Read Hannibal: Enemy of Rome by Ben Kane Online

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The first in a brilliant new series set during the Second Punic War, from the bestselling author of The Forgotten Legion Chronicles. In the First Punic War, the Roman legions defeated and humiliated Carthage, their only serious rival for power in the Mediterranean. Now a brilliant young Carthaginian general, called Hannibal, is out for revenge. Caught up in the maelstrom aThe first in a brilliant new series set during the Second Punic War, from the bestselling author of The Forgotten Legion Chronicles. In the First Punic War, the Roman legions defeated and humiliated Carthage, their only serious rival for power in the Mediterranean. Now a brilliant young Carthaginian general, called Hannibal, is out for revenge. Caught up in the maelstrom are two young boys, Hanno, the son of a distinguished soldier and confidant of Hannibal, and Quintus, son of a Roman equestrian and landowner. A disastrous adventure will see Hanno sold into slavery and bought by Quintus's father. Although an unexpected friendship springs up between the two boys -- and with Quintus's sister, Aurelia -- the fortunes of the two warring empires once again separates them. They find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict and an alliance forged through slavery will be played out to its stunning conclusion in battle.From the Trade Paperback edition....

Title : Hannibal: Enemy of Rome
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781848092273
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 464 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Hannibal: Enemy of Rome Reviews

  • Andy
    2019-05-03 14:46

    Initial thoughts - More a 3.5 Stars but not quite enough consistency all the way through to round up & give it a 4 despite it being a flowing read which is always a good sign.Fuller review to follow. Have been a hum & a har over this review....So... It's a fast flowing read, strong on historical knowledge & character developement, the story is there & its an easy four.....BUT... your 2/3rds of the way through the book & yer hang on a tick....? I signed up for a tale of Hannibal, where he be? ok he's on campaign & we've "met" him at the seige of Sanguntum where he's been all charismatic a la Russell Crowe (Master & Commander) stylee but we're on the FARM (for the most part) with the yoofs still... Hanno, Quintus & Aurelia & I'm reading a YA vibed book.. I feel tricked, its getting a TWO! BAH!Where's me elephants, wheres the Alps & the grand campaign up through Iberia, Gaul & into Italy......? I AM starting to wain....AND then jus in the nick of time(for me) the emphasis switches to Hannibal & Hanno's siblings & father who are highly regarded officers of Hannibal & we're on campaign, we still get glimpses of the Farm & the Yoofs adventures but the main story now is on Hannibal, not before time too. With the story fully supplanted on the adults I'm enjoying it a lot more.To sum it up, for me its a 60/40 book, all good mind, but perhaps not quite what you want or expect so I would say go in eyes open. I mention YA but in reality its not likely designed that way, its jus that the most part of the story revolves around characters who happen to be in the process of child to manhood, coming of age they call it.... I will read on in the series as I DID enjoy the flow of the story & cant say fairer than that really.

  • happy
    2019-05-10 12:48

    I found Dr. Kane’s novel a very entertaining and readable look at the beginnings of the Second Punic War. Let me state what this novel is not. It is not the story of Hannibal Barca. He is at most a major supporting character in the novel. What this novel is the story of the opening moves of the 2nd Punic war: the Roman/Carthaginian fight in Iberia, Hannibal crossing the Alps and the first few battles between the Carthaginians and the Romans in the north of the Italian Peninsula.The author tells his story through the eyes of two noble families. One Carthaginian and Roman. He begins the novel with the youngest son of the Carthaginian family, Hanno, being swept out to sea while playing hooky, being picked up by pirates off the coast of Sicily and eventually being sold as a slave to a Roman family. He then becomes a companion to the son of the purchasing family, Quintus.Roughly the first half of the novel is establishing the two boys relationship – they become fast friends. This plays into some of the events in the second half of the book when they face each other on the battlefield. The story of the two sons is interrupted by scenes of what is going on in Carthage. Since Hannibal is doing well in Iberia, Hanno’s father, Malchus, and two brothers join him. Upon arriving Malchus becomes one of the senior officers in Hannibal’s army. Hanno’s two brothers are also give responsible assignments befitting their social status. As the siege of Saguntum winds down Hannibal proposes a plan to invade Italy and attack Rome. At this time Hanno also shows up. He has been release by Quintus and after returning to Carthage, continues on to join his family and the army. Since Rome now controls the northern Mediterranean Sea the problem is how to get there. What Hannibal proposes is an overland invasion through the Alps. For me, this is where the novel really takes off.Dr. Kane does a superb job of telling the story of the crossing of the Alps. He illustrates the problems the army had with native Celtic tribes, who the Carthaginians assumed would be automatically their allies. The weather - esp the cold and snow it excellently drawn, to say nothing of getting the elephants over the passes and down into what became Northern Italy. He also tells of the struggles with the paths crossing the Alps. They were narrow and often blocked. The ingenuity that enabled the army to just get to Italy is very well portrayed.Once the Army arrives in Italy, Dr. Kane does an excellent job of describing both the Roman, and Carthaginian strategies as well as the political problems that beset the Roman generals. Basically there was a hubris in the Roman Senate that could not abide a Carthaginian Army anywhere on the peninsula and it didn’t matter what the generals thought would be the best way to fight, they had damn well attack and drive them off. It didn’t work to well and Hannibal destroyed each and every Roman Army that came against him. Dr, Kane ends the novel before Hannibal's classic and crushing victory at Cannae. I would presume this will be taken up in the next novel.As Hannibal descends the Alps into Italy, Quintus and his father join the army. As always Dr. Kane does battle sequences well and draws the reader into the action. His descriptions of the tension between the two Roman commanders, a feature of Republican armies was that there was no overall commander; command was passed between two commanders daily, is well drawn and enlightening.Finally one word about the structure of the novel. The author really doesn’t pick sides in the narrative. He shifts between the Roman and Carthaginian world frequently and doesn’t seem to have a favorite.This novel was a solid 4 star read for me. I definately plan on reading the other novels in the series

