The fields of Cannae provide the setting for one of the bloodiest battles in history. But who will triumph? Hannibal and his warrior army, or the mighty legions of Rome. By Ben Kane, the Sunday Times bestselling author of Hannibal: Enemy of Rome. Hannibal's campaign to defeat Rome continues as he marches south to confront his enemy. With him is a young soldier, Hanno. Like his general, Hanno burns to vanquish Rome. Never has the possibility seemed so likely. But a stealthy game of cat and mouse is being played as Rome's generals seek to avoid confrontation. Eventually the two armies meet under a fierce summer sun. The place is Cannae - the fields of blood. The battle will go down in history as one of the bloodiest ever fought, a battle in which Hanno knows he must fight as never before - just to stay alive.
When I was a boy, we had no TV at home, which is perhaps the reason I became an avid reader. I read just about any genre, but especially military and historical fiction. Yet my love of animals won out when it came to leaving school, and I trained as a veterinary surgeon. After spells of working in Ireland and the UK, my itchy feet took me abroad in 1997. The travelling bug bit me hard. For three and a half years, I returned only to earn enough money to travel again. It was during this time that I first had thoughts of writing historical military fiction. I came back to the UK in early 2001 as the terrible foot-and-mouth disease outbreak began. I volunteered immediately and spent nearly a year working in Northumberland. Supervising the slaughter of livestock was truly awful, but I was able to visit the Roman sites along Hadrian's Wall as well. My imagination ran riot in every place I visited, wondering what the Italian legionaries first posted there must have thought. It was then that my determination to become a writer of historical fiction took firm root. What started as a hobby became an obsession, and by 2006, I was writing The Forgotten Legion. Landing a book deal in 2007 changed my life. After about 18 months, I was able to switch careers and become a fulltime writer and now I buy textbooks and militarycivilian replica Roman items as part of my job! I also travel to the places that I write about; I see and feel and breathe them for myself. Over the last two years, I've followed Spartacus' trail across Italy; I've stood at Cannae, and pictured Hannibal's army meeting the massed legions of Rome; I've watched the sea lapping against the fortifications of Syracuse, where the Romans besieged the city for close to two years. Writing about Roman history has become my world, as evidenced by the walk I did in April 2013, along Hadrian's Wall in full Roman military kit, raising money for the charities Combat Stress and Medecins sans Frontieres. You can find out more about my books, my research and the walk on my website.