ago i thought it
time to try another of ben kanes books, well impressed with
the aforementioned. Although the title of the novel is
Hannibal, he doesn't actually come into the story un,till about a third of the way through, and then the character Hanno is the main focus. The story is good although a little slow at times it does pick up at the last quarter, i did find Hannibal enemy of Rome an interesting read, just not quite in the same league as the forgotten legion trilogy! '
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on 30 September 2015
If you want historical fiction that's almost factual, Ben's your man!! The book is so well researched, the time has really been take to make sure the detail is minute. And even though, so those who know history, know the events, you still never know what's around the corner.
I found myself calling people gugga in road rage for weeks after!
And the characters are so believable, even though they are on the divide I was routing for Hanno and Quintus all the way. Can't wait for the next instalment 😀👍🏻
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on 30 September 2014
Enjoyed the first installment which had enough interest to include the development of the roman and carthaginian charachters, the possible involvement of the slave/master love aspect between Hanno and Auriela and of course the battles between Hannibal and the Romans.
Looking forward to reading Book 2 of this trilogy and seeing how it pans out. The historical accuracy of the wars to include everything from types of soldiers, weaponry and tactics etc is very interesting also.
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