  • Robin Carter
    2019-05-16 12:39

    After the excellent Forgotten Legion Trilogy I wondered what Ben Kane would treat us to next (and how long would it be before we can convince him to return to do book 4 of the Forgotten series).When the Title was announced : Hannibal Enemy of Rome, i was really pleased, I had recently watched the BBC drama on Hannibal's trail in which three Australian brothers - Danny, Ben and Sam Wood - set out cycling on the trail of Hannibal, the Carthaginian warrior who marched from Spain to Rome at the head of an invading army accompanied by elephants.Again it was yet another point in history I knew a little about, but not the detail, so this book and Ben Kane's excellent writing skills I knew would not only entertain me but also educate me, and this book delivers both of these things in spades, I read this book in a single sitting and was hugely upset when the book ended, a book full of Ben's usual great characters, great pace, fantastic writing of dialogue couple all of that with the fantastic fights scenes that Ben writes and any book Ben writes just leaps off the page.The next book Spartacus due in Feb 2012 only has one flaw.....an 8 month wait!Thank you Ben a great book....can you write faster. (Parm)

  • Zeke Chase
    2019-04-29 13:56

    Rating: 5.5 / 10Dear Ben Kane, I want to like you. I really do. I abandoned your first novel, “The Forgotten Legion”, but gave you a second chance on “Hannibal”. “The Forgotten Legion” was good, daring and bold, but it read too much like a first novel. The structure jumped all over the place. Tarquinius spends about twenty pages reading the entrails of a goat, and then drifts through ten years with a snap of the fingers in another chapter. Here, the structure is better, though I probably would have structured the POV characters a little more rigidly, perhaps with each their own chapter. It's the prose that does you in, Mr. Kane. “Her attractiveness was becoming more apparent to Hanno every day. It had been months since he'd last had sexual relations, as was made clear by his throbbing groin.” (paraphrased.) Fluidity, Mr. Kane. Write it the way people would speak it. This should feel like a natural river, not a series of lochs. “Hanno became more aware of her beauty every day. It had been months since he'd fucked – his cock was throbbing at the sight of her.”The story principally revolves around two characters of about the age of sixteen or seventeen – Hanno, the son of Carthaginian politician washed out to sea during a storm and sold into slavery by pirates, and Quintus, the son of a Roman equestrian and landowner, whom eventually buys Hanno at the slave market. The story expands to include Hanno's older brothers, Bostar and Sapho, his father Malchus and Quintus' family – his father Fabricius, sister Aurelia and sister's betrothed Flaccus.The major players in the Second Punic War – Hannibal, Scipio Africanus, Tiberius Sempronius Longus – aren't introduced until well into the novel, with Hannibal's introduction about a third of the way in. This was much to my surprise, as I am quite used to the works of Conn Iggulden, whom makes Caesar his protagonist. This is probably the best route to telling this story; not through the eyes of Hannibal or Scipio themselves, but through underlings associated with them.The structure, although improved from Kane's “Forgotten Legion”, is still rather uninspired. Chapters are drawn at random points, the chapter titles are superfluous, although it is rather well balanced between the characters involved.All things considered, this is a bit of a tour de force of Roman sword and sandal, with some problems. The final climax became a little predictable, and in a battle scene that left Rome ripe for the picking by the Carthaginians, there are so few character deaths. Only two of the major characters die in the end, which means virtually every other one vanquishes death for themselves and their families on multiple occasions.I will continue with the rest of the series, if a bit reluctantly. Mr. Kane, good job, but focus a little bit on your prose and structure.

  • Bryn Hammond
    2019-05-03 11:45

    Ancient & Medieval group read. A novel with a strong adventure flavour, that uses tactics of suspense. At first the simplicity of the writing bothered me, but plotting skills swept me up. Simple needn't be bad, in my book: crude is bad, and the world of the novel isn't crudely thought out. I liked the presentation from both sides, Carthaginian and Roman, with quick switches between them. Carthaginians might have an edge in our sympathies but they commit atrocities too. The book is warm-hearted and has a conscience about what people do in war. It looks at prejudices and war hatreds. It has a knack for skipping the boring bits and a flexibility in the telling. It doesn't dwell too much on so-called action, than which nothing is more dull. What's not to like?

