Fantasy Book Review: The Forgotten Legion by Ben Kane
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 against the Parthians and overwhelming odds.
One of the biggest compliments I can give this book is that its 600+ pages felt like only 300. The Forgotten Legion is a book that has universal appeal; a fascinating, educational and action-packed tale of bravery, suffering and hope set at the height of the Roman Empire. Fantastic entertainment.
Ben Kane was born in Kenya and raised there and in Ireland. He studied veterinary medicine at University College Dublin, but after that he travelled the world extensively, indulging his passion for ancient history. Now he lives in North Somerset, where he researches, writes and also practices as a small animal vet. The Forgotten Legion is his first novel. For more information please visit www.benkane.net.