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4.7 out of 5 stars146
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VINE VOICEon 21 September 2006
If you like ancient Rome and you want your protaganists to be uncomplicated and their adventures page-turning, then Scarrow is for you.

Cato and Macro, his two central characters have improved as this series has progressed.

Now we see them outside of the comfort of Britannia, and in this case (briefly) in Rome itself before dashing off to tackle pirates in the Adriatic.

Some have pointed out that Scarrow's characterisation can be uneven, and that his description of Roman society is a tad light. There is some truth in this, but despite this - if you want an enjoyable military romp - then this is for you.
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on 17 February 2006
Scarrow’s sixth novel featuring the adventures of the grizzled centurion Macro and his able sidekick Cato takes them out of their comfort zone of the Augusta II in Britannia and plonks them in Rome. It was only a matter of time before we saw how Scarrow would deal with Rome and he neatly avoids it by having a quick trip to the races where their remaining monies are lost in a cloud of crash dust one hundred feet from the finish line and describing a squalid room in the the Subaran district. Other than a final visit to the imperial palace to see Narcissus, Scarrow avoids the place entirely.
It’s a few months after the heroic efforts of ‘The Eagle’s Prey’. Macro and Cato finds themselves penniless, out of commission and still under an execution order unless they obey Narcissus and lead a covert operation off the Ravenna coastline to recover three missing scrolls of immense value to the Empire that have been stolen by a group of pirates lead by the Greek, Telemachus and his son, Ajax. Thrown into the mix is the ever unctuous and viperish Vitellius, who has been appointed Prefect of the Fleet. The immediate antagonism followed by military ineptitude in a battle at sea results in a heavy loss for the Roman fleet and Vitellius’ attempt to blame Cato in official dispatches. Cato’s rewriting of the dispatch results in Vespasian’s arrival on the scene to direct a proper assault on the pirate’s lair, ensuring Cato and Macro are firmly thrust to the fore as the leaders and saviours of the Delphic scrolls.
During the course of the novel the scheming Vitellius somehow manages to land on his feet (and presumably Scarrow will eveentually have him meet his historical destiny come A.D 69), Macro finds his long lost mother and also the marine that stole her away from his father (there’s a nasty oedipan twist at the end) and Cato continues to mature into a fine leader of men. The paternal relationship between the two characters perfectly suits the rough and ready nature of Macro to his intellectual junior and as a pair they are formidable indeed.
This latest effort by Scarrow shows just how far his writing has come. His novels have gradually gained more and more bulk, substance of character, action and plotline. Action sequences are longer, more descriptive and thus possess more reality to them. Our two main characters have grown with Scarrow and possess immense likeability, his plotlines are clean and crisp and, above all, gripping. Reviews of his earlier novels complained about historical naivity and factual inaccuracy but that doesn’t matter with Scarrow (unlike Iggulden). These novels are quite simply superb.
Read them.
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VINE VOICEon 10 November 2005
As compelling and readable as Scarrow's previous books in the series. While not in the league of Conn Iggulden's 'Emperor' novels, few writers can deliver such simple undiluted fun - this is historical fiction as pure romp - action-packed and unputdownable. The blokish dialogue grates at times, but this is a minor quibble. For my money infinitely superior to the likes of Bernard Cornwell.
Get this book today and you will devour it in a single sitting.
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on 14 June 2006
This is the sixth in Scarrow's series following the exploits of two fetching characters in the Roman army of the first century.
As with the other books, the action is fast paced and vividly depicted so that the reader is right there in the heart of the battle. What impressed me so much about this book was the setting. While there are so many Hornblower type books about there's almost nothing on the Roman navy. Scarrow has set that right. The descriptions of the ships, their crews and their fighting techniques are vastly entertaining and for a writer who has based his heroes on land thus far, Scarrow has a fine feel for the sea. I just hope that he gives Macro and Cato a chance to return to nautical warfare at some point. (Although given the title of the seventh book, it looks like there will be some delay in this!)