  • Speesh
    2019-05-13 14:39

    It’s been a good while since I read a Ben Kane, however, on the evidence of this magnificent, enthralling, captivating book, I’ve really been missing out and is something I intend to rectify - and quickly.First of all, it’s a long one - it’s a good 150 pages before the man himself puts in an appearance, for example. However, there’s hardly a sentence, a word even, wasted the whole way through. I was glued to it the whole way through and by the end, I found myself wishing it had been twice as long. It’s long, but still too short. Good then that it’s the first volume in a trilogy. Gooder still…that I have the others lined up on the shelf over there.To be honest, sometimes, (even) I can’t quite put my finger on exactly why I thought a book was so good. Then I think, does it even matter? No. At those times, maybe it’s just best to sit back and enjoy the ride. Then…’enjoy,’ that’s the point, isn’t it? I read to enjoy a good story about something I’m interested in. Or not, that makes me interested in it, because it’s a good book. That’s ‘Hannibal.’So, what did I enjoy? Well, Ben Kane does have the (deserved) reputation - in my book anyway - for writing battle scenes that are perhaps a cut (!) above the others. However, excellent battle scenes apart, it was the verbal cut and thrusts, jabs straight to the heart - and of course the final delivery of the death blow - of the Senate debate scenes between Publius and Marcus Minucius Rufus that really impressed and will stay with me. The crackle of tension, the ebb and flow, the poise and grace, the delicate, ‘crikey, it could go either way here’ balance, leading us to the final coup de grace. Superb writing is superb writing, whatever the genre. And this, that, is superb writing.I thought the tension between the Carthaginian brothers was 99% believable. There were a couple of minor occasions where they clearly, in the real world, have reacted differently. In making the people different to us, in that they lived 2,000-odd years ago, but clearly like us in many ways, so we relate to them, you surely have to, as a reader and a writer, stick with the thought ‘what would I do in that situation?’ Then when you’re absolutely sure that you and anyone you know, would have belted the other brother one, for instance, and he doesn’t, he says ‘fair enough, lets get on with it,’ it sticks a little. No matter.Carthaginians and Romans are treated even-handedly. No good guys and bad guys. I suppose there could have been a temptation to treat the Carthaginians more favourably, as the underdog, perhaps, the Romans less so. I think Ben has avoided taking sides, to free the story - and himself - from the reader’s own perceived confines, with one eye on how the rest of the story has to unfold. Because the temptation of writing what at least I was expecting, the ‘plucky small guy up against the evil Empire’ must have been very great.I’ve been incredibly fortunate in my time, and especially of late, to read some really exceptional books set at various points of the Roman era. ‘Hannibal, Enemy of Rome’ continues that disturbingly good trend. Highly recommended.More world-class reviews on Speesh Reads

  • Beorn
    2019-05-18 13:58

    Although I do own other books set in the Roman period this was not only the first I got around to reading but also my first encounter with author Ben Kane's work.While I can't say it endeared itself to me in exactly the same way as those set in later times - ie Viking, Saxon, Norman etc - that I prefer, I have to give significant praise for the sheer quality of the book.Where a lot of historical fiction tends to focus itself far more squarely on the catalog of physical events that takes place, what adds rich depth to this book is the gritty believability and sheer realistic feel of the relationships and interactions between the characters within.Coincidentally a few hours before I started reading this I'd also started reading another Roman era book, set around the first Punic Wars (for those unfamiliar, the events of this book take place in the second - and final - of the Punic Wars, a generation or two later). I became so embroiled in this novel however that the other book soon relinquished it's slim lead to the extent that it's been left well & truly in the dust.Like I said, I didn't quite find myself running the plot & events through my mind during my time away from the book, which you could rationalise as being a minor negative caused by the high quality of the aforementioned characterisation but it is definately worthy of the 4/5 rating for the sheer quality of the work alone.For all the complaining that's probably lurking below the centre here, don't get me wrong this is a good worthwhile read though not one that moved me enough to make me tell all my friends about it etc.If you're into Roman period historical fiction, definately read this book. If you're more into books centred in later historical periods, give it a try anyway, you might surprise yourself.

  • Anne
    2019-04-23 09:51

    I truly loved this book--enough in fact to search out the next in the series. This is written about an era that does not actually grab me,which makes my rating all the more wonderful. I loved the two boys Hanno and Quintus, and Aurelia was a girl after my own heart. I too was a tomboy and grew up riding horses and staging mock fights. Who wants to play with dolls? BORING! I am somewhat familiar with the wars between Rome and Carthage and remember from my Ancient History class in UNI that the Romans finally defeated Carthage and destroyed the whole town and seeded the land with salt so no one could live there for many years,Ben Kane has a wonderful was with writing, and in spite of the small print, I was fascinated with the whole story. The characters were well developed and interesting, the historical facts and the glossary very good. Overall a teriffic read and Highly recommended.

  • Dawn
    2019-05-23 10:38

    Set during the Second Punic Wars between Rome and Carthage, this is a story of friends, enemies, brothers and war.I am not a fan of young characters and puppy love but empires and war are definitely an interest. So the slave/master relationships were uninteresting and the teenage angst was even a bit annoying but the battles were realistic and the fighting was stellar. This was a good book with some great history. I like the alternate stories from the Roman and Carthage sides, done without taking sides I might add, but in the end the simplistic style didn't quite work for me.

