Ben Kane’s brilliant novel begins in the Thracian village to which Spartacus has returned, after escaping from life as an auxiliary in the Roman army. But here he quickly falls foul of his overlord, the Thracian king, who has set his heart on Dionysian priestess, Ariadne — later to become wife of Spartacus. Betrayed again to the Romans by his jealous king, Spartacus — and with him Ariadne — are taken in captivity to the school of gladiators at Capua. It is here — against the unbelievable brutality of gladiatorial life — that Spartacus and Crixus the Gaul plan the audacious overthrow of their Roman masters, escaping to Vesuvius, where they recruit and train a huge slave army — an army which will keep the might of Rome at bay for two years and create one of the most extraordinary legends in history. Spartacus: The Gladiator takes the story up to the moment when the slave army has inflicted its first great defeat on Rome. (From Amazon.ca)
Curses to my old age, I wanted to keep reading but my eyes just couldn’t stay open. That’s how good it was. It was filled with action, a bit of love on the side, but well written that I now have to go look for other books by Ben Kane to keep reading them. They’re just THAT good.
Spartacus was good, and well written, the plot was well done and the action scenes were fun to read, and filled with blood that you’d expect in a novel such as this (not as gory as the TV show, thankfully.) Characters are also well done here. Although I’m biased towards Crixus. That’s because I’ve watched the show before jumping this this book (both are not related, and have nothing to do with each other!) and I hated him from the start, so that polluted my opinion of the Crixus in the book. Although I’d have to say, he’s still not likable and extremely abrasive as you’d expect.
I like the relationship between Ariadne and Spartacus. Ariadne was like the strong, but silent supporter of Spartacus and I liked the role she played (snake as a secret weapon??? that’s just awesome!) in the novel. She was like the other half of Spartacus and they both fit well together. Spartacus himself was also fun to read, and with his personality done in the book it’s no wonder others were willing to follow him. He had all the qualities to become a leader of an uprising. The villains in the book were also well done and so hateful you feel like jumping in and throttling them. Ariadne though, had a great way of fighting back at one of them which I enjoyed reading immensely.
The historical aspect of the book was pretty good, although I’m not quite familiar with how accurate it is. The author’s note at the end was very informative and helped. There’s even a glossary at the back, and that helped as well to make the reading more easier to read (plus, you get to learn something new as a bonus).
I’m definitely going to read other books by Ben Kane. I’ve read other historical fiction by male authors and he’s up there with Bernard Cornwell in my opinion. Definitely worth a pick up and read through!
I give it a 10 out of 10.
Thank you Virtual Author Book Tours for letting me host this book tour!