I am so excited to share with you this daring book from bestselling author Ben Kane! Some of my international reader or die-hard Ben Kane and historical fiction fans might have already read it, but if you haven’t, don’t miss this edition from St. Martin’s Press! It’s the first book in his exciting Hannibal Chronicles series, called Hannibal: Enemy of Rome.
The historical region of Carthage comes to life in this novel, which follows two young men–Hanno, the son of a noble Carthaginian who is eager to fight for the great General Hannibal, and Quintus, the child of a Roman veteran of the First Punic War. Hanno begins his story as most young men do, rebellious. But his attitude leads him, and his friend Suniaton, to be lost at sea and subsequently captured by pirates.
He is sold into slavery by the pirates, and purchased by Quintus’ father, Fabricius. Quintus at first is weary of Hanno, but when he saves Quintus’ life, they become friends, but there is trouble. Action and drama ensues, but I won’t tell you for sake of spoilers.
I don’t usually enjoy the blood and gore of some military historical novels, nor any mundane military speak, but Ben Kane’s books are more than that and not at all boring. He includes the military aspect, but does not describe the gore as in depth as some other military history novels do. There is no need for sensationalism here, as his writing allows for us to fill in details with our own imaginations. He focuses more on the on the people and on the relationships between them. He builds a friendship between his characters of Hanno and Quintus that is deeply personal, one that we never want to be broken. He shows how many Carthaginians felt great hate toward Rome, and vice versa. The ethnic diversity of the people is also highlighted.
The historical aspect of this novel is obviously well-researched. This book brings both Carthage and the Roman countryside to life with an authenticity so vivid. Daily life is described in detail and we experience it as if we are there, seeing the ships pull into the massive port in Carthage. We experience ancient Roman life, down to the treatment of slaves and the design of the weapons. However, Kane develops it into a readable story, not too dry or cumberson, and writes not only with vibrant detail but with historical accuracy. It’s a perfect balance. This makes it a wonderful book to be used for people in higher education as it teaches actual historical detail, but is adventurous enough to hold attention, and therefore, create a desire for learning.
Overall, Hannibal: Enemy of Rome bursts onto the scene with great action and thrilling adventure. I highly recommend this for men, and some women who like the genre, as it breaths historical accuracy, is dynamically well-written, and is a fully-developed story. I look forward to the rest of The Hannibal Chronicles!
Hannibal: Enemy of Rome, Synopsis
One of the best known historical novelists, Ben Kane, is back with the first book in his series, Hannibal: Enemy of Rome (St. Martin’s Press; May 27th 2014). Set in a new time period, a time before the Roman Empire when the Republic was still vulnerable to outside forces, Hannibal tells the story of one of the most famous generals of the ancient world. Rome’s greatest enemy is Carthage, and Carthage’s greatest general is Hannibal—this is Hannibal’s story, as his personal quest for revenge, leads to the greatest conflict of the ancient world
File Size: 1040 KB
Print Length: 464 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 140903755X
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press (May 27, 2014)
Sold by: Macmillan
Published previously internationally, now released by St. Martin’s Press
As Rome rose to power in the 3rd century BCE there was only one real rival in the Mediterranean—Carthage. In the First Punic War, the Roman legions defeated and humiliated Carthage. Now Hannibal, a brilliant young Carthaginian general, is out for revenge. Caught up in the maelstrom are two young boys, Hanno, the son of a distinguished soldier and confidant of Hannibal, and Quintus, son of a Roman equestrian and landowner.
A disastrous adventure will see Hanno sold into slavery and bought by Quintus’s father. Although an unexpected friendship springs up between the two boys—and with Quintus’s sister, Aurelia—the fortunes of the two warring empires will tear them apart. They find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict and an alliance forged through slavery will be played out to its stunning conclusion in battle.
Praise for Ben Kane
“The rising star of historical fiction.” – Wilbur Smith
“Epic… A gripping blend of history, battles, gore, ancient politics, betrayal, consummate and casual cruelty, and sex… A pleasure for those who like history and great adventure.” – Library Journal on The Forgotten Legion
Ben Kane, Biography
BEN KANE was born in Kenya and raised there and in Ireland. He studied veterinary medicine at University College Dublin but after that he traveled the world extensively, indulging his passion for ancient history.
Now he lives in North Somerset, where he researches, writes, and practices as a small animal veterinarian.
You can view a more extensive bio on Ben, and all his books, on his website at www.benkane.net. And though I chose this fun photo depicting him in his military role-playing garb, he really is smiley most of the time.
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