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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
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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on 14 November 2012
Review of the series (followed by a review of this book):
This series of books is based around the adventures of two men - Macro and Cato. Macro is a soldier through and through; he has spent his life in the army and is a centurion when we first meet him in the first book. In that book we also meet Cato who joins the legion as a new recruit, although he seems an unlikely candidate for a soldier. The series goes on to relate their many adventures and the relationship between them. Most of the stories are based - sometimes loosely - on real events and people, with a healthy dose of artistic license.
As far as I can tell the historical detail and facts are accurate, and the writing is generally engaging. There are criticisms in other reviews about the authors use of 'modern' slang; I know what they mean, but would we identify with 'roman' slang? For me, it is not a problem, I am not a fan of trying to invent historical language, it is too easy to fall into the 'ye olde shoppe' trap!
Overall, the series is very readable, and rolls along at a good pace. Like some other historical series, it doesn't do to try and fit the events into a timeline, as it soon becomes clear that the two men could not have done everything they do in one lifetime, but that doesn't detract from a fun series. Two niggles:the formatting annoys me in that the gaps between paragraphs are too long, particularly where there are long conversations, and they are a little over-priced.
Review of this book:
Macro and Cato find themselves in Rome, under suspicion, and bored. They suddenly find themselves sent on a mission by someone they cannot trust, alongside someone who has already proved treacherous. So it's more of the adventures we have some to expect from the author. The story moves along well, and has many twists and turns. Overall a good fun read.
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on 19 June 2010
And so we reach the review of Simon Scarrows sixth Eagle book , The Eagles prophecy.

Set in 45 AD and our usual protagonists Macro and Cato are held in Rome awaiting their fate due to events in the previous book. Meanwhile pirates are causing the Emperor trouble as they have stolen the infamous Sybillin prophecy scrolls , which can help tell the future of Rome and its Inhabitants.

Of course Macro and Cato are offerd the classic decision , die or take part in a suicide mission. Not only this but running the deal is Vetellius , who has been