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Rome: The Emperor's Spy: Rome 1 [Kindle Edition]

M C Scott
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Rome is burning. Only one man can save it.

The Emperor: Nero, Emperor of Rome and all her provinces, feared by his subjects for his temper and cruelty, is in possession of an ancient document predicting that Rome will burn.

The Spy: Sebastos Pantera, assassin and spy for the Roman Legions, is ordered to stop the impending cataclysm. He knows that if he does not, his life - and those of thousands of others - are in terrible danger.

The Chariot Boy: Math, a young charioteer, is a pawn drawn into the deadly game between the Emperor and the Spy, where death stalks the drivers - on the track and off it.

Product Description


"As exciting as Ben Hur, and far more accurate" (Independent)

"A gripping tale, with more to come" (Daily Mail)

"A heady, fast-paced, well-written, and exciting book...Brilliant stuff" (Shropshire Star)

Book Description

A mysterious prophecy foretells that Rome will burn - only one man can save it

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1605 KB
  • Print Length: 596 pages
  • Publisher: Transworld Digital (1 Jun. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003NX6XV6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #94,810 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Author, columnist and screenwriter, Manda (M.C) Scott has written thirteen novels beginning with contemporary thrillers. Her first, 'Hen's Teeth; was shortlisted for the Orange Prize, 'No Good Deed' was nominated for an Edgar Award in the 'Best Thriller' category.

Having served her writing apprenticeship, she went back in time to write the bestselling Boudica:Dreaming series. Her latest 'Rome' series starts with Rome: The Emperor's Spy and continues with Rome: The Coming of the King, Rome: The Eagle of the Twelfth and Rome:The Art of War. Set from 54 - 69AD, the books feature Pantera, the spy whose name means leopard.

She is working on a dual time line novel of Jeanne d'Arc (who she really was: not the fainting visionary peasant girl) and a contemporary thriller.

She is Chair of the Historical Writers' Association (, Prize Chair of the HWA Debut Crown and Programming Chair of the Harrogate History Festival. She writes reviews and columns for the Independent, the Express, the Telegraph and the (Glasgow) Herald.

She is an avid reader. Her top picks of 2013, in no particular order, are: Robert Wilton: TREASON'S TIDE, Imogen Robertson, 'THE PARIS WINTER', Beatrice Hitchman: 'PETITE MORT' Robert Ryan, 'DEAD MAN'S LAND', Robert Low, 'THE LION RAMPANT', Neil Gaiman 'THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE' and Neal Stephenson, 'Reamde' (it's 2012, but it's still outstanding.

Further details can be found on her website:

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars We Didn't Start the Fire 20 Aug. 2012
Rome: The Emperor's Spy is a hard book to categorise. Part thriller, part action adventure, part religious diatribe, I finally put it down as a good read that will be too controversial for some, too complex for others, while some will thoroughly enjoy it.

Read purely as an entertainment, I found the book to be pretty good. The characters have their own personalities and motivations, pantera (the main character) is particularly well drawn and the Emperor Nero gets a better take than the normally Byron-esque version we see - 'mad, bad and dangerous to know'. Of course, as soon as you hear Nero, you think of Rome burning, and that is indeed the climax to this book - not giving anything away there, as this is plainly going to be the ending from very early on. It's not the fire itself that is the real thrust of this book though, but the way in which the characters are brought to it in spite of their efforts to stop it happening or make it happen. This is where the main villain, Saulos, comes in. The leader of a Christian sect who need Rome to burn to fulfill a prophecy, Saulos is better known to us as St Paul, and this is where some people will find their tastes challenged.

If you're terribly religious, I wouldn't recommend this book - St Paul isn't the pnly problem you're going to have. For anyone else who likes a complicated plot, good characters and a book that grips like a free climber going up a sheer rock face, you could do a heck of a lot worse than spending your hard-earned dinarii on this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A prize indeed 4 Mar. 2015
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I ‘won’ a signed copy of Rome on The Review blog page but, having so much else to do, I have only just got round to reading it. It is not my favourite era and I was surprised I enjoyed it so much. The author presents a clear picture and such a vivid atmosphere of ancient Rome that I was quickly drawn in, and couldn’t wait to get back to it of an evening. The characters are all distinctive and well-drawn, particularly Pantera, a spy for the Emperor Nero, whose job it is to discover who is planning the burning of Rome.
For me, once I got into the story and obsessed with reaching a resolution there was a little too much description that got in the way of the action.
Over-all, an excellent book. Well written, well-paced and convincing. M. C. Scott is a new author to me but I will look out for her work from now on.
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intrigue, Fire and Chariot-Racing in Nero's Rome 13 Jan. 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As a child in the first century AD, Sebastos Abdes Pantera, son of a Roman auxiliary soldier, witnesses an anti-Roman Judean rebel being taken alive from a tomb in Jerusalem. Decades later we meet Pantera again as he arrives in Coriallum (modern Cherbourg) after a stint as a spy in Britannia, during which he went native in the turmoil of the Boudican revolt. No sooner has he landed than he's recruited by the Emperor Nero to discover the missing details of a prophecy that Rome will burn - and then stop it happening.

