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Hannibal: Enemy of Rome by Ben Kane

Hannibal: Enemy of Rome (2011)

by Ben Kane

Series: Hannibal (1)

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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
4.5 Stars. Yet another trilogy that started with a good book, and grew on me the more it went along. An interesting and varied group of characters and rather a unique friendship that developed in very trying circumstances. The Second Punic War is something I know nothing about (apart from Hannibal's elephants) and am really enjoying expanding my historical knowledge. I look forward to getting to book 2 very soon. If you haven't tried any Ben Kane books yet, what are you waiting for! ( )
  Andrew-theQM | Sep 18, 2016 |
Hanno and his best friend Suniaton skip a day of listening to the political speeches Hanno’s father is participating in and decide to go fishing instead, since a shoal of tunny was rumored to be just off the coast. The two take off to earn a little pocket money and have a little fun. After filling up the boat with fish, Suni produced a bottle of strong wine he swiped from his fathers stores and the two toasted their success. Unfortunately, neither were used to imbibing such strong drink and shortly passed out. A storm blew in while they were sleeping and pushed them well out into the Mediterranean. Hanno’s family finally learn of his fate, mourn his loss and then focus on helping Hannibal take revenge on Rome for it’s treatment of Carthage.

Meanwhile, Hanno and Suni eventually find themselves sold into slavery to their hated enemy, Rome. Hanno is bought by Quintus, the son of an equestrian who owned a small plot of land in the north of Capua. Hanno and Quintus became friends after Hanno saved Quintus from bandits. The friendship was strained both by their different statuses and by the conflict between Carthage and Rome. The story follows Hanno as a slave and his father and two brothers as they fight with Hannibal and the trials and tribulations of each.

Ben Kane likes to show ancient times from the point of view of the little people, the ones who had to do all the work. This book is no exception.
The story is told very well and most of the characters I thought were very well done. The story also does a good job of showing just how much of a hardship it was for Hannibal and his army to cross over the Alps. Ben Kane’s books do an excellent job of transporting one back to Ancient Roma and I for one am glad I live in the here and now! Great book, I recommend all Kane’s books to those who like to read about Rome in it’s power. ( )
  readafew | Aug 14, 2014 |
I must admit that all I could call forward if you asked me about Hannibal was that he crossed the Alps with elephants. Beyond that I knew very little about him. As with most great figures in history they are remembered for their most audacious acts. Especially military geniuses. Mr. Kane is telling the tale of the Second Punic War where Hannibal led the combined armies against the might of Rome in search of revenge for the humiliation of the First Punic War.

This first book of the trilogy is more about what leads to the war rather than about the war. It sets up the characters on both sides using both real and fictional. Our heroes are two young men, one Carthaginian and one Roman. The tale starts in Carthage with Hanno, the youngest son of a wealthy, respected man. He and a friend go fishing one day only to get lost at sea and sold by pirates. They are sold into slavery and Hanno ends up in a Roman household where he ends up through some fateful decisions becoming friends with the young son of the house - Quintus. This sets up the tension for the rest of the story as this book is more about these two young men than about Hannibal. He makes appearances but he is definitely not the focus of this volume.

I enjoyed the book as I enjoy most books that take place in this time period. I liked the two characters who were the main focus of this volume and the ancillary characters were also interesting and added much to the story. Hannibal made a few appearances in the middle of the book and then a few more but his presence was definitely felt. I am not sure how much of him came down through history and I'm sure that makes him a little more difficult to write. Some of the scenes were a little gruesome but it was a violent time and it is a story of war. Much like when reading Mr. Kane's tale of Spartacus I will look forward to the next installment of Hannibal's story. ( )
  BrokenTeepee | Jul 21, 2014 |
Very much enjoyed this book. Would agree with other reviewers, I found it a very entertaining adventure about the Punic Wars. It left me eager to read the next installment. ( )
  thegeneral | Dec 17, 2013 |
An adult and surprisingly powerful tale of ancient Rome even though the main players are teenagers (Quintus and Aurelia for Rome, Hanno and Suni for Carthage) and I originally believed this was a 'young person' novel. Author Kane plans a series of books re-telling the Punic Wars when Carthage and Rome fought and Hannibal caused so much mischief with those elephants and the Alps. Descriptions of life in both camps are well integrated in the narrative and the detail helps to bring the story alive. Kane has obviously read widely on his subject and wears that knowledge lightly in his writing. Bloody gore, politics and every day life are handled in about equal measures (not too much, or even enough, sex, though). Strong characters, decent action and a driving narrative make this a perfect summer read. ( )
  pierthinker | Jun 23, 2013 |
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For Ferdia and Pippa, my wonderful children
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"Hanno!" His father's voice echoed off the painted stucco walls.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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The Romans have defeated and humiliated Carthage, their 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 Quintus, son of a Roman equestrian and landowner.… (more)

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