Publication Order of Forgotten Legion Chronicles Books
|The Forgotten Legion||(2008)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|The Silver Eagle||(2009)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|The Road to Rome||(2010)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
Publication Order of Hannibal Books
|Enemy of Rome||(2011)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Fields of Blood||(2013)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|The Patrol||(2013)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Clouds of War||(2014)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
Publication Order of Spartacus Books
Publication Order of Pompeii Series (with Stephanie Dray, Sophie Perinot, Kate Quinn and Vicky Alvear Shecter) Books
Publication Order of Eagles of Rome Books
|The Shine||(2015)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Eagles at War||(2015)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Hunting the Eagles||(2016)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Eagles in the Storm||(2017)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas
Ben Kane is a renowned writer born in Kenya in 1970. He is of Irish descent, though, and he was born in this African country while his father, a veterinarian, had a job there. When Kane was seven, his family moved back to Ireland where he went to school and ultimately college. He followed his father’s footsteps and graduated from University College Dublin, thus becoming a veterinarian. Kane tried to get a job and settle down in the UK, but after a year he got the idea to see the world and he took the trip along the famous Silk Road, a journey that lasted for three months. While visiting countries of the East, Kane saw some interesting historical landmarks, especially in Turkmenistan where he saw the ancient city of Merv, that was an important city in the days of yore. As Kane emerged into this trip, he became more and more interested in ancient civilizations, especially Roman, that would later become the center of his literary work.
Once he got back from the journey, Ben Kane was restless as he felt that he should have seen more. A year passed, and Kane decided to embark on another trip around the world, and this time it lasted for three years. Kane used to picture ancient warriors on the places he visited, especially Roman soldiers and wild tribes of the Britain. This was the time when Kane started reconsidering the career he wanted to pursue.After he came back from the trip, he turned to the life of a veterinarian, but the idea was already inside his head. Since he was a great fan of literature since his childhood, when he spent nearly every nickel on books, Kane started imagining how it would look like to become an author of historical fiction. He was under the influence of such writers such as J.R.R. Tolkien, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Rosemary Sutcliff, possibly his greatest inspiration. He started writing and in 2008, his first novel “The Forgotten Legion” was published. This went on to become the series that made Kane famous, and after this one came other acclaimed series such as “The Hannibal” and “The Spartacus”. Kane even made a documentary “The Road to Rome” that followed his path along the Italy in order to collect funds for charity.
The narrator of the movie is no other than Sir Ian McKellen. This was not the only time Kane made a long walk for charity. In 2013, with the aid of his two friends, Kane passed along the whole length of Hadrian’s Wall (which is around 117 kilometers long) and he did it while wearing Roman military equipment. How’s that for dedication.As it was mentioned before, Kane writes historical fiction and he has published four series so far, and he is mainly focused on ancient Roman civilization. His series cover periods of great Roman dominance, wars with Hannibal, rebellion of slaves led by Spartacus and so on. However, “The Forgotten Legion” stands as perhaps his greatest work so far. This series deals with not so much explored Roman campaign in Parthian Empire, an enterprise that failed spectacularly, with the ultimate defeat in the Battle of Carrhae, that was fought in 53 BC. The story itself focuses on the life of the four characters- two gladiators, an Etruscan and a Gaul. In the first book of the series, that is also called “The Forgotten Legions”, we get to know these characters. Romulus and Fabiola are twins, born as slaves, whose life is not a walk in the park. In their early teens, Romulus is sent to gladiator school, in order to learn to fight and amuse idle gentry of Rome and Fabiola becomes a prostitute.
Romulus is very talented and works hard, thus attracting the attention of many important political figures of Rome. He has a tutoring influence embodied in Brennus, a Gaul who became a gladiator after his family was murdered. Brennus lives for the revenge and does not bother to hide his hatred towards Romans. On the other hand, Tarquinius is an Etruscan, who is forced to adapt to Roman lifestyle (which he harshly opposes) and fight for their infamous “Forgotten Legion”. The first story follows the beginnings of these four characters, and a reader has a chance to meet them, as well as the laws and life of Roman society. Ben Kane did a good job researching and his books are fairly accurate in terms of historical events. These facts are not pushed onto the reader, but the writer lets a reader to soak them as he gets deeper in the story.In the second book of the series, called “The Silver Eagle” , Kane pushes his story forward as the plot unravels and the political life in Rome influences the lives of the four protagonists.
The men find themselves fighting on the side of the country which gave them nothing (but the reason to hate it). Romulus, Brennus and Tarquinius are trapped in the midst of Roman attempt to conquer the Parthians, a feat that does not play out nicely. They have to endure wild tribes, difficult weather conditions, and enemies that wait their turn to wound the Roman Empire. Nevertheless, back home in the Rome, the only female protagonists fights her own battle. Fabiola has to make her way through the jungle of Roman society. Chain of events leads her to Gaul, where she has to find her lover, a Roman officer who is fighting rebellions led by the fearless Vercingetorix, who threatens to destroy the army of Julius Caesar. Ben Kane once again manages to hold the strings of his intricate story line, filled with many flamboyant characters, both fictional and historical. It is fun to see how such established historical figures such as Julius Caesar and Crassus influenced the lives of ordinary people, sometimes in ways difficult to conceive. Kane is very good at showing emotional struggles of his (anti)heroes, however he is sometimes prone to rely on some worn-out tropes and archetypes. All in all, his work provides a good insight into the world of centurions, sandals, and blood. There is a reason why Kane’s books were published in dozen countries after all.Book Series In Order » Authors » Ben Kane