Mr. Scarrow's first book in this new series is inspired. It is a gripping, enjoyable read that provides a thrilling sense of what it must have been like in the heart of a Roman legion as it fights its way through the barbarian hordes. The barracks life also feels very authentic. The characters are very life-like and likeable and I want to see how the Cato/Macro relationship develops, as well as plot the career of young Vespasian. The dialogue is sharp, the settings vivid, and the action nail-biting. If he can keep this up then Scarrow is onto a winner. If I had to comapre it to anything, it would be Hornblower, but a Hornblower who lived in a much grittier, bloodier and lethally political world. If you like Cornwell, Davis and their ilk, and you enjoyed Gladiator as much as I did - then this one is for you!