Posted By trish on November 27, 2009
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.
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
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