Sunday, June 17, 2012

Spartacus The Gladiator by Ben Kane

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (February 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250021561
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250021564

About the book:
Historically very little is known about Spartacus. We know that he came from Thrace, a land north of Greece, that he once fought in the Roman legions and that, during two fateful years, he led a slave army which nearly brought Rome to its knees.In Ben Kane's brilliant novel, we meet Spartacus as he returns to Thrace, ready to settle down after a decade away. But a new king has usurped the throne. Treacherous and violent, he immediately seizes Spartacus and sells him to a Roman slave trader looking for new gladiators.The odyssey has begun which will see Spartacus become one of the greatest legends of history, the hero of revolutionaries from Karl Marx to Che Guevara, immortalised on screen, and now brought to life in Ben Kane's great bestseller - a novel which takes the story to its halfway point and is continued in Spartacus: Rebellion.

My take on this book:
I must admit the reason I wanted to read "Spartacus The Gladiator" is because of a movie that I watched about the warrior. Not my normal genre to read,I really feared that the story may be about warring and fighting, but instead I was pleasantly surprised at how much depth there was to the story. Sure  there are battles,killings and such but there is actually so much more taking place and that's what kept me reading. 

The book opens up with Spartacus headed back home to Thrace after being gone for years. He plans on returning to his village to settle down and perhaps find a wife, what he learns instead is that his father and brother have both been murdered and that new king rules the land. As he enters Thrace he meets Ariadne a beautiful  priestess who has been fighting of the attentions of Kotys the king. Spartacus immediately plans to seek revenge for his families death,and overthrow the king. When he shares his plan with a few of his loyal friends, there is a traitor among them and instead Spartacus and his followers are captured and sold to a slave trader who is looking for men who can be trained to fight as Gladiators.  When  Ariadne  sees what is taking place she knows the only way to protect herself from Kotys is to claim to be Spartacus' wife and follow him. Will she find protection with Spartacus,and for how long?  What about Spartacus, will he fare well  as a  Gladiator, or is he destined for something else?

Ben Kane does an amazing job of weaving enough historical fact with fiction to really bring this story to life. The character of Spartacus literally jumps off the pages. We see him as a fierce warrior ready to fight to the death, but we  also see another side to him, one that makes him very human, he feels responsible for Ariadne, a woman he basically just met, and he also looks out for his men, worrying about their well being. 

One of my favorite characters in the story easily had to be Ariadne. She was a strong,brave woman in her own right. 

Ben Kane is a new to me author who has defiantly gained a new fan. His fantastic storytelling ability certainly captured me from the first sentences and his ability to provide multi-layered characters kept me hooked.Anyone who enjoys a bit of romance, blended into a story where there is plenty of action,drama and conflict will want to pick up this book. I for one will certainly be watching for the next installment of Spartacus' story.


  1. wow, this sounds so good! i've seen it before and I had the same doubts you did. sounds like something i would like though after reading your review!

  2. Thanks for your great review, Brenda. I'm glad that you liked it so much!

    @Carrie - I hope you get to read it soon.

    Best wishes

  3. Thanks for dropping by Carrie, I was totally blown away at how much I enjoyed this book. I was afraid I might get bored but Mr. Kane really knows how to bring his characters to life!

  4. Thanks so much for taking part in the tour. I'm so glad you enjoyed the book!


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