By Ben Kane
It couldn't have lasted - years of reading great works on historical fiction had to eventually give way to a bad book. It is inevitable, it is the main lesson you learn from a PhD. And it happened. Ben Kane, an author that I recently became a fan of after his two books on Hannibal (I'm yet to find the third), disappointed me with the first of his books on the Third Servile War, or the Spartacus War. It's not that the book is historically inaccurate, but that there isn't that much historical record to go by, due to which Kane added a lot of his own imagination. That's fine - this is not supposed to be a textbook - but the additions were downright boring. And that's something I rarely say about a writer.
The book was boring. I skipped a lot of parts with a yawn and it didn't really make that much of a difference. Plots were stretched thin, unnecessary conversations were abound, new characters were introduced for seemingly no reason. Kane's description of the mechanics of war were quite good as always, but those parts were few and far in between. This is a huge disappointment, and I might just take a break from him for sometime.