16 March 2012

The Forgotten Legion Chronicles - Ben Kane

Fast-paced, action-packed and truly realistic. This is all the acclaim these books deserve.

The trilogy is set in Italy, when the Romans were at the height of their power and Caesar was cutting down his enemy one country at a time. But we don't follow Caesar. We follow four characters whose backgrounds are far more lowly than a noble. There's Tarquinius, the soothsayer, Brennus, a huge Gaul, Romulus and Fabiola, the twins whose lives were torn apart by their owner.

The story is very real, considering it is set in a time that was so long ago. The attention to detail is meticulous and the amount of research that must have gone into the trilogy is insane! The characters are perfectly defined. They aren't one-dimensional, and they all have different ideas, beliefs, goals and backgrounds. But the best thing about the way the characters are developed in the books is that they each have faults. They aren't your usual perfect beings, and some of them aren't the type that can even be lovable because of them.

The story is engrossing. I admit that the first book took a while to get rolling, as some books will. But I think that this was OK. Without the back-stories, the characters would be nothing more than the purposeless personalities you see in modern teen romance novels. Luckily, Ben Kane is not your average writer. And not only that, but these novels are set in a time when nothing is easy, and nothing is taken for granted. You won't see any star-crossed lovers here.

All three books take place over a good few years. The politics around Rome are continually changing during this time and I really commend Ben Kane for putting it across in a way that is easy to grasp. There's even a glossary of terms in the back for when you just can't remember what a contubernium is. Expect a lot of fighting, blood and sexual content. After all, this is Ancient Rome in a time of confusion and continual war.

So if you like your history, or just like reading about epic journeys, destiny and intrigue, this is the book for you.

It truly engrossed me.
Five out of five

The books go in the order: The Forgotten Legion, The Silver Eagle, The Road to Rome
Buy them: Right Here