Spartacus: Rebellion Blog Tour and Review

Spartacus: Rebellion by Ben Kane
Publication date: May 14, 2013 by St. Martin's Press
Source: Book provided by publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for an honest review
Spartacus has already done the impossible—not only has he escaped from slavery, he and his seconds have created a mighty slave army that has challenged Rome and defeated the armies of three praetors, two consuls, and one proconsul. On the plain of the River Po, in modern Northern Italy, Spartacus has defeated Gaius Cassius Longinus, proconsul and general of an army of two legions. Now the road home lies before them—to Thrace for Spartacus, and to Gaul for his seconds-in-command, Castus and Gannicus.
But storm clouds are gathering on the horizon. One of Spartacus’s most powerful generals has defected, taking his men with him. Back in Rome, the immensely rich Marcus Licinius Crassus is gathering an unheard-of Army. The Senate has given Crassus an army made up of ten legions and the authority to do whatever it takes to end the slave rebellion once and for all.

Meanwhile, Spartacus wants to lead his men over the Alps and home, but his two seconds have a different plan. They want to march on Rome itself and bring the Republic to its knees. Rebellion has become war. War to the death.

My Take:
I agreed to participate in the blog tour for Spartacus: Rebellion because we spend quite a bit of time on ancient history  - particularly Greek and Roman history - in our homeschool studies and I have developed a special fondness for reading fiction about ancient Rome. Many of the books I read are a bit more academic and a bit slower paced. Spartacus: Rebellion is definitely not slow paced. I think most people at all familiar
with Roman history are aware of Spartacus and are pretty fascinated with him. I mean, a slave that managed to successfully begin and maintain a large-scale slave rebellion against Rome? You can't get much wilder than that.

I have not read the first book, Spartacus: The Gladiator - it wasn't necessary, I knew what happened historically and I didn't feel lost while reading. However, after reading the second book, I will be going back to read the first because I really enjoyed the story that Ben Kane has created around what little is actually known about Spartacus. This is where the book really shines, for me. He manages to bring these people - some of whom are basically just names in history - into this incredibly vivid portrayal of what their lives and the events could have been like. Because so little is actually known, there is ample room for imagination and Kane really delivers. But even the things that he imagines fit into the historical records and make sense. I was actually pretty impressed with the attention to historical detail. I am not really that into military fiction, but in this case I made an exception and I'm glad that I did.

I enjoyed the book all the way through, but I have to say that the last quarter or so of the book was extremely difficult to put down and really, quite gut-wrenching. War is hell, we know this, and I think Roman wars are pretty awful. But, I was pretty much devastated by the descriptions of the final battles. So vivid. So brutal. I knew what was coming, so I thought I was prepared. I was wrong. Despite the sadness and brutality,  I thought the ending was really well done. Anyone interested in Roman history or military history should love Spartacus: Rebellion.

About the Author

Ben KaneBen Kane was born in Kenya and raised there and in Ireland. He qualified as a veterinary surgeon from University College Dublin, and worked in Ireland and the UK for several years. After that he travelled the world extensively, indulging his passion for seeing the world and learning more about ancient history. Seven continents and more than 65 countries later, he decided to settle down, for a while at least.
While working in Northumberland in 2001/2, his love of ancient history was fuelled by visits to Hadrian’s Wall. He na├»vely decided to write bestselling Roman novels, a plan which came to fruition after several years of working full time at two jobs – being a vet and writing. Retrospectively, this was an unsurprising development, because since his childhood, Ben has been fascinated by Rome, and particularly, its armies. He now lives in North Somerset with his wife and family, where he has sensibly given up veterinary medicine to write full time.
To find out more about Ben and his books visit

Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Wednesday, May 15
Guest Post & Giveaway at Historical Boys
Thursday, May 16
Interview at The Maiden’s Court
Friday, May 17
Review at Book Lovers Paradise
Monday, May 20
Review & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair
Tuesday, May 21
Review & Giveaway at Flashlight Commentary
Guest Post at Historical Tapestry
Wednesday, May 22
Interview & Giveaway at Starting Fresh
Thursday, May 23
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee
Friday, May 24
Guest Post & Giveaway at CelticLady’s Reviews
Monday, May 27
Review at Bippity Boppity Book
Tuesday, May 28
Review at Okbo Lover
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Wednesday, May 29
Review at Cheryl’s Book Nook
Thursday, May 30
Review at The Musings of a Book Junkie
Friday, May 31
Review & Guest Post at Drey’s Library
Guest Post at So Many Precious Books, So Little Time
Interview & Giveaway at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Monday, June 3
Review at Book Drunkard
Review at The Eclectic Reader
Tuesday, June 4
Review & Giveaway at Luxury Reading
Wednesday, June 5
Review at A Book Geek
Thursday, June 6
Review at Freshscraped Vellum
Review & Giveaway at Confessions of an Avid Reader

Friday, June 7
Review at Impressions in Ink
Review & Giveaway at To Read or Not to Read
Interview at Freshscraped Vellum


  1. Wow - I'm glad that you liked it so much, especially because you found the last quarter so much! Best wishes


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