Ben Kane, author of The Forgotten Legion, on tour January 2010

Posted By on November 27, 2009

Ben KaneAbout Ben

I’ve always had a passion for history, and military history in particular. As a boy, I devoured anything to do with soldiers and war, from the Romans to the Vikings and Crusaders. More modern conflicts weren’t excluded either, so I read all about the Napoleonic wars, the American civil war and World Wars One and Two. Growing up in a home without a TV, books became my escape into the world of imagination. Although all periods interested me, I always had a ‘thing’ for the Romans. And the purpose of writing Roman military fiction? Apart from putting bread on my family’s table and paying the mortgage of course! It’s simple – because I find the world of the Roman legionary endlessly fascinating, and I hope by writing gripping stories about them, full of accurate detail, that I can carry readers off to an exciting world where they can forget for a while the worries and strains of ‘normal’ life.

Forgotten LegionAbout The Forgotten Legion

Romulus and Fabiola are twins, born into slavery after their mother is raped by a drunken nobleman on his way home from a good night out. At 13 years old, they and their mother are sold: Romulus to gladiator school, Fabiola into prostitution, where she will catch the eye of one of the most powerful men in Rome, and their mother into obscurity and death in the salt mines. Tarquinius is an Etruscan, a warrior and soothsayer, born enemy of Rome, but doomed to fight for the Republic in the Forgotten Legion. Brennus is a Gaul; the Romans killed his entire family. He rises to become one of the most famous and feared gladiators of his day – and mentor to the boy slave, Romulus, who dreams night and day of escape and of revenge. The lives of these four characters are bound and interwoven in a marvellous story which begins in a Rome riven by corruption, violence and political enmities, but ends far away, where Romulus, Brennus and Tarquinius find themselves fighting in the ranks of the Forgotten Legion against the Parthians and overwhelming odds.

“The world is full of authors trying to emulate Rosemary Sutcliffe’s EAGLE OF THE NINTH. Few even come close to succeeding. With THE FORGOTTEN LEGION, Ben Kane has come very close indeed. Where others play in the rarified world of senators, legates and upper class merchants, Kane delves into the grim underbelly of slavery, prostitution and gladiatorial carnage; a place where life is cheap and the thirst of the conquerors for the blood of the conquered knows no bounds. Here, we smell the grim, lie on the cold floors, face death daily with little to live for beyond the faint spark of hope that one day there might be revenge. His creation of the Etruscan Haruspex is fantastic – a man of a defeated nation who can yet give hope, and does so, to both Roman and captive alike. His weaving of the many character strands is deftly done and the conclusion leaves us waiting for the sequel.  Definitely one to watch for the future.” –Manda Scott, author of the Boudica novels, and of the bestseller The Crystal Skull

Ben Kane’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS

Monday, January 25th: Starting Fresh

Thursday, January 28th: Drey’s Library and guest post

Tuesday, February 3rd: Books for Breakfast

Wednesday, February 4th: Café of Dreams

Monday, February 8th: Chefdruk Musings

Tuesday, February 9th: Raging Bibliomania

Wednesday, February 10th: Bibliofreak

Thursday, February 11th: Luxury Reading

Tuesday, February 16th: My Two Blessings

Thursday, February 18th: Rundpinne

Tuesday, March 2nd: It’s All About Books

The world is full of authors trying to emulate Rosemary Sutcliffe’s
EAGLE OF THE NINTH.  Few even come close to succeeding.  With THE
FORGOTTEN LEGION, Ben Kane has come very close indeed.  Where others
play in the rarified world of senators, legates and upper class
merchants, Kane delves into the grim underbelly of slavery,
prostitution and gladiatorial carnage; a place where life is cheap
and the thirst of the conquerors for the blood of the conquered knows
no bounds.  Here, we smell the grim, lie on the cold floors, face
death daily with little to live for beyond the faint spark of hope
that one day there might be revenge.  His creation of the Etruscan
Haruspex is fantastic – a man of a defeated nation who can yet give
hope, and does so, to both Roman and captive alike. His weaving of
the many character strands is deftly done and the conclusion leaves
us waiting for the sequel.  Definitely one to watch for the future.

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