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3.7 out of 5 stars208
3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 10 August 2013
I have given one of my favourite authors only one star for this: based on the price. I thought this was a bargain at just under two pounds. However the book or should I say " kindle, short story" is only actually about 75 pages of proper narrative. I bought all 4 "books" and feel a bit cheated. It cost me 8 pounds for what collectively should be one book. These should all be described as "short stories". Not impressed.
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on 9 December 2012
Having read all of the ' Eagle' series so far, I was hugely excited by the release of this new series from Simon, especially when I realised it included Optio Macro. I wasn't disappointed. A novella rather than a novel, it is priced about right at £1.99 the same price as a quick read. Although it is a standalone story, it is obviously the beginning of a much longer story, one I will be happily following from now on.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 25 October 2012
Review:
Once again pure gold from Simon Scarrow. This is a short story giving Eagles fans a taste of the early life og Macro. Optio Macro is just as charming and affable as ever and has to steer the murky waters of Rome without the aid of his more cerebral sidekick Cato. As usual he lands in hot water (not of his own making) and has to use his own brutal uncompromising skills to get out of it by training Pavo. There are some juicy hints in there that i shall be emailing Simon about to see if I'm right (if he will give away and secrets that is).
The writing as ever is fun fast and well researched with a style that very few can come close too.

Highly recommended
(Parm)

Product Description:
The first in an ebook-exclusive series of action-packed novellas set in Ancient Rome introducing Pavo, a novice gladiator, and featuring Simon Scarrow's ongoing soldier character Optio Macro. It is AD 41. The savage Gaul Britomaris has defeated the best of the Roman gladiators in the arena. Now a young volunteer, Marcus Valerius Pavo, the son of a murdered general, has been given a month to prepare to face Britomaris in a fight which only one man can survive. He is to be trained by veteran soldier Macro, who fears for his young trainee's chances. But Pavo is motivated by more than a simple desire for victory or survival, and Britomaris may yet be facing his most dangerous opponent...
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on 31 December 2012
Scarrow certainly knows how to capture your interest from the very first page and maintains it throughout. Having already devoured his entire eleven books in the Roman Legion series, followed by the four books in his Revolution series (Wellington/Bonaparte), I have now just completed Barbarian (part One of the Arena Series). Not wishing to reveal the plot, this book takes us back to AD 41 to Macro's earlier life, just prior to promotion as Centurion, and tasked with training A gladiator for success in the Roman Arena - hence the title of this series.

My only disappointment is that the Arena series is actually one novel broken down into five parts. Although I am now able to download the second installment, Challenger, I know I will eagerly read it and have to wait until the end of February 2013 for the release of First Sword, the third of the five parts.

Although I would have prefered that this was a single full length novel, the price of only £1.99 for each of the five installments means that the entire series can be purchased for under £10. A bargain for such a brilliant read. Barbarian is a must for those who read Simon Scarrow.
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on 3 June 2013
All I can say is that the author should be ashamed, for the price charged, to let his normally brilliant work be carved up in to tabloid sized chunks.
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on 26 February 2013
I enjoyed this book because of it being a short story packed with action of the period and is giving a picture of Macro's early life in the military
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on 23 May 2013
Short but sweet and very engrossing. I was already a big fan of Macro though I found myself missing his usual sidekick/partner Cato. Pavo does a good job of filling the breach however. The tale has everything you would want about gladiators and ancient Rome but be warned,you might as well buy all four books before you start reading cos you'll not be able to stop at one.
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on 29 May 2013
Good start - a lot to overcome for the young hero with no apparent clear solutions and a good deal of luck to help him along in his victories - only to have the promised prize slip through his fingers leaving the reader waiting for more . .
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on 10 November 2012
Macro contunues to give readers the ordinary citizen's view of Rome while the new hero reflects the upper class perspective, though brought to earth by circumstances and Macro's plebian vision. Thoroughly enjoyable!
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on 24 May 2013
What can you say even though this does not involve both Scarrow's heroes just Macro, and at a time when he was just an optio, it still managed to make an interesting story.
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