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Spartacus: The Gladiator Hardcover – June 5, 2012


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Powerful."
--Library Journal
 
"A compulsive, if relentless story, vividly recounted in muscular prose." –The Daily Telegraph (UK)

About the Author

BEN KANE is the author of a trilogy set in ancient Rome that comprises The Forgotten Legion, The Silver Eagle and The Road to Rome. He has traveled widely and is a lifelong student of military history. He lives in North Somerset, England, with his family.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press (June 5, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781250001160
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250001160
  • ASIN: 1250001161
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.5 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,039,775 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

This is an excellent effort and I look forward to reading the next volume.
Jess S. Hughes
Good book, not many books these days grab my attention like this one, read it every chance I got and before I knew, I finished it.
Amazon Customer
Ben Kane does an amazing job of weaving enough historical fact with fiction to really bring this story to life.
Brenda Casto

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Aristotle S. Spencer on January 28, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have read all of Ben Kane's books and have thoroughly enjoyed them all but, I have to admit that this novel would have to be his best. Therefore I am delighted that there will be a sequel out later this year.

The story of Spartacus is well known with numerous books published over the years and augmented by movies and more recently the TV series Spartacus: Blood and Sand and also the prequel Gods of the Arena. It's a story that captures people's imagination that an individual sold into slavery, sent to train as a gladiator to please the crowd could escape and challenge the very might of the Roman Republic.

Ben Kane does a brilliant job in bringing to life the character of Spartacus. He has inserted a considerable amount of historical information into the storyline and has tempered it with a fine balance of fictional input to produce a very enjoyable and believable novel.

The novel is full of action, conflict, romance, enmity and much more . Reading it has been most rewarding.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By anaavu on July 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Originally posted on my blog: [...]

I have to say that although I like historical fiction, I've read very few novels like Spartacus: The Gladiator. Ben Kane combines extensive knowledge about the period with a fast-paced, daring writing style, a strong, fierce hero and a powerful plot. You can tell he's an experienced writer with his confident writing - the action scenes could be easily understood, the romance was short and sweet and the characterization remained constant. I loved how Ben Kane took the widely known facts about Spartacus a step further by adding all these details that truly make the story believable and worthwhile.

Spartacus' arrogant attitude but caring personality shines through in every word Kane writes - from the first killing of the thieves to saving the priestess Ariadne from the kings' guards even though he could have been killed in the process. I didn't always like Spartacus because of his brashness and unemotional nature but nevertheless, he was a very well-rounded and well-developed character.

All in all, this novel was a very entertaining read and I can't wait to see more of Spartacus. Although I may not have read much in this genre, I can say with confidence that Ben Kane can be counted among the famous authors in literary merit. When it comes to historical fiction, Kane is a master!

P.S. I also recommend watching the TV show Spartacus along with this book and its sequel (not out yet).

Word of Warning: This novel is for people interested in historical fiction, especially about Spartacus. At 480 pages, it is definitely not an easy, fast read. There are violent scenes (though not at all unnecessary or gross) and rape scenes and profanity is prevalent throughout, so you should know what you're getting into if you read this book.

I received a complimentary copy as part of a blog tour in exchange for an honest review.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Erica L Jordan on February 8, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Spartacus the Gladiator is a brilliant retelling of a story we've all heard before, but can't seem to get enough of. The novel is rich in historical detail and the characters really come to life, they weren’t just words on a page. Spartacus was my friend and his enemies were my enemies. The book wasn’t so much about Spartacus as a gladiator, as it was about his life as a warrior and the battles he and his men fought against the undefeated legionaries. He was an enemy of Rome and a force to be reckoned with. It was about the thousands of men that joined him in the fight and the relentless training they endured. I am looking forward to reading the sequel. I'd recommend this book to any fan of Spartacus and Ancient Rome.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By david l. poremba VINE VOICE on July 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover
In the hands of a master storyteller, an old story can be retold with vigor, historical detail and good characterization. This new version of "Spartacus" is a Roman Army veteran sold into slavery as a gladior, escaping and eventually leading his own army in revolt against Rome. The characterization is well done as hardly any of the men are perfect. Even Spartacus has his demons and the men in his army are also on the lookout for plunder and profit. The battle scenes are extremely well done - reflecting the chaos of combat. Can't wait for the next installment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By plane on July 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Spartacus was a little known individual living in the first century BC. He rated a few lines in history texts due to the fact that he led a revolt against the might of Rome, and for a time unified a large force of slaves and gladiators escaping from captivity. Howard Fast wrote a novel about him in the 1950s upon which a film also entitled "Spartacus" and starring Kirk Douglas at the height of his career vaulted this individual into prominence. Recently a TV show again featured the character although this was filled with more distortions than any actual fact. Ben Kane has taken this a giant step forward and written a very engrossing novel about Spartacus which he admits in an afterwards to the book is based upon as much source material as is available, but does admit to taking some liberties with the facts.

He begins with Spartacus returning from eight years of service in the Roman army to his home in Thrace ( part of Greece), being sold into slavery by a man taking his family's estates and killing his father. Spartacus is sold to the owner of a school of gladiators where he sharpens his fighting skills, develops his leadership qualities and meets his future wife (girl friend). Mr Kane admits that there may not actually have been a female companion, but does create a woman that is a high priestess and gives Spartacus more credibility with the men he comes to lead.

An escape from the school is successful and Spartacus with the help of leaders of other nationalities in captivity with him flees to nearby mount Vesuvius. A Roman army unit sent to subdue these revolutionaries is defeated via the tactics planned by Spartacus.
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