Sweeping through three contrasting and vividly imagined parts of the Roman Empire - Gaul, Alexandria and finally Rome itself - this epic historical thriller is ablaze with intrigue, treachery, murder and chariot-racing, and is peopled by characters of a depth and complexity not often found in this genre. Some of the characters are from Scott's Boudica series, which will please fans of these novels but won't, I'm sure, disadvantage those who haven't read them. Integral to the plot is an unorthodox take on St Paul (as he then wasn't) and the beginnings of Christianity. I've no idea how plausible this theory is, but it works in the context of the story and the author provides a copious note on the matter for those who want to pursue it.

"Rome: The Emperor's Spy" marks a welcome return to the punchy style of Scott's contemporary crime novels. The vigorous, well-paced story is satisfyingly wound up, yet there's enough in the way of loose ends and unfinished business to make this reader look forward to the next in the series.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Spy Adventure Set in Ancient Rome 6 Jun. 2012
This book stands very well on its own even if you have not yet read the Boudica series, although some of the characters are developed from the earlier work. Pantera is a former spy, re-engaged by the Emperor Nero to track down the source and meaning of a mysterious prophecy about the burning of Rome, which he is desperate to prevent. Pantera, who has no desire to be involved in such intrigues, does so out of a sudden attachment to 10 year old Math, son of the warrior Caradog, although reduced to thieving and whoring at the start of this work. Math seems to inspire love in others too. There is a healer of Jewish descent called Hannah who also loves him, and Nero falls for him as soon as he sees him, although that appears as much lust as love.

This tangled and somewhat dark beginning opens up into a spy thriller which takes as key players most of the key historical figures of the period. Nero, of course, but also Seneca and Saint Paul/Saul of Tarsus (here called Saulos) as well as the British warrior Caradog (Caratacus) and others, bringing together a broad sweep of the Roman Empire. Potentially epic in its scope, the story nevertheless reads nicely as a spy thriller and kept me engaged throughout. Where sometimes character development seemed a little terse in this work that was largely because those characters had already grown through the earlier series.

Strengths of the novel are Manda Scott's attention to setting and other small details. This was a well researched Roman novel without some of the obvious problems that spoil other works in the same genre.

However the novel was not perfect. The plot kept me engaged but at times perhaps could have been faster, and the intrigue was not as original and unexpected as I would have liked.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A new angle on Nero
Tough reading in places but by the end I was totally engrossed in the characters and the intrigue surrounding Nero, Pantera and Math. Can't wait to get started on the next story!!
Published 26 days ago by ray crump
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
No idea as bought for a friend, so he was thrilled
Published 2 months ago by Gillian J
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good packageing
Published 4 months ago by michael welham
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A superb continuation of the Boudicca series
Published 5 months ago by TGH Marshall
3.0 out of 5 stars Good story etc
Enjoyable. Good story etc. etc. But if you've just come from the Boudicca series don't rush into this as I did. It does not have the same wow factor. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Mr. Francis S. Beadle
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story well writen
Loving it a great story well writen. The story draws you in from teh start and I cant put it down. The price is good and the quality of teh book is good what more can you ask for.
Published 8 months ago by Crowy
5.0 out of 5 stars What a fantastic read.
M.C. Scott is a truly awe-inspiring writer! Well-researched, magnificent writing style and truly exciting! What a fantastic read.
Published 9 months ago by Katharine
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this book. An exciting read.
I love books about Ancient Rome and Ancient Egypt. This book, I found hard to put it down. I have bought the other titles in this series by the same author and can't wait to start... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Miss Carole Partridge
4.0 out of 5 stars good gripping story
good story line, with some interesting historical knowledge thrown in to make it educational. only half way through but already looking forward to reading the next book
Published 11 months ago by Andy Robilliard
4.0 out of 5 stars The Emperor's spy M C Scott
Not one of the best books I have read by this Lady the plot gets tangled up in places and becomes hard to follow, her later books in the Rome Series are far better so you have to... Read more
Published 11 months ago by a newsome
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