  • S.J.A. Turney
    2019-04-23 12:30

    Hannibal by Ben Kane – A triumph of a novelSome time ago I read and reviewed (with a very favourable review) Ben’s first trilogy – the Forgotten Legion. At the time, those three books, along with a few works by Anthony Riches, Douglas Jackson and Simon Scarrow, very much set the standard for Roman historical fiction. Certain scenes from those books have stayed with me, no matter how much other Roman fiction I read (and that is most of what I read). I consider a book that still has an effect on the reader a long time after reading to be a rousing success.Move on one book, and up a thousand notches.Hannibal took me by surprise. I have an interest in all Roman history, but my knowledge of the Punic war period is considerably less than other eras. I did understand beforehand that at this point the Roman army was more of a Graeco-Etruscan force than the military machine the world generally remembers, drawn from citizen volunteers rather than a standing force. I knew (as does everyone) about the crossing of the Alps. Beyond that, my knowledge of the conflicts and the peoples is almost entirely drawn from holiday visits to Spain, Italy and Tunisia. I was unsure what to expect with the book, as I really didn’t know how much of an enthralling tale Ben could spin out of the bare bones of what I knew.The upshot is that, despite the title of this book, the tale is not about Hannibal. Oh, it’s about that campaign, and Hannibal is in it, even to the point of being an important supporting character. But it is not about him. Equally, those events from the sacking of Saguntum, through the crossing of the Alps and the first conflicts in Northern Italy, are the central events around which the story hinges, but they are not the story itself.The story is actually the tale of a Carthaginian nobleman and his three sons, and a Roman/Oscan family from near Capua. It is a heart-wrenching tale of friends and enemies experiencing the build-up to, and beginnings of, a war between their peoples, and the effects this has on their lives and relationships. Don’t get me wrong: this is no family saga of the little-old-lady variety, and includes just the right amount of warfare, intrigue, danger and adventure to make it a page-turner in every respect, but it has the refreshing aspect of being a family saga as well – something I’ve not seen done well in ancient novels before.In fact, as I think about it, the only book I can use to compare is Guy Gavriel Kay’s ‘Lions of Al-Rassan’ (and I consider this a high complement, since GGK has been my favourite writer since my teens.) There is a similar doom between the books, looking at friends separated by a gulf of nationality and fated to meet in those most unhappy of circumstances.Essentially, I loved Hannibal and rank it up with my faves now. I think it has seen Ben’s writing take on a whole new strength and its particular draw for me is his depth of character and family on both sides, the realism of the people and the sympathy and empathy the reader cannot help but feel. Having read this I am now champing at the bit for the two Spartacus novels (one of which is waiting on my shelf and the other is released shortly.)Bravo Ben. Hannibal 2 now eagerly awaited.

  • mixal
    2019-05-06 14:49

    I've read this book straight after finishing , so I can't but compare these two books. From the beginning to the end Kane's book seems to be better researched, the author obviously went into great length in his search for reconstructions of the places he describes and he used this knowledge with a great skill (in author's note he also points out all the liberties he took and what was their reason). In addition, the story is described from the POV of middle-class Carthaginians and Romans that eventually take part in the great scheme of things; however, for relatively long part of the story we can see the situation from the POV of people that are directly affected by the main conflict, but they have very little information about what is actually happening. The book also quite colorfully describes relationships and customs in the respective cultures. One thing that seems to be trendy in HF novels these days is that one of the main characters is a young woman that is displeased with her role as a woman and that wants to practice with weapons and does not understand why she is not allowed to. This is probably recommended by the editors in order to make the book appealing to a broader audience. These characters usually lack depth and realism. Kane's book is hard to judge from this point of view, but I am not going to write any more so I do not unintentionally reveal some spoilers. I myself find the whole idea quite modern, but who knows. Some reviews criticized the book for YA-like moments with some “modern left wing sentiments”. I was looking out for these aspects, but I couldn't tell which passages these reviewers meant. There is one complicated friendship, and the above-mentioned emancipated female character. I am not sure whether this necessarily constitutes YA literature, but I do not think Kane focused too much on these aspects. Overall it was a great and engaging read. I myself was really surprised by how fast I got to the end, and started immediately the next instalment.

  • Nick Brett
    2019-05-09 11:40

    Set during the second of the Punic wars this book sits between Ben Kane's Forgotten Legion series and his new Spartacus series. Hard to tell if it is a stand-alone or if Mr Kane will return to the characters here. But this is the story of the rise of Hannibal, and his attack towards Rome via the Alps, told from the perspective of a group of participants on the Roman side and the Carthaginians side. Often in these books by weight of the central character you form a view of the good guys and the bad guys, but not here, as the author cleverly balances the perspectives and views of both sides. In essence it is the tale of two families, one Roman and one Carthaginian and a slave that links the two. So, using the background of Hannibal, we are given a tale of perspectives, loyalty, honour, family and, of course, action and thrills.For me this was a bit of a diversion for the author, a more rounded and complex story than his other works and I have seen some reviews that were not fond of some of the pace or detail, but it worked for me. Ben Kane builds both character and perspective so as a reader you see events and history through their eyes. I have read all of his books (except Spartacus 2) and enjoyed them all (obviously!) but I think this is his deepest and most accomplished work yet.

  • Joseph
    2019-05-19 09:54

    Another excellent novel from Ben Kane. This time (and it's a first for me) we're introduced to Carthage, a place I had heard very little about. His description at the beginning of the book left me able to visualize it very easily. The rest of the book is also brought to life as you follow Hano, the main character around Europe and Africa. Loved it, can't wait to read the next one. 5 stars.

  • Mark
    2019-05-23 16:33

    Really enjoyed it. Very good read.

