Surviving in the gladiator arena, breaking out, freeing up tens of thousands of slaves to take on the mighty Roman Empire would be great fiction but even better, it's a true story. When I was 13 or 14, I read the original 1951 book Spartacus by Howard Fast and had seen the movie a few times. Both are excellent, except for the very farcical Hollywood ending to the movie. I am quite enjoying the new series on The Movie Network, Spartacus, Blood and Sand, and the prequel Spartacus, Gods of the Arena. These two are not versions for kids.
The Spartacus War deals with the true story of the uprising and war. Barry Strauss, who is a military historian, writes very effectively about the subject. I like how when faced with sketchy information, the incident did happen in 71 BC, over 2000 years ago and slaves were not very literate, the author would present both viewpoints, outline then what he feels is most probable and leave the rest to the reader. It does well telling the story of Spartacus from beginning to end and as truthfully as possible. This was a very interesting and informative read.