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VINE VOICEon 31 August 2010
The latest in the Forgotten Legion Chronicles, and the story of the twins Romulus and Fabiola, and their companions continues. This is well up to the standard set by the first two books, with Ben Kane weaving a tale which covers a vast area, both in terms of geography and topic - everything from Gaul to India and ancient religions to military protocol are included in the series so far, which equals a research project of mind boggling proportions.

You'll probably learn lots, if that takes your fancy, and you'll be well entertained along the way, as the plot takes in the events of the rise of Julius Caesar, and the impact on the main characters, whose own rise from humble beginnings requires only occasional suspension of disbelief. Things rattle along a pace, and the characters are sympathetically drawn - although it must be said that there are some minor characters whose introduction is merely to illustrate some particularly gruesome end!

Beware, however, new readers should NOT start here - you may well enjoy part 3 of the series, but you will definitely miss out on many of the nuances from the earlier books, and the backstory in the early chapters cannot convey those adequately, givent he scope of the story so far. So, read books 1 & 2 (The Forgotten Legion & The Silver Eagle) first then this - which I guess is the authors aim and you won't regret it.

Recommended for lovers of historical fiction, adventure stories and Ancient Rome
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on 5 September 2011
The conclusion of The Forgotten Legion in the guise of Road to Rome bears testimony to the fact that Ben Kane just goes from strength to strength. I'll miss all the characters, but the trilogy is rounded off at a point where Ben feels he can't add any more, and that it's time to move onto something else.

Road to Rome is festooned with scenes that are described so well that you can literally feel the tension. Take for instance the atmosphere around the Lupenar as witnessed by Tarquinius, and when Romulus seizes the opportunity to find Gemellus. (I have to be careful not to describe the scenes too vividly in case I ruin it for anyone else who hasn't read the book).

But on the whole, Road to Rome is yet another product of Ben's experience in this field, again carefully and successfully revolving the plot around historic events as they happened at the time, intertwining especially the circumstances of Romulus and Fabiola with one of history's most talked-about assassinations. I also take my hat off to Ben for his footnotes at the end, admitting to mistakes and what was fabricated for the sake of the course of the novel's development (such as that about the XXVII and XXVIII Legions in Egypt and Africa). However, that does not take away Ben's talents at history as well as writing. After all, name me a writer who doesn't make mistakes!

I really look forward to reading Hannibal Ben, someone I've often read about in my past, and it would be interesting to know what you've got to add to what I know about him already. Keep up the good work, you're doing a good job. Well done.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 11 June 2011
Having read the first two books in this series by Ben Kane and enjoyed them both I looked forward to book 3 Road to Rome with great interest.

The Forgotten Legion series centres around twins Romulus and Fabiola, who were birthed by their slave mother who was raped by a mysterious noble-born Roman, the whole series is driven from that one act and the twins pursuit of truth and freedom.

Book three very much revolves around the rape, and how Fabiola plans revenge against who she sees as the rapist, while Romulus battles to survive and come to terms with his past, his actions and his survival whilst others are lost along the way.

Ben continues with his very gritty earthy descriptions of Rome, this is what makes the books seem real amidst the mystical divinations of Tarquinus which sometimes for me stretch credulity beyond what im looking for in a Historical Fiction novel.

This book also revolves around one of the most dramatic incidents in roman history and its conclusion on the Ides of March, and how it blends and merges with the lives of Fabiola and Romulus.

Bens writing for me does not have the pace of Scarrow or Riches, but instead it has its own graceful quality that engages the reader, it also possesses an honesty that many writers don't or can't achieve.
The internal angst and musings of Romulus that Ben creates lends an absolute humanity to the character and the book as a whole that draws you the reader into the Roman world of Fabiola, Romulus & Tarquinus so you feel the pain of each and every action decision, failure and victory as if they were your own. Its a series thats been well worth the money in buying and time in reading.