  • Mary
    2019-05-05 09:44

    It's been a busy summer but I finally finished the first book in bestselling author Ben Kane's series about the Hannibalic Wars entitled "Hannibal: Enemy of Rome". As in his popular "The Forgotten Legion", Kane has used young men on the cusp of manhood as his primary characters. We first meet Hanno, a young Carthaginian who hopes to become a soldier like his father, Malchus, once was. Now, Malchus serves on the council in Carthage and, although Malchus drags Hanno to the council meetings so he may learn statecraft, Hanno finds the meetings a bore and prefers to skip out and go fishing with his best friend, Suniaton, the son of a high priest. We also briefly meet Hanno's two older brothers, Sapho and Bostar who presently serve as officers in the Carthaginian army. We discover that Sapho, the eldest, is jealous of Bostar because Bostar has been promoted above him because of Bostar's superior tactical acumen. Sapho's jealousy also extends to a lesser degree to Hanno, who, as the youngest, has captured his father's heart after the death of Hanno's mother.Kane provides a vivid description of the capital of Carthage, still majestic even after suffering defeat at the hands of the Romans in the First Punic War. But all is not well as Carthage and Rome have once more butted heads in Iberia where Carthage has conquered most of the peninsula and the town of Saguntum, fearful of the growing Carthaginian presence in the region, has appealed to Rome for help.Malchus supports the Barca family and clearly expects Hannibal, the senior Barca commander, to exact "payback" from the Romans for their past offenses to Carthage.Meanwhile, Hanno and Suniaton hear of a large run of tunny (tuna), and can't resist trying their luck so they can earn a little spending money. They set off in a small boat that they soon fill with fish. Suniaton has pilfered a bottle of wine from his father's wine cellar and they decide to celebrate their good luck. Soon they fall asleep in the warm sun so do not see an approaching storm. When the violence of the storm finally awakens them they find they have been swept far out to sea and cannot see the outline of Carthage in any direction. As they were only on an afternoon outing they have no supplies and soon are famished from thirst and hunger. Finally they see a ship on the horizon and think they are saved. But the ship is manned by pirates who see the two boys as nothing more than slaves that can be sold for a profit.To make matters worse, a patrol ship makes the pirate captain decide to avoid Sicily and steer to Italy instead. When the ship arrives in Italy the two boys are marched off towards Capua where it is hoped they will be sold to a gladiator school.But Hanno is purchased by a Roman equestrian family that runs a farm near Capua instead. Then we meet Quintus and Aurelia, the son and daughter of Fabricius, once a Roman cavalry officer and now a landowner who raises grain and livestock.Now we find out what Roman life is like for this semi-retired military veteran and his family. I really like the way Kane gives us thorough backgrounds on all of these characters so we have a solid understanding of the similarities and differences that separate the two cultures.Hanno and Quintus who are almost the same age become friends and as the plot unfolds, each saves the other's life, making their bond even stronger. Meanwhile, since Rome does not send assistance, Saguntum subsequently falls to Hannibal's forces, so talk of war with Carthage soon dominates the conversations at the villa. Quintus begins cavalry training and Quintus' father, Fabricius is soon ordered to join Roman forces in southern Gaul marching towards Iberia where the Romans plan to confront Hannibal.With Fabricius gone, the villa overseer, who lost his wife and children to Carthaginians on Sicily and harbors hatred for Hanno, attempts to drag Hanno away to Capua where he plans to sell the youth to the lanista at the gladiator school for an arranged fight to the death with Hanno's friend Suniaton. But I don't want to give away much more of the plot so you'll have to read it for yourselves to find out what happens.Eventually, Hanno and Quintus both end up serving in their respective armies after Hannibal successfully crosses the Alps and the two armies end up camped across the Trebia River from each other.Having studied the Second Punic War to some extent, I was wondering how Quintus and his father were going to escape the slaughter that I knew was about to befall them. Kane does such a good job of characterization that at this point in the book I cared about both the Carthaginian family and the Roman family equally.The climactic battle sequence was nothing short of breathtaking. What I liked the most was Kane's description of the scenes and terror each character saw around them and felt as the epic struggle unfolded - Hanno and his father fighting in the center of the Carthaginian line while Quintus and his father struggled with the Roman cavalry on the flanks.I appreciate the fact that Kane does not attempt to "take sides" on the historical controversy over whether Scipio tried to warn Sempronius Longus against the ill-fated attack or not. Polybius claims he did but many scholars look askance at this report since Polybius and the Scipios were closely allied. These scholars also point to the reported number of Roman troops involved in the engagement as problematic. Livy records there were 18,000 Romans and 20,000 Italic allies involved. Polybius claims there were 16,000 Romans and 20,000 Italic allies. "The numbers stated to have fought the battle are problematic: a combined Roman army should have had 5 legions of 20,000 men and all 30,000 allies authorized by the Senate and yet if the armies were not combined Sempronius should have had only two legions of 8,000 men. One answer is that Scipio gave up two legions and kept one and 20,000 auxiliaries in his own camp as a reserve. Livy seems to think that Scipio's wound gave the entire authority to Sempronius, but immediately after the battle Scipio commanded an army marching from his camp to Placentia. If Scipio could command after the battle then he was not so incapacitated as to be removed from command before it. Both authors agreed that the two consuls had sharp differences of opinion and that Sempronius acted on his own.""It is possible that the authors doubled the number of Roman legions fighting the battle and that Sempronius had only 8,000 or 9,000 Roman infantry. The authors both relate, however, that a mass of 10,000 men broke out of the Carthaginian encirclement and fell back on Placentia. Tiberius apparently did have more than two legions. Scipio argues in the story that Sempronius' men needed the winter to train, suggesting that on the way to north Italy Sempronius may have raised two more legions of recruits, throwing them into battle under difficult physical circumstances against expert advice without training. There is no mention of any such events, however.""Yet another hypothesis for reconciling the numbers cited by Livy for combined strength of the two consular armies and the actual number of participants in the battle of the Trebia would be that Sempronius detached part of his allied contingents for garrison duty on Sicily and for naval service with Marcus Aemilius and Sextus Pomponius. Some allowance should also be made for non-combat losses. The strength of this hypothesis lies in the maximum use of ancient evidence." - Wikipedia Since this crucial bit of evidence relies on theory rather than certainty, Kane's decision to sidestep the issue was certainly reasonable. He does, however, relay to us the impatience expressed by the troops themselves over Scipio's apparent hesitance to act while recuperating from his wounds.I am definitely looking forward to the next book in this exciting trilogy. The only criticism I would have is that the title makes it sound like the book is about Hannibal himself. Although the key events in the latter part of the book are the result of Hannibal's orders, Hannibal himself appears only infrequently in the narrative. It perhaps would have been somewhat more accurate to name the series "The Hannibalic Wars" with the subtitle "Enemy of Rome" (Book One). But I can certainly understand the choice of title from a marketing perspective since some people may not actually make the connection between "Hannibalic Wars" and Hannibal.

