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Hannibal: Fields of Blood (Hannibal 2)
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on 27 May 2016
Once more, Ben Kane delivers a novel of the highest quality. His research into his books is second to none and you can easily believe that his books have been written through personal experience rather than from the pages of history. This is another brutal but honest book following Hannibal and his army as they roam through Italy at will. The all conquering Roman army we all read about at school aren't quite as invincible as we've been led to believe. They are often outwitted by Hannibal, suffering losses unimaginable to our more sensitive lives. What is most surprising in this book is how often they fall for the same trap by Hannibal. It really is an eye opener to the conflict we all know a little about, but not the full extent of the horror of it. Ben does not hold back when describing the battle scenes and you will not be left in any doubt about the slaughter that occurred. Most of the story is seen through the eyes of Quintus and Hanno, enemies through birth, master and slave through fate, friends through experience and enemies again through loyalty. Hanno is a complex character and I was often left wondering whether to cheer for him or to despise him! I am very interested to see how his character develops in Clouds of War. I urge everyone with an interest in historical fiction to discover Ben Kane. His knowledge of Roman history is second to none and his books are firm favourites of mine, but please don't just take my word for it, find out for yourself. You'll be glad when you do.
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on 10 October 2013
Ben Kane excels in the second book of the Hannibal Series - Fields of Blood. This book continues to follow Hanno and Quintus as they lead up to and fight in arguably one of the bloodiest battles ever.

Hanno is a Carthaginian officer (previously a Slave of Quintus's family) fighting for Hannibal, while Quintus was a Roman equestrian who joins the Infantry. Friends in the same battle, on opposite sides, both fighting for there very survival.

The book follows both of these characters on the path to Cannae. Along the way there is many Ambushes skirmishing and even time for Love to blossom. In typical Ben Kane style the fighting scenes are superb with just enough detail to not be too graphic. The detail to which the book covers both sides, how they formed up for battle, the armour they wore, even down to the Helmets & Spears is magnificent.

Like all of Ben Kane's books, this was excellently written and I always looked forward to reading the next page, next chapter and next book.
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on 1 January 2014
It has taken me longer to finish reading Hannibal Fields of Blood than it has taken me to read any of Ben Kane's other books, and I've read them all so far. It wasn't that I found the story hard going or boring in fact the opposite, I just realised after buying it, that I wanted to take my time with it as I normally consume his novels within a couple of days. So I deliberately rationed myself to a few pages at a time, whilst reading other books and generally being very busy in between sessions.

However, I'm glad to say it was worth it but I don't think I'll be doing that again, because it was very difficult to resist picking it up every time I looked for a book to read. I'm not going to go into the story itself because some people might not have read it but suffice to say, it's another cracker and a worthy addition to the bookshelf containing the Forgotten Legion trilogy and Spartacus series (so far).

One of the really engaging things about this story is that you come to like the characters from both sides, there isn't an inherent 'bad side' and so reflects reality in my opinion. Hanno and Quintus, two of the main characters and childhood friends, find themselves on opposite sides of the Carthage versus Rome war and each story is as enjoyable as the other and you find yourself rooting for both.

Ben Kane's research combined with his great story telling ability and passion for Rome, has produced another fantastic novel and I'll certainly be in line for more to come over the next few years.
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on 18 August 2013
Generally, one would think when buying a book with the name of a famous historical character in the title, the story would evolve around that character. Not so ! I'm afraid, Hannibal features in nothing but name on just a few pages in the book. The whole story centres around two families on either side of the conflict. I found this difficult to understand, especially as Ben Kane's Spartacus novels do centre around the title character and the reader can share the emotions of the heroes and heroines registered in history.

I can only assume that not enough genuine sources are available to allow for Hannibal to feature as a main character and the author chose not to let his immagination run free where Hannibal was concerned. He chose to develop fictional characters with whom he can do what he wants in the novels. Nevertheless I would have preferred to experience this period of history through the eyes of real "historical" characters.

However, nothing should take away the fact that Ben Kane is a great story teller and his descriptions of the times are extremely well presented. And despite the disappointment of Hannibal not featuring, Kane's incredible ability to describe the events especially the horrors of the Battle of Cannae make this novel a very enjoyable read.
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on 13 January 2016
Second book in the trilogy. Hanno' arrives with Hannibal's army in Italy after the hard passage through the Alpes. In this book there is a lot of bloody battles, Kane manages to tell it in a fantastic and exciting way, both from the view of Hanno and his brothers fighting for Hannibal and on the other side Quintis and his father fighting for Rome.
Kane limits the number of characters which makes it an easy read but on the other hand you really can almost feel how it was like to fight in an army at that time. It's hard to imagine nowadays but it must have been horrible.
Great read!
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on 1 October 2015
Yet another superb story from Ben Kane, apart from a good idea where Carthage was and a limited understanding of the impact to Rome of Hannibal and his armies, I really knew nothing about this era in history. Ben has managed to bring the history to life in such a way, turning the Romans into the bad guys and making me cheer on the Carthaginians. A cracking read, and leads to the anticipated next volumes! Can't wait to find out what happens next to Hanno, Quintus et al. Thanks Ben you have inspired me to look at some of those research books you have been poring over.
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on 8 March 2016
Another of Ben's books finished in two days. I cant give any more praise than that because if they are not good, I can take an age to finish them as other things tend to be more important. My only problem is do I start the third in the series or read something else, as there is nothing new to read by Ben until the end of the month? Its a gripping read and leaves the reader itching to pick up the third and final Hannibal book in the series. Bravo Ben.
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on 30 September 2015
All three books in this series are now available and after finishing the third one yesterday I can wholeheartedly recommend this series to anyone who is a fan of historical fiction.

If you're in any doubt, go and buy all three. You won't regret it. Over 1200 pages (400+ each) of thrilling and engaging storylines with characters you feel a real attachment to. Mighty Carthage humbles Rome's legions under Hannibal's expert leadership and the author perfectly captures the sights, smells and gritty realism you expect only from the very best historical fiction writers. The battle scenes are glorious and they almost make you feel like reaching for your gladius!

One of the best trilogies I've ever read and money well spent.
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on 18 April 2016
As a student of history, the problem when reading historical fiction is that you tend to know the out before you even open the book. But with Ben, the journey with the characters always have you on the edge of your seat. Hanno, from slave to captain. Quintus nobility to ordinary man, who ends up on the front line of one of the worst military disasters to befall a nation, Cannae.
Bens narrative of the battle, from start to end is gripping to say the least and very, human. The struggle of the Romans was very emotion, but also the impact on the Carthaginians can be felt through Bens writing.
Ben has also visited the site of Cannae and has a video on YouTube which is well worth a watch.
Thanks for the journey Ben 👍🏻
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on 22 April 2016
What I love about this set, is that we see the events through the eyes of, and happenings to, the young boys from book one, rather than just a blood and guts battle story. Of course, the battle scenes are exhilarating, but I really enjoy getting into the characters of the protagonists, Ben Kane has a wonderful way of making sure we really KNOW the characters, they are so complete. I can rely on Ben's books to satisfy my book cravings, each and every time.
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