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4.5 out of 5 stars83
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 28 September 2013
both these books and the subsequent "son of Sparticus" should be one 500 page book. The author has ,presumably to make money,

published the book in three short stories with large lettering or double spacing between lines to make more pages. This is a bad mistake and belittles the author!

many thanks - Nigel
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on 6 July 2012
I eagerly awaited this sequel to Simon Scarrow's young adult "Gladiator: Fight for Freedom". Read that one first if you found this before that one. I thoroughly recommend it and this sequel.

Here is a great tale of Roman life and intrigue as Marcus, the young hero trained in a gladiator school after being enslaved by treachery, is now the slave of Gaius Julius Caesar - yes, that Julius Caesar. Thus we witness the machinations as the triumvirate shows its strains in the last days of the Roman republic.

Although this is a much written about period of Roman history, I cannot off-hand think of any treatment of the time for young adults, so this is a great book both because it is educational, but more importantly it is a great story. There is treachery, violence, and also friendships. There are gangs and political scheming, and at the heart of it an engaging tale of a boy struggling and fighting for his freedom, so that he can return and save his mother from slavery.

I thoroughly recommend this book. Perhaps a little more violent than the Roman Mysteries by Caroline Lawrence, this is nevertheless an excellent work that should definitely appeal to young adults and adults alike.
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on 15 February 2012
This picks up soon after the end of the first novel, Marcus is now part of Caesar's household and is trained to fight with a selection of deadly weapons including knuckle dusters and wooden clubs and also his bare hands. The training is brutal as he must punch a solid wooden block over and over whilst wearing the knuckle dusters but he is also a favourite of Caesar as he saved his niece's life and in this novel saves Caesar's life more than once.
As Caesar makes his move to strengthen his power in Rome tensions rise in the senate and the streets of Rome soon follow resulting in gang war to break out. This leads to Caesar's life being under threat and it becomes extremely dangerous for him to venture further than his front doorstep. But as a man who seeks favour from the people of Rome Caesar can't look weak in front of them by hiding in his villa, so he must attend to his duties as usual. As this goes on Marcus, who desperately seeks his freedom sees his opportunity at gaining enough favour from Caesar to earn his freedom. He proposes to go undercover in one of the enemy gangs and will then report anything significant back to Caesar. Then the adventure begins and also the action ending in a exiting but bloody ending.
I finished the book in a few hours and I have a terrible attention span so it goes to show how gripping this book is, there was always battles being fought whether it was in the senate or on the streets of Rome. Marcus turns from a innocent boy to being forced to fight into a deadly, brutal fighter and the change is extremely interesting. I found this book absolutely amazing just as the first one was and I can't wait for the third in 2013. :)
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on 31 January 2012
Wow, the book isn't even out and I get two five star reviews warning people not to buy it. That's a first. It's possible that some readers may not know that Puffin is a childrens' publisher, and they might miss the cover which clearly has a young teen depicted. However, I am can assure you that very many adult readers have enjoyed the first book and will not doubt enjoy this one. In the same way that other, rather more successful, kids' books reach a crossover audience, e.g. - off the top of my head - Harry Potter. I do find it depressing that people draw boundaries like this. One of the best books I have read recently is Private Peaceful. So, a little less prejudice and a more open mind might just deliver new pleasures, chaps.
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on 1 August 2015
Not serious adult reading. Not sure I really wanted to finish it, but did. An unlikely scenario, a young slave used as bodyguard to a young patrician lady, a close relative of Caesar to be married to Pompey. He manages to fend off all sorts of villainous attacks on the lady and Caesar, at one time defeating three adult street fighters. It does require a suspension of belief, particularly when you consider the characters involved - Caesar, Pompey, Cicero and Crassus - the four most important men in Rome at the time. The political plotting and machinations are interesting as is the use of the Rome street gangs and while it is well written and easy to read it comes nowhere near the Macro and Cato series. I will not buy any more in the series. I even thought of giving it two stars.
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on 5 May 2014
This book is mind blowing! As Marcus starts his journey you get the feeling that he may be forced into another dramatic conflict but as the book ends the air clears and something unexpected occurs....
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on 30 November 2013
i like Simon Scarrow but did not realise when I bought this it was for children rather than adults. It was OK to read just too short and not taxing.
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on 28 January 2014
Excellent, fast paced and gripping from beginning to the end. Another brilliant classic by Simon Scarrow. Long live a new champion
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on 18 April 2012
My two boys aged 7 and 8 love their bedtime stories. This book has been their favourite from the past year. Very exciting and they listened intently to every word from this book from start to finish which is not the norm as they often get distracted by their lego, the cats etc. This book and the first in the series Gladiator: Fight for freedom are fantastic stories for kids. We eagerly await the next in the series. Hurry up Simon Scarrow! :-)
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on 3 May 2013
Not as good a storyline as other Simon Scarrow books. I hope the next in the series is better than this one
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