Ben Kane's next trilogy is due be about Carthage, with a side project of a stand alone book about Spartacus.
I also think we will be revisiting Romulus & Tarquinus again in the future while they journey east again. I for one look forward to every one of those books
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on 10 April 2014
Not many books keep me awake at night knowing I have to get up in the morning. The only downside was that the publication had sample reads at the end so there I was, thinking I still had lots of story to go, when I turned the page and ...the end. That aside, Brilliant. The plot comes from several directions and converges beautifully keeping you page turning well into the night.
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on 31 July 2015
Ben Kane is an authoritative writer and encapsulates the history of Rome, it's leaders, soldiers, private citizens and the plebs into his story telling. It makes for strong and compelling reading and for those addicted to Ancient Rome, this book (and the final of the trilogy) leading up to the plot to assassinate Julius Ceasar is for you.
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on 4 July 2012
This was a fitting ending to the series of Forgotten Legion books, most loose ends tied up and it sees the fruition of story lines started in books 1 + 2. The characters remain interesting and you are keen to know how their respective lives play out. A good mix of true fact from history and artistic licence ensure the book whips along covering political problems in the republic, civil unrest, and the military clash of legionary against legionary.
SPOILER ALERT..... there is also a strong suggestion that a character previously believed killed off may still be alive, and perhaps there may be further Forgotten Legion stories to come..
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on 9 September 2013
This is the second book in the series, and it was great. Arrived quickly and was more exciting than the first, faster paced as you get into the story and characters. I read it quickly and found it hard to put down. I checked some of the facts and the author has done his research well. I will be reading the next book on the basis of how good this one is for sure.
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on 21 April 2012
I bought this book as a present for my brother's birthday as he loves Roman history both fictional and non-fictional. He was delighted with the purchase. As usual it was speedily delivered and well- packaged.
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on 25 August 2010
Despite having a great interest in this era of history I had never before read a fictional novel of the period. This is becasue I had worried that I would be forever picking holes in the facts and/or would find it too heavy going with a plot obscured by the author's research. However I met Ben, who is an enthusiast and very down to earth, at the Dorchester Roman Festival and he persuaded me to try the first in this trilogy. I have never looked back. The important thing that hooked me immediately is that the characters are believable and you quickly empathise with them as human beings and want to find out where their paths lead. Even if you have read other authors I would thoroughly recommend this trilogy and look forward to the next book set in Carthage! Paul from Eboracum
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on 3 March 2011
In the final volume of the Forgotten Legion Chronicles, The Road to Rome the story reaches its conclusion and finds Romulus eventually returning to the city he fled ten years before, when he was wrongly blaimed for the death of a noble. After being captured and made to fight in a foreign army, escaping and fighting for Caesars legions, he returns home in search of his sister and to seek revenge on the man that sold him and his family into slavery.

With a back drop to reality Romulus marches through history with his two friends whilst his sister plots revenge on the man she believed raped her mother in Rome and climbs the social ladder. Along the way he losses friends and finds more and is re-aquainted with some familiar faces. Chief amongst those is Tarquinius the soothsayer who's visions have been helping along the way, as well as his double headed axe.

Ben Kane has without doubt managed to create a world that is easily imaginable to the reader and characters that most people will be able to relate to in one way or another. Some you would like and some you would hate but all are as real as the people around you in reality. As with lots of historical authors writing novels, he mirrors his characters with history as they walk their journey through the written page.

I don't want to say too much about the stories intricate details because some of you won't have read it/them and its soon to be released in the USA and I don't want to ruin it for you. All I will say that as a fan of Simon Scarrow, Anthony Riches, Douglas Jackson, Conn Iggulden and others such as Lindsey Davis, Ruth Downie and Valerio Massimo Manfredi, I can highly recommend Ben Kanes books.

For one reason or another I bought all the books when they were released and have only in the last few weeks got round to reading them. I can honestly say I've thoroughly enjoyed the journey with Romulus and company and look forward to further releases by Ben Kane and who knows, journeying once again with Romulus in the future and even maybe with someone who was last seen fighting an elephant!

Some people say that there are to many books of this nature and that the market is flooded by them, I would say to them, there are not enough! Look in Waterstones or any other book shops, this genre is a small percentage of the books available and at the end of the day if you don't like this genre stick to something you do like!
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