All the characters are sharply drawn and the central relationship between Cato and Macro continues to develop in a convincing, and often touching way, accompanied by the ususal amusing banter and occasional hilarious one liners.

This series just gets better and better and to my mind rivals anything written by the biggest names in historical fiction. No, what am I saying? It's better than that. Much better.
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on 10 October 2007
In "The Eagle's Prophecy" Macro and Cato, having returned with Vespasian from Britain, find themselves stuck in Rome unable to find news postings to another legion. When the imperial secretary Narcissus learns of their presence he has just the job for them: pirates have been scourging the coasts of Italy, and by sheer luck three very important scrolls have fallen into their hands. Macro and Cato are to join the fleet ordered to destroy these pirates, and retrieve the scrolls. A difficult enough mission as it is, but as luck would have it their old enemy Vitellius has been appointed prefect of the fleet...

I found this a very good adventure novel, not least because of the change of scene: Macro and Cato have to face unfamiliar enemies on unfamiliair ground (or water, of you will). Combined with the skill Scarrow meanwhile has in building an intriguing plot and keeping you in the thick of action almost constantly, this makes for a very welcome addition to the series.

Very well done, I'm looking forward to the further adventures of our 2 centurions!
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on 3 October 2005
This book came just in time.... Now read all Manfredi's work, all of Conn Iguldens work and all the Boudica series so far. This is equal to Manfredi in quality and is a real rollercoaster you don't want to get off. If you haven't read the Eagles stories then I recommend that you start now! This is the best so far and took me two days to read as I carried on reading until I literally fell asleep.
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on 2 March 2007
Simon Scarrow is one of only a very few authors who have never once disappointed me and The Eagle's Prophecy, sixth in the Eagles series, is no exception. From the very start, there's excitement, adventure and action, there are also excellent characters, heartily written and full of life, and a realism evident throughout the proceedings that sets one firmly in the thick of things with Centurions Macro and Cato as they embark on another important mission, fraught with danger, at the behest of the Emperor's right-hand man, Narcissus.

There is character growth, complete with unforeseen revelations that have a major impact on all concerned, and sets things up very nicely for the seventh installment, The Eagle in the Sand, in a way that will have most readers running to the nearest bookshop to buy it as soon as possible. If all historical fiction were this good, I don't think I'd ever read any other genre!
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on 14 September 2005
What can I say, Scarrow has done it again. If you loved the previous five novels you will love this one. The format is somewhat formulaic, as Macro and Cato are thrown into another tricky mess at the hands of the Imperial Secretary Narcissus; however for fans of the books this will only heighten their enjoyment of historical romp. As usual Scarrow combines a gripping story and character development ( I shall say no more than keep an eye out for Macro's mum), with fast paced battle scenes and a tongue in cheek humour that had me chortling at times. I received this book from Amazon yesterday and devoured it greedily staying up all night. It was well worth it! If you are fans of Bernard Cornwell and the like, may I say Scarrow adds an immediacy to his characters not available always with Cornwell, his characters are instantly likeable or recognisable as 'real' people we alll know and Macro is my secret favourite! In short I loved this book! If I could marry anyone's brain Simon Scarrow would do very nicely thank you!
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on 27 September 2005
This book makes you feel as if you are there, a part of all that is going on. The characters are real and the story is excellent. This is certainly a great thriller, full of suspense and twists. I was unable to put it down for more than an hour. A great read.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 25 February 2016
This is the sixth volume of this Roman saga featuring Macro and Cato two Roman legionnaires who contrive to be present at most of the diverse campaigns of the period. Most of the stories are based around historical events and people, .Most of the historical detail and facts are accurate as befitting the work of a history teacher and enthusiast of the Roman era and the writing style is comfortable and easy to read. Simon Scarrow has done for Roman history what Bernard Cornwell did for the Peninsular Campaign.
Overall, the books are very readable, and importantly very entertaining. These earlier volume are by and large better thoughtout and less 'commercial' than some of the later ones. I have the complete collection on my bookshelf and am now part way through re-reading the series from the beginning and am finding it a joy.
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