WARRIOR. As winter approaches in 74 BC, few travellers are abroad. But one man is making the long and weary last stage of his way home. Large parts of his homeland, Thrace, a land north of Greece, has fallen under the hated power of Rome. This Thracian has fought in the Roman legions for nearly a decade. Skilled, hardened in battle, a sophisticated fighter. Spartacus.
SLAVE. But home is no longer the safe haven of his imagination. A new king sits on the throne. Treacherous and cunning, he has seized the crown by murder and he will hold on to it by violence. When a Roman slave trader comes to the village in search of men who will fight as gladiators, Spartacus is betrayed and sold. His odyssey has begun.
HERO. The legend that is Spartacus has come down to us through the centuries - the story of a man who took on the might of Rome and nearly brought her down. Now Ben Kane, the brilliant author of The Forgotten Legion and Hannibal: Enemy of Rome, brings to glorious life the first part of the Spartacus story.
©2012 Ben Kane (P)2012 Random House AudioGo
“There is much to enjoy in this saga of the downtrodden triumphing temporarily over their oppressors, and the portrait of Spartacus as charismatic leader is a vivid one.” (The Sunday Times)
“Ben Kane is a master of blending action, storytelling, living characters and historical and military detail … highly recommended.” (Editor’s Choice Historical Novels Review)
“Historically little is known about the real Spartacus but in the hands of Ben Kane his legend has been crafted into two fantastic novels and this is the first.” (4 stars, Daily Express)
Unforgettable, legendary story!
I read several books about Spartacus: 1969 Spartacus by Rafaello Giovagnoli, historical facts and Spartacus: The Gladiator, Spartacus: The Rebellion. The best part of this story is that it does not destroy the already formed vision of the hero nor the history or battles. The author managed to present Spartacus in much more powerful character yet, preserved his gentle and human side. Throughout the book the author made me feel like I was Spartacus (not that I would not like to be). I lived his each and every moment, fought all battles and shouted along (For Thrace!!!!!!!) while driving my car. The story is truly amazing!
I listened the next book about Spartacus and equally loved it.
Interestingly, NO! Why?! Because I enjoyed taking pauses and replaying the completed part of the story in my mind. I wondered what could have happen if his decisions and those of his brothers in arms were different. Things like that.
Before reading this book, please, make a little research about Rome, its army and the history of the gladiators. Take a map of Italy and make a note of several cities. Look at the history of Hanibal Barca and his crossing of the Alps. It will help you to understand the book much better.
Loved this book. Its a bit too long for my taste though. 17 hrs is long. None the less, it was fun.
"Excellent story spoilt by varying quality of narra"
Despite my disappointment with the sound I also read the Rebelion - offhand I can't think of another story that could be comparable
Mostly OK but long stretches of whispering at a very low level required constant alteration to the sound level which is frustrating when you just want to listen and relax
Action, betrayal, love, and battles galore! Brilliant work by both author and narrator. I've listened to and read this book a few times now, and it just gets better every time.
I couldn't stop listening to this story once it started. Like the Hannibal story it had me gripped from start to finish. I love the story and the way it was read. A master peace also in a historic novel... Ben Kane I salute you ....
"Fantastic story and a great listen."
A fantastic story which is well written and the narration brought the story to life brilliantly. Didn't want the book to end and can't wait for the next book in the series. Outstanding 10/10.
"Well written and well narrated,"
Initially I thought Michael Praed was a little monotone however, he soon got in to his narration and by just the change of inflection in his voice made the characters come to life. The story is well known and Ben Kane appears to have researched his subject well, thus giving Spartacus and his follower’s strong characterization. The mixing of fact and fiction is a good recipe for producing an exciting story, If Hollywood are considering remaking the movie I think Mr Kane should be considered to write the screen play!
"Another great book from a great author."
I have loved this book, it is well written taking the listener to the action, can't wait for book two the "Rebellion"
"Ben Kane at his best"
Once again Ben Kane shows why he is so highly praised as one of the best historical fiction authors around. Its quite clear that he leaves no stone unturned in his research of his subject and with Spartacus he once again excells at filling in the gaps that history has forgotten!
We all know the tragic rise and fall of the Thracian slave who so very nearly toppled Rome but Ben Kane brings the legend to life and breathes new life into the fabled gladiator.
story line is just great ever book ben kane has is just super and the reader michael praed just make it even better the way he reads it
Spartacus the one and only ;)
"Spartacus - First Class Gladiator"
Ben Kane has fired the imagination with this brilliant and gripping novel. Was hard to put the book down, All characters had their own personality and even the villans became likeable rogues !! The story was a credible account of the life of Spartacus, the Legend. A must for all history fans ..
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