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Reviewed by Caleb Shadis
Spartacus: Rebellion is part two of Ben Kane’s two-part set on Spartacus. Kane had intended to write just one book, but he got so caught up in the writing that it turned into two. I have to say that I got just as caught up in the reading and am glad for the extra book full of details.
Book two starts up very shortly after the end of book one. (So if you haven’t read the first book start there!) Spartacus and the army are nearing the Alps and as much as he would like to continue on over and then back home to Thrace, he is afraid the army won’t follow him. On top of that he hears rumors that there has been a recent victory by Rome in his home territories which would make it less appealing to his followers should they find out about it.
Spartacus has a hard choice to make and as many familiar with his story know, at the foot of the Alps he turns back south and makes it all the way back to the tip of the boot. Rumors of a rebellion on the island of Sicily get his attention. He thinks that if they can only get a few ships to get them across the strait they will be welcomed by the slave population and can dispatch the two legions currently trying to keep the peace. It would take years for the Romans to root them out of there, if ever.
Crassus has them trapped in the toe with ten legions; when the pirate ships fail to show, things start to look pretty grim. The army is running low on food and the best bet is to try and break through the defenses before deserters start leaving in droves.
Kane tried to keep all the known facts about Spartacus and much of the speculation in the book for historical accuracy. But the scarcity of surviving written material about Spartacus leaves a lot of room for Kane to write a wonderful story. I haven’t seen any of the movies about Spartacus so this is the first time that someone has brought him to life for me. I think Ben Kane did an excellent job. I’ve found him to be a great storyteller and this book is no exception. As a matter of fact I think he has only gotten better with each successive book! I highly recommend all of Ben Kane’s books.
Caleb is a software engineer and amature woodworker living in southern Minnesota. He has more hobbies than he has time or money for, and enjoys his quiet time reading.
Review and giveaway copies were provided free of any obligation by St. Martin’s Press. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.