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Hannibal: Enemy of Rome (Hannibal #1)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  1,939 Ratings  ·  127 Reviews
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 a
Hardcover, 464 pages
Published June 9th 2011 by Preface Publishing
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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 Hannib
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
Robin Carter
May 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Zeke Chase
Nov 13, 2012 rated it liked it
Rating: 5.5 / 10

Dear 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 h
Bryn Hammond
Mar 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: imagined-fiction
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-heart
Nov 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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 lon
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, w
Mar 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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 Rom ...more
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 takin
S.J.A. Turney
May 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Hannibal by Ben Kane – A triumph of a novel

Some 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 t
I've read this book straight after finishing Pride of Carthage by David Anthony Durham, 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 ev ...more
Nick Brett
Jul 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 b ...more
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.
Jan 24, 2013 rated it liked it
Really enjoyed it. Very good read.
Sep 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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 m
Oct 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Podía haberle sacado más partido.
John Salter
Oct 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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 enj
Apr 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 completel
May 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 th ...more
Paul Bennett
Jul 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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 a
Elisabeth Storrs
Sep 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Jan 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 fath
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 practi ...more
Andrew Watson
Sep 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 bat
Nov 12, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"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
Jess Hughes
May 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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, H ...more
Patrick Raftery
Mar 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: roman
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 ...more
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
Jun 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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 fou ...more
Feb 21, 2017 rated it liked it
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.
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Ben Kane is a bestselling Roman author and former veterinarian. He was born in Kenya and grew up in Ireland (where his parents are from). He has traveled widely and is a lifelong student of military history in general, and Roman history in particular. He lives in North Somerset, England, with his family.
More about Ben Kane...

Other Books in the Series

Hannibal (3 books)
  • Hannibal: Fields of Blood (Hannibal, #2)
  • Hannibal: Clouds of War (Hannibal, #3)

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