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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant foray into YA.
Product Description (From back of book)

Rome, 61 BC RECRUITED as a gladiator, young Marcus Cornelius Primus faces a new life of brutal training, governed by strict rules, as he learns the skills of an elite warrior. But Marcus cannot simply forget his past. His father lies murdered by soldiers and his mother has been kidnapped and forced into slavery. Marcus is...
Published on 11 Jun. 2011 by Parm

versus
76 of 88 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This is a children's book!
I don't know wether to be annoyed with myself or Amazon but I managed to miss that this was a children's story. Once it was delivered there were clues. It was a puffin publication, the gladiator on the front cover has more than a whiff of Harry Potter about him and the print is widely spaced enough to navigate a tractor around! The book was also dedicated to legendry...
Published on 16 Feb. 2011 by Mr. A. I. Harrison


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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant foray into YA., 11 Jun. 2011
By 
Parm (A bookshop near you) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Gladiator: Fight for Freedom (Hardcover)
Product Description (From back of book)

Rome, 61 BC RECRUITED as a gladiator, young Marcus Cornelius Primus faces a new life of brutal training, governed by strict rules, as he learns the skills of an elite warrior. But Marcus cannot simply forget his past. His father lies murdered by soldiers and his mother has been kidnapped and forced into slavery. Marcus is determined to find his father's old commander, Pompeius the Great, to seek justice for his family and set his mother free. Yet, unbeknown to him, Marcus is hiding a life-threatening secret. And if the Romans discover it, there will be no escape . .

Review

Gladiator : Fight for Freedom

One major advantage for me when picking up this new Simon Scarrow book was that I knew I would enjoy it, it would be the degree of enjoyment that was in question.

Recently I have called into question a couple of plot lines in Simons Eagle Series (sorry Simon), and to be fair the latest book Legion answered those questions in spades.

So how would his foray into the world of young adult books fair, would it follow in the footsteps of its older brother The Eagles and become a deserved Bestseller? Would it be fresh and new?

The answer is quite simply yes, in fact at times its hard to spot its a young adult book, this story does not deride the audience, it does not talk down, it does not preach as some young adult books do.

This Book moves long with great pace great action and great depth, there are very few punches pulled in the drama that is life and this book echos that, you could be forgiven for thinking that Macro and Cato would pop up at any moment (if they had been born yet), Readers of this series could easily move on to the eagle series and vice versa.

Marcus as our main star and character is well written, well rounded, and comes to life on the page, and thanks to the cover you have a visual image of him to carry through the book with you.

Adding a personal enemy in the Ludus was a moment of genius for me as it gives our main star someone to bounce his character/ personality and growth off and reminded me a little of Gladiatrix by Russ Whitfield.

The plot line (which I shall not give away) brings in famous characters from that roman period, and gives you a taste of where this very very promising series is going to go, and the trials that await our young gladiator.

This book is a total triumph, and reminds me of the freshness of the Eagle series at the beginning.

It seems that both the Brothers Scarrow have a talent for the young adult market, with the success of the excellent Timeriders series, and this detined to be a surefire hit, Puffin really do know their stuff.
(Parm)
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76 of 88 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This is a children's book!, 16 Feb. 2011
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This review is from: Gladiator: Fight for Freedom (Hardcover)
I don't know wether to be annoyed with myself or Amazon but I managed to miss that this was a children's story. Once it was delivered there were clues. It was a puffin publication, the gladiator on the front cover has more than a whiff of Harry Potter about him and the print is widely spaced enough to navigate a tractor around! The book was also dedicated to legendry children's author Rosemary Sutcliffe.

Still I didn't panic, some of the best books ever written were targeted at children, 'Northern lights' and 'The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe' to name two. This wasn't quite in their class however!

Don't get me wrong, if I had been 11 years old I would probably be giving this 5 stars, or more likely I'd be out playing football or riding my bike. However for the long toothed consumer of sword play novels like me this lacked originality, grit and adrenalin. For the first third of the book I was very tempted to put it down. The characters were 2D enough to squeeze through grating, the dialogue was flat and story totally predictable.

However things did pick up when young Marcus arrived at Gladiator school! with a few more characters and a suitably evil villain. The other thing is it can be read very quickly!

Anyway the last third was much more like the standard we expect of Mr Scarrow and will have young readers glued to their Kindle's I'm sure, with a couple of nice twists in the plot and an exiting climax.

Would I give it as a gift for an 11 year old nephew? Yes.

Would I recommend it to a like minded adult reader? No.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hogwarts meets Spartacus, 19 Nov. 2012
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Drat.

I bought this as Im quite a Simon Scarrow fan, and loved his other work. Great! a whole new series of Roman tales. However, somehow I didnt realise that this was a book for teenagers from the on line description of the book.

When you see it you can tell instantly. On the back it states suitable for 11 years+, the text is at least double spaced, and the writing style is very accessible indeed. The heroes and heroines in this text seem to be teenagers.

I wish Id had this sort of book to read when I was a teenager, but dont get it if you think its adult reading.