  • Sergio
    2019-05-06 12:31

    Podía haberle sacado más partido.

  • John Salter
    2019-05-09 15:31

    Firstly, this is not a standalone book as I previously assumed it was it's the first in a series about the legendary Carthaginian General, Hannibal Barca of Carthage and the second Punic War against Rome during which he led his army of over a hundred thousand, including elephants over the Alps in order to take, the battle to Rome on their own soil, which lasted an incredible sixteen years.If like me you are/were a fan of Ben Kane's Forgotten Legion Chronicles, then I am certain that you will enjoy this story as well. It's a book you will not want to put down until you find out what happens to his principle characters. Oddly Hannibal is not one of them initially, as he does not appear until page 143 (I believe) but don't let put you off.Ben Kane has a writing style that's not only pleasing to the eye but he writes like a normal person. By that I mean he does not use fanciful words to flower up the story and try to look clever as some authors try to do. He is also very enthusiastic about the subjects he writes about, for example he had a sword and shield made that were used by some of Hannibal's troops and he recently attended the, `This is Deva Festival' at Chester along with another excellent Roman author Ruth Downie.Coincidentally whilst reading this book I was also listening to the Ghosts of Cannae when driving into and out of work on CD. I did not intend to but the CD demonstrates that Ben Kane did not begin this book on a whim, he has studied the subject matter and has written a historically accurate version of events, in which he has created a realistic world where it's not difficult to imagine the reader is there, with Hannibal or the Legions.The story begins in Carthage where one of the main characters, Hanno a young man and his best friend fall into the hands of pirates after being swept out to sea during a fishing trip. They are subsequently sold into slavery in Italy, Hanno into the family of a minor equestrian farm household and his friend into a Gladiator school. The former is bought by Quintus a young Roman who is hoping to join the army. What follows is how their relationship develops along with Quintus' sister Aurelia.At the same time the family of Hanno, his father and brothers who believe him to be dead, join Hannibal's army as they begin their march towards Italy during which many thousands die, or desert or face hostile tribes along the way. Once over the Alps, the mayhem of skirmishes and large scale battles begin, which are described fully and viscerally and without reservation as they should be.The author writes in such a way, his stories draw you in and make you either like and care about his characters or hate them because they are vile individuals. Overall, Hannibal: Enemy of Rome is another fantastic book and one that I am certain will be another smash hit by Ben Kane. It's a great story, fantastic detail, with endearing characters, historically accurate and just the beginning for Hannibal. It will be a long wait for book two.

  • Nicholas
    2019-05-16 14:44

    This first in what the author states is intended to be a series of novels set in the Second Punic War between Rome and Carthage has all the hallmarks of excellence. It is clear that the book is well-researched, the historical details are accurate and the gaps that time has left in our knowledge about the war are plausibly filled in. The details of culture and daily life are also an excellent showcase of what must have been very comprehensive research.Kane's approach to the story is not completely original, but it is compelling in forcing the younger Roman and the Carthaginian protagonists to face one another as human beings before becoming soldiers on opposite sides. The tension between their personal relationship and their duty becomes apparent as they join their respective armies towards the end of the book. Other, more peripheral, characters such as the Roman household in Campania show a surprising amount of depth as well, especially interesting back-stories such as that of the farm's vilicus and his history with the Carthaginians. The historical setting is also well unfolded, both in terms of the details of the two civilisations as I stated above, and in terms of the environment, which so many authors forget would have been very different in ancient times to what it is today. The stifling heat of summer and freezing cold of winter are well realised in little details like the desperation for water in the heat of the day or the way that men enjoy a hot meal at the outset of a cold day. All in all, this is an excellent book, well worth the time it takes to read, whether you're a history enthusiast or not. For those who are just in search of a good story it has an intricate plot, plenty of action, real and detailed characters. For those out for true-to-history depictions, it is hard to imagine anyone coming away disappointed from this. In short this has something for everyone, and it might even be the thing that gets you interested in the period and its rich history. My only caveat is that this is definitely not a book for children. Ancient times were sometimes quite brutal with messy forms of execution, punishment and gruesome deaths on the battlefields as well as plenty of bad language, and Kane pulls no punches in depicting this any more than he pulls punches in depicting other aspects of the period.

