Spartacus: The Gladiator

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Spartacus: The Gladiator

by Ben Kane

Random House UK | October 1, 2012 | Trade Paperback

Spartacus: The Gladiator is rated 4 out of 5 by 2.
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.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 528 pages, 7.82 × 5.12 × 1.1 in

Published: October 1, 2012

Publisher: Random House UK

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0099561921

ISBN - 13: 9780099561927

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great retelling of Spartacus' story I feel I am quite familiar with the story of the Thracian warrior who made the mighty Roman Empire tremble with fear in the years just previous to the rise of Julius Caesar. I have watched both the Starz series about Spartacus and the famous Kirk Douglas film of the same name, read some of the accounts of the Slave king by a variety of authors, but was still quite happy to read Ben Kane's version which offers some new speculative ideas about how Spartacus came to power and the struggle to maintain it. I like how he included a wife for Spartacus (there is some evidence to a woman in his life during the war), and how he and Crixus rarely, if ever, saw eye to eye. The battle scenes were good, but I felt that Kane sometimes cut them short as they got their bloodiest. All in all, a much better retelling of the story of Spartacus then offered by some (see my post about The Spartacus Legacy), but there was always a lingering feeling that it could still have been better. It was good enough to make me read on to Kane's second book about the "gladiator gone wild", Spartacus Rebellion, which will conclude this amazing warrior's enduring story.
Date published: 2013-04-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Read! well worth the time 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!
Date published: 2012-07-15

– More About This Product –

Spartacus: The Gladiator

by Ben Kane

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 528 pages, 7.82 × 5.12 × 1.1 in

Published: October 1, 2012

Publisher: Random House UK

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0099561921

ISBN - 13: 9780099561927

From the Publisher

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.

About the Author

BEN KANE was born in Kenya and raised there and in Ireland. He studied veterinary medicine at University College, Dublin, but after that he travelled the world extensively, indulging in his passion for ancient history. He lives in North Somerset with his wife and two young children.

Editorial Reviews

"Gritty, passionate and violent, this thrilling book is a real page-turner and a damn good read. It brings Spartacus -- and ancient Rome -- to vivid, colourful life." -- Steven Pressfield, bestselling author of Gates of Fire
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