I did read the book having bought it, and its an OK read for an adult. It took me less than a day. Hogwarts meets Spartacus indeed!

3 stars for adult reading, 4 star if you are buying this for a teenager.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars what i expected, 25 Oct. 2011
By 
Said Sabbagh (u.a.e) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
i saw this book on amazon after reading of scarrow's previous books which were beautifully written this book i knew was a young adult book to begin with so i knew what audience it targeted for with this in mind(most young adult books are nicely written)this has the similar style to his other books but lightens it for the younger reader i like this book and waiting for the second in the trilogy.the emotional journey of the protagonist is nicely done. don't complain if you expect same tone as his previous books because it targeted for young adult is written as such and brilliantly so. even if you are an adult like myself i still recommend this book because it seduces your imagination
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Freeeeeeeeeeeeedooooooooooom! Sorry, I had to do it!, 29 Mar. 2011
This review is from: Gladiator: Fight for Freedom (Hardcover)
Simon Scarrow is primarily an adult author and this is his first, as far as I know, foray into childrens writing. Personally, I think he has nailed it!

Gladiator: Fight For Freedom moves at a brilliant pace to keep young minds hooked with plenty of action thrown in.
Marcus is the main dude in this book. His character is well defined and likable and you find yourself rooting for him from the start. Go Marcus, Go Marcus.
You easily find yourself being absorbed into the book and although the plot is a bit predictable it is still a fantastic read.

I recommend this book for all ages, boys and men, girls and women, young and old. I can't wait for the second book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars For Adults too !!!, 20 Aug. 2012
By 
Anthony (West Midlands) - See all my reviews
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I read this book, and its sequel,both of which I enjoyed immensely. The story follows Marcus, the son of a murdered retired Centurian, whose mother is sold into slavery and he to a ludus to be trained as a gladiator and his efforts for revenge against his father's killers. It has all the expected Scarrow ingredients, fast paced, exciting story line and provides the reader with a real sense of the times.

Maybe it is just me, but where I disagree with other reviews is this is somehow a children's book for 10 year olds. I am a lot older, and at no time did I feel the story was childlike or "another in the YA genre", whatever that nonsensical need to categorise means. This is a well written novel for young and old, as is its sequel "streetfighter" which brilliantly continues the story of young Marcus. Yes,its main character is a young boy,but to my mind, that just sets up a new and interesting storyline rather than making it a children's book. Far from it, it is written by Scarrow after all. I would recommend both books to all ages and would hazard a guess that all adults purchasing this book will, upon completion, readily purchase Galdiator: Street Fighter.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of A Trillian Books, 30 Jan. 2011
By 
Amazon Customer (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Gladiator: Fight for Freedom (Hardcover)
Marcus Cornelius Primus is the son of a Roman Centurian. With the first ten years of his life spent on his family's farm in Greece, Marcus' life is suddenly turned upside down when his father is killed and he and his mother are taken as slaves. Marcus is then sold to a Gladiator trainer where he learns to fight whilst all the time contemplating his escape and how he can find and free his mother. He sets his sights on somehow making it to Rome to find General Pompeius, who's life his father once saved, in the hope he will help ... that is until Marcus finds out that his past is not what he always thought it to be.

This is a fast paced, exciting adventure story that I imagine is primarily aimed at ten to fourteen year old boys but at the same time is a great read for all. Scarrow's writing superbly describes the scenes and the period in which the book is set and you really get a sense of what it was like to be a slave in the Roman era. It is clearly well researched. The fight scenes don't hold back on their realism but are still appropriate for the target age of the book.

I liked that Marcus acted his age. He would sometimes not make the best decisions, acting more in tune to his feelings than what might be best long term. He also had that determination and optimism that only a ten-year-old can have. He doesn't really consider that Rome is a heck of a long way or the dangers that might stand in his way. He's courageous yet vulnerable and in general a well balanced, well written character.

There were some aspects of the plot that were a little predictable but again, it is a children's/young teen book so that's usually the case when reading as an adult. Still, while it might have been obvious what the outcome was going to be, how the story got there wasn't always as predictable. And in any case, these elements were things that you wanted to happen so it was all good.

I'll definitely be looking out for the second book in this series and will likely also check out some of the authors other books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good story V,s Value, 19 Oct. 2012
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Gladiator has the potential to be another epic series like the Cato (Eagle) series. Having read all of Simon Scarrow,s books I was disappointed to find that both Gladiator books have been published in double line spacing. Because of this 350 pages becomes equivalent to approx. 150 pages not in my view value for money.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great book for roman fixated boy, 12 Jun. 2011
This review is from: Gladiator: Fight for Freedom (Hardcover)
My eight and a half year old son is a good reader and has recently become very keen on romans. For him the size of font and spacing works well. He was riveted by the story and the new vocabulary pushed him but did not put him off. I would highly recommend it to good readers a little under the age of 10. Most boys postively enjoy the gore. We are definitely looking forward to the next book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A bit predictable, 29 May 2013
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Short story - easy to read on holiday - but it did fel as if it was only one third or a quarter of a book - I've read much better and more involved books by Simon Scarrow.
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