Romulus and Fabiola are twins, born into slavery after their mother is raped by a drunken nobleman on his way home from a good night out. At 13 years old, they and their mother are sold: Romulus to gladiator school, Fabiola into prostitution, where she will catch the eye of one of the most powerful men in Rome, and their mother into obscurity and death in the salt mines.
Tarquinius is an Etruscan, a warrior and soothsayer, born enemy of Rome, but doomed to fight for the Republic in the Forgotten Legion.
Brennus is a Gaul; the Romans killed his entire family. He rises to become one of the most famous and feared gladiators of his day - and mentor to the boy slave, Romulus, who dreams night and day of escape and of revenge.
The lives of these four characters are bound and interwoven in a marvellous story which begins in a Rome riven by corruption, violence and political enmities, but ends far away, where Romulus, Brennus, and Tarquinius find themselves fighting against the Parthians and overwhelming odds.
Great story lines, I really enjoyed Hannibal and the start of this book makes you think that it’s going to be just as good however there are a few story lines in this book spread over different time periods e.g. Rome 9 years later...you get the idea. This technique allows the storylines to avoid dreary parts when we’re waiting for people to grow up but unfortunately just gets a bit to frustrating when a story line is developed and then moves on to another when really it would be great if it just carried on a little longer.
Majority of the book is good but the ending seems as though the author had a few more hundred pages up his sleeve and then ran out of time. I guess there might be a follow on to come.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
It was a guy on the train reading "Hannibal" that tipped me off on Ben Kane. Can't believe that I hadn't heard of him before. I decided to start at the beginnig & having just finished listening to Michael Praed's excellent rendition of the novel I 'm happy to report that it was excellent! I can't wait to rip through the rest of Kane's novels.
Who can resist the allure of classical Rome during the Late Empire? If an author can conjure up some interesting characters and write a good battle scene he's up and running. Add in some wider background history with some speculative twists, wrap it all in a layer of myticism and voila, an instant success! Of course if it was that easy we'd all do it, so kudos to writers like Ben Kane who actually deliver!
Got book 2 "The Silver Eagle" in my basket right now - don't hesitate....
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Good story and also a good history lesson about the Roman harsh way of life. Bit gory in places but Michael Praed's reading was good
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Although not, I think, quite as good as the Eagles Trilogy, the Forgotten Legion,
nevertheless, has started well, even though some of the narrative was repeated several times over.
I understand that this is the first book that Ben Kane has had published and it does not disappoint. Once I made it through the first chapter, I was well and truly hooked. Fortunately, I have come to the table late in the Ben Kane seres of books and do not have to wait for the next book to be published.
This book has a great story that really engages you. However I would say it takes a few hours to really get into it as it unwinds slowly, taking time for the characters to mold in with each other but the payoff is great.
The speaker of the story does a great job in pulling off Characters such as Brennus and Sileus all the while staying as the narrator. However again, it takes time for you to wind yourself into the reading.
Overall I love this book and I really can’t say enough that enough. The author has really done his stuff here.
u will finish the 2 books wanting more hope its not 3am and dark when it happens
This is the first book I have listened to by Ben Kane and it will nit be the last.
A really entertaining story,can't wait to get into the second in the series.
Great work Mr Kane.
I eventually became involved in the story but I didn't find it dynamic and engaging.
cracking story. brings ancient Rome to life. Can't praise this book too highly. More please.