Sunday, April 3, 2011

Ben Kane

Ben Kane is the author of The Forgotten Legion and The Silver Eagle. He lives in North Somerset, England.

His latest novel is The Road to Rome, the final book in The Forgotten Legion trilogy.

Recently I asked Kane what he was reading. His reply:
I've been lucky recently, and managed to read several novels back to back. Normally, thanks to my writing and a young family, I manage one novel perhaps every 4 months. One of the recent treasures I've read is The Blade Itself, the first book of a wonderful trilogy by Joe Abercrombie. I've not read much fantasy since I was a boy, but this came so highly recommended by friends and on Amazon threads that I went for it. I wasn't disappointed either. Written from the standpoint of half a dozen or more characters, Abercrombie's writing is fast-paced, gritty and full of black humor. The fact that one of the main characters is a thoughtful torturer (with a tiny amount of remaining conscience) might give you some idea of what lies within the book's pages. I've since read the second book and am about to start the third, and delighted to know that there are more books set in the same world.

I've also been lucky enough to reread The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff. While it's a young adult title, the author wrote that her books were for all 'from eight to eighty-eight'. It's true to say that the book -set in first century AD Roman Britain and about the lost eagle standard of a legion - is as good now as it was when I read it as a ten or eleven year old. With two central characters - a maimed and bitter Roman centurion, and his slave, a courageous British tribesman, and central themes of honor, loyalty and the search for redemption against all odds, this book stands out as one of the best novels in the last 60 years. It's a suitable testament to its durability that it's still in print, 57 years after it was first published, and that it is currently showing in movie theaters all over the USA as The Eagle.
Visit Ben Kane's website and blog.

--Marshal Zeringue