Friday, May 23, 2014

Hannibal: Enemy of Rome

The great Carthaginian general, Hannibal, has never forgotten the defeat and humiliation of his father by Rome. Now he plans his revenge and the destruction of the old enemy.

While Hannibal prepares for war, the young son of one of his most trusted military commanders goes on an innocent adventure with his best friend - and disappears.

Captured by pirates, put up for sale in the slave market, one of the boys is sold as a gladiator, the other as a field slave. They believe they will never see home or family again.

But their destiny - interwoven and linked with that of their Roman masters - is to be an extraordinary one. The devastating war unleashed upon Rome by Hannibal will last for nearly twenty years. It will change their lives - and history - forever.

My Review

Ancient Rome in the 2ndcentury is the setting of this tale of two friends whose countries are at odds with each other as they prepare for the Second Punic War. Hanno is the youngest son of a wealthy Carthaginian. He contravenes his father’s wishes to attend a political meeting, and instead, goes fishing with his best friend, Suni. The pair are rescued by a band of unscrupulous pirates and sold into slavery. Hanno is purchased by a Roman land baron named Fabricus whose overseer hates Carthaginians, and Suni is to become a gladiator. Hanno is befriended by his owner’s children, Aurelia and Quintus. When he saves Quintus’ life, a bond is formed between them. One day, Quintus helps Hanno escape, and the two part to fight in the 2nd Punic War on opposite sides – Hanno to fight with Hannibal and Quintus to fight for the Romans.

Poignant relationships, and vividly real battle scenes color the pages of this gripping novel. I enjoyed every moment of this book. The writing is clear and invisible, the research impeccable, and the poignant hardships faced by the characters made for a very engrossing story. The storyline is touched with realism and took many interesting twists and turns. Although the battle scenes were numerous, which will greatly appeal to male readership, this does not detract from holding the interest of female readers. There is something for all in this tale.

The story continues with two more installments in this new series. Ben Kane is a talented, best-selling author, and I love the way he can weave a complex tale. Most definitely, I will be reading more of his work. This is a fabulous book that I read in the span of 24 hours. Yup, it was that good!

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