  • Mark
    2019-05-16 08:37

    If people know anything about Hannibal Barca it's the story of how he and his army, including some Elephants, crossed the Alps to fight Rome. Here we have the events leading up to and the beginning of the Second Punic War including that famous journey through the mountains. Whilst Hannibal's name features as the series title he is a bit of a peripheral character, we see his actions and he occasionally interacts with the Carthaginian characters but we rarely get a glimpse of his thoughts, just the way other people see him. Despite this the Carthaginian sections were among the highlights of the book for me especially the descriptions of life in that once great city and having events told from the Carthaginian point of view rather than the familiar Roman viewpoint.As the first book in a trilogy much of Enemy of Rome is spent setting up the characters through whom we will experience the events of this war, Hanno and his brothers Bostar and Sapho on the Carthaginian side and Quintus, his sister Aurelia and his father Fabricius on the Roman side. As a result, it does take a while for the action everyone's been waiting for to finally begin and when it does we see it from both sides. Ben Kane writes ancient battles very well and doesn't shy away from some graphic detail or seek to glamourize war, he shows people fighting to survive, terrified and dying. Personally I did find the ‘friendship’ between Quintus and Hanno quite forced, but the author obviously wanted to form some kind of connection between the two sides within this trilogy so hopefully this will play out well over the next two books. Having read the (at present) two books in his later ‘Eagles’ series I didn’t quite enjoy this as much but now the war is underway and all the characters have been put in place I look forward to reading the second part to see what happens to them all.

  • Paul Bennett
    2019-05-15 15:57

    Aside from passing mentions in other Roman era fiction, this is my first in depth encounter with the Alpine traversing, pachyderm using scourge of Rome since I saw the movie Hannibal starring Victor Mature back in the late 1950's. This is not, however, my first encounter with the author Ben Kane having read his marvelous Forgotten Legion series.The story here, while having many storylines filled with intrigue, revolves around two young men. Hanno is the son of a prominent officer in Hannibal's army, while Quintus is the son of an equestrian class Roman. Through deft maneuvering of plot, the two are brought together midst the growing tension between Rome and Carthage.Among all of the fascinating aspects to this story is the way the author subjects the main backdrop, i.e. Rome versus Carthage, to the various inter-personal conflicts that many of the characters are dealing with. Conflicts of loyalty not only to one's home and leaders but conflicts of intense loyalty to one's family and friends.Another of the many aspects that stands out is how the author brings you into the action whether it be a coming of age bear hunt or the momentous crossing of The Alps. You can feel the breath of the bear as it fights for it's life and the agony of the men and animals following Hannibal on that long and dangerous venture.This is a riveting tale guaranteed to leave you wanting more from this gifted writer. Well, you need not worry along those lines as the sequel is out and ready to draw you further into the lives of the characters and the struggle for the supremacy of the Mediterranean world. Well done, Mr. Kane.

  • Elisabeth Storrs
    2019-05-08 14:52

    Ben Kane's Hannibal: Enemy of Rome describes three journeys. The trek of the famous Carthaginian general who leads his troops over the Alps to challenge Rome provides the genesis for the novel, but it is the coming of age of two teenage boys who are destined to face each other across the battlefield that drives the action. Kane deftly draws the character of the Carthaginian, Hanno, whose fate is irrevocably changed after a harmless act of rebellion results in him being cast adrift at sea as well as in life. Enslaved, he comes to be owned by the father of the Roman boy, Quintus. Again, Kane describes a youth who rises to the challenges set him but at the same time shows his vulnerability. Both youths are rounded characters who display fear and come to understand the true meaning of loyalty: both to each other and to their countries. The book spares no punches when it comes to depicting the brutality of war and the callous attitudes of the times. As such, I wouldn't recommend it to those who are squeamish. However, I was impressed with the portrayal of the hardships faced by Hannibal's army during the perilous advance over the Alps; and Kane's recreation of the strategies, artillery and progress of the battle at Trebia is masterful. At the end of the book, Hanno and Quintus have both become men, tested and blooded. And with their debts to each other repaid, Kane creates the perfect set up for a final confrontation in the sequel, Hannibal: Fields of Blood. I look forward to reading it when it is released later this year.

  • Lindsay
    2019-04-30 14:31

    This book is fantastic.I have read Kane's Forgotten Legion trilogy and was incredibly impressed with it. And this carries on that feeling.The book is historically accurate (as much as can be anyway) without becoming dry and boring. There is plenty of action , large battles and small skirmishes, plenty of gore to keep things interesting, but there is also a great deal of emotion portrayed in the characters. Kane explores both the relationship between the three Carthaginian brothers and their father, the jealousies and guilt that goes along with trying to outdo each other, I particularly enjoyed the relationship between Quintus and Hanno, The master and the slave who owe each other thier lives and find themselves on opposite sides in the war.I like that you get to see the conflict from both sides and that Kane treats each side equally, there is no traditional sense of "Goodies and Baddies" it does create a little confusion for me as i like to pick a character and get in behind them and cheer for them, but it is a good problem to have.I am saddened that Ben Kane has announced that the next book in this series will not be out until at least 2013, guess i have to start reading his Spartacus series instead, if his other books are a gauge then i won't be disappointed!

