This is a really brilliant historical novel set during the epic showdown between Rome and Carthage, that decided which civilisation would dominate the Western Mediterranean (and likely all of Europe) during the third and second centuries BC - and probably for ever afterwards.
Would it be the culturally Middle Eastern empire of the Carthaginians or would it be the Westerners of the Roman Republic?
The book is set during the decisive Second Punic War and weaves in a wonderful and unusual story of intermittent but deep romance between a likeable young Punic soldier and a lissom Greek camp follower.
The story is related from the Carthaginian angle but does not take sides.
I found this book totally impossible to put down.
It is very moving in its 'world war' sense of the human suffering and in the impact that the unrelenting strife between the two hyperpowers ultimately brings to bear on the parallel story of love.
Another reviewer suggests that Hannibal is described by the author as black African. I do not recall such a description. The word 'African' is used because the Carthaginians were North African. They were a Semitic people and would have resembled Arab or Jewish people in appearance.
All is set in a historically accurate backdrop of Hannibal's all out war on Rome and the Romans' coolly unrelenting war on Hannibal. And on Carthage.