Newest Review: ... after the murder of one of his closest friends by the Roman Legions, Fabiola and Romulus are twins sold as youths by their master for d... more
The Forgotten Legion
The Forgotten Legion - Ben Kane
Member Name: hotrock4
The Forgotten Legion - Ben Kane
Advantages: Great Read
Disadvantages: All Good Books Come to an End
Having read and enjoyed Ben Kane's novel Spartacus the Gladiator and not yet having purchased the second book Spartacus Rebellion as I am tight and waiting for the paper back edition, I was eager to see if any other of his publications matched up to the quality of Spartacus. Following a little research I found the Forgotten Legion trilogy and figured the first book of the series entitled The Forgotten Legion would be as good a place as any to start.
The plot of The Forgotten Legion is centred around four main characters, Tarquinius, Brennus, Romulus, and Fabiola. The story starts setting the background of these four characters, Tarquinius the sooth-sayer or fortune reader seeking revenge after the murder of one of his closest friends by the Roman Legions, Fabiola and Romulus are twins sold as youths by their master for disobediance into a brothel and gladiator school (ludus), which is where Romulus meets Brennus the gladiator. The story really begins when by a series of chance events Romulus and Brennus end up fleeing the ludus and meeting Tarquinius shortly after signing up for the army to fight for the Roman Legions on the borders of the Roman Empire, being former slaves as gladiators where they were not permitted to join the Legions however this risk was far outweighed by the punishment that would be metered out to them should they return to the ludus.
Fabiola who was sold to a brothel catering for the high society in Rome at age 13 as her brother was being sold to the ludus is intent on revenge to her former master for the job she was sold into, and breaking up their family, but the main plot as far as Fabiola is concerned is the burning hatred and need for revenge against hers and Romulus' father who left her mother pregnant after raping her. Fabiola soon has Brutus under her spell through her work in the brothel, a rich and powerful man with high status in the Roman Empire and she will use him in whichever way she sees fit.
Overall a great storyline that flows with such ease its easy to get carried away and absorbed in the rich descriptions of the Roman Empire and the everthing that made it click from the dingy, grimy outskirts of the city, to the rich and impressive city centre with great shrines and buildings. Everthing that surrounded the Romans from fighting in gory detail, to what religion meant to them is covered here not in a way you may expect but definitely easily taken in.
I personally enjoyed every page of this book in case you hadn't already guessed and only took a little over 3 days to read the 600 pages this book contains. With blood, gore, friendship, love and religion all in just the right amount, coupled with a whole heap of historically correct details thrown in for good measure amoungst the twists and turns every page is well worth the paper it is written on. This is definitely one I would recommend picking up and having a read of, if you enjoy this one check out Ben Kanes other books they are all of a comparable great standard of writing and all as historically correct as a fictional history novel gets.
Summary: Well worth a read, pick it up if you see it about