Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Virtual Author Book Tours: Spartacus by Ben Kane

Title: Spartacus
Author: Ben Kane
Format: ARC
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publish Date: June 5, 2012
Source: Virtual Author Book Tours

Why You're Reading This Book:
  • You like adventure with your historical fiction.
What's the Story?:

From Goodreads.com: "The first of two epic novels which tell the story of one of the most charismatic heroes history has ever known -- Spartacus, the gladiator slave who took on and nearly defeated the might of Rome, during the years 73-71 BC.

In historical terms we know very little about Spartacus the man -- partly because most contemporary Roman historians were keen to obliterate his memory and prevent him from attaining mythic status. This of course is grist to the novelist's mill. 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."

My Two Cents:

Spartacus is one of the most famous hero stories everywhere. Even if you're like me and haven't seen the famous movie starring Kirk Douglas (I need to change that soon, especially after reading this book), you still are probably familiar with the basic story. There is a good reason that Spartacus' story has been retold over and over again in so many different ways. It is a story about an underdog who overcomes and conquers; a story that everyone can get behind.

Now obviously because of the subject matter, there is a lot of fighting, war, and violence in the book. This book was definitely a little out of my comfort zone as far as historical fiction goes. I usually stick to historical fiction that is very character driven, whereas, this book is very event driven. In this case, it really works well. Spartacus is a man of action! There are many battles throughout the book. The violence did not bother me as I'm okay with violence as long as it serves a purpose, which it does in this book. However, if you are bothered by violence, this is probably not the book for you.

I did wish that we got to see a little bit more in to some of the characters. There are a lot of really fascinating characters from very different walks of life. I wish that we would have gotten a little more insight into where they were coming from.

This is a great book for people who like a lot of action with their reading. Once the book gets going, it doesn't let up until the very end. It's also a really good adventure story. I loved that the book took me to times that I had never been. Kane does a great job with the world building of Spartacus' world. We can see the places he walked and the people who he met. You really get a full picture of what his world must have been like.

Bottom line: Perfect for historical fiction lovers who want a slice of excitement and adventure with their history.



  1. Sounds like an interesting book, but don't you think a lot of fiction has already been written about the heroes of that particular period? Has this book something new to offer, I wonder :)
    Please do visit my book blog, and if you like it, please follow!

    1. I thought it did. I think the cool thing about well known characters is that just having a new person take on the story can totally change everything!

  2. Thanks so much for taking part in the tour. I'm so glad you enjoyed the book.

  3. Thanks for reading the book, and I am glad that you liked it.
    @Amritorupa: I like to think that I've given the tale a new spin! ;-)


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