  • Liviu
    2019-05-09 10:50

    When I heard of this book I was intrigued since the Punic wars are one of the historical events I read the most about from the original surviving texts (Livy, Polybius) to the surprisingly many modern ones; on the other hand my experience with the author kind of juvenile and mediocre first series kept my expectations in check and indeed on finishing this book, I just could not overcome my dislike for his style; wooden stock characters and dialogue, juvenile prose that makes this one YA in practice whatever its marketing designation and a historical atmosphere that oscillates between authentic - as far as we know from the original sources of course - and modern liberal sensibilities that are pretty misplaced (reading some of the dialogue especially among the "good" roman characters made me truly cringe since they sounded like leftist pundits criticizing the war mongering president of several years ago or whatever the British analogue the author has imitated)This said, the history is well done this time and much more "true to the sources" than in the author's first series and that gets an extra star from me, but I have no interest in continuing for the literary reasons above

  • Andrew Watson
    2019-05-04 13:36

    For a book series titled 'Hannibal', Hannibal himself doesn't really feature much besides appearing here and there to give a brief speech or words of wisdom to various people. This isn't about Hannibal, but rather a number of people around him, or involved in his war on Rome. Which isn't a bad thing, I was just surprised that the titular character doesn't really make much of an appearance. I think I might be spoilt by having just read Conn Iggulden's 'Emperor' series, but I couldn't find the battle scenes particularly interesting. They were kind of skirted over a bit. And something about the characters didn't feel particularly believable. I enjoyed the book, though, and give it 3.5 stars. 3 feels too low, but 4 feels a bit generous too. So I'll just round up. What bugged me about this book, though, was the choice of image for each chapter header... It was Brutus's 'Ides of March' (EID MAR) coin. A couple of centuries off, there... What's the deal with that?

  • Enzo
    2019-05-23 11:33

    "Hannibal: Enemy of Rome" is a deceptive title. Ben Kane builds a story and characters he places during the Second Punic War between Carthage and Rome. I really looked forward to reading more about Hannibal. I also understand that his victories where basically erased by the eventual winner Rome. But with him on the title I expected more of him on the book. This does not mean the book is bad its just not what I expected. I struggled at parts because I wanted to read about tactics used by Hannibal. Towards the end of the book I got that in small spoonfuls. I enjoyed parts of the book the characters that represent the goodness of Rome in Quintus and his family. The same for Hanno and his family on the Carthaginian side. We have who to cheer for but its not the same as seeing what was considered one of the greatest General of his time. The battles did't impress and thats what I craved.

  • Jess Hughes
    2019-05-21 16:38

    For those of you who read historical fiction as I do, I recommend you place, HANNIBAL: Enemy of Rome, on your reading list. Not only does this page turner take you into the period of the Second Carthaginian War, but gives insight what it was like to live in Carthage, Capua and Rome. Although we see Hannibal, the primary focus of the story is seen through the viewpoints of two families, one Carthaginian and the other Roman, primarily through the young Roman, Quintus, and the young Carthaginian, Hanno. This must be part of a multi-series as this particular volume ends at the Battle of Trebia. I will leave it to others to analyze the story in greater depth, but in my humble opinion this is a great read for anyone interested in this period.

  • Patrick Raftery
    2019-04-27 09:56

    before all l knew of hannibal was he went over the alps with elephants but now thanks to Ben Kane i know why. there are two families one carthaginan and one roman, and how they meet on the fields of battle. Ben Kane moves you a long like the master of fiction he is, not once do you get lost with looking back to find wear are you.there no joy in battle its hard and nasty, men left to die, friends murdered before there eyes and at the end of the book you know its just the start of the war and that are heroes from both sides will face many years at war. so roll on the next book so i can find out wot happen to Hanno and Quintus.

  • Marina
    2019-05-17 09:50

    Despite the misleading title, this is not another book about Hannibal, but the story of two young men - Hanno and Quintus - unlikely friends torn apart by war and family obligations.I liked this book well enough, but the core of the story - the friendship between the Carthaginian and the Roman - was never fully fleshed out and neither were any of the characters, with the possible exceptions of Hanno's brothers.It is a bit superficial, bordering on YA, lacking in depth and presenting no challenge for the reader who's already read the best.

  • Margareth8537
    2019-05-17 11:45

    Interesting to show the Punic Wars from the point of view of both Carthage and Rome. The way in which two young men can be friends despite their differences is well portrayed. Kane has used all the sources he can find for a very well-written account. History is written by the victors, and that we know as much as we do about the Carthaginians shows that the Romans had quite. Respect for them. Apart from Hannibal crossing the Alps with elephants, most of us know very little of a series of wars fought over many years.Look forward to another outing of Hanno and his brothers.

  • Amy
    2019-04-29 15:34

    Story wasn't gripping enough to finish, no connection with the characters and clinical writing. Found a talk by him far more interesting. Inclined not to read any more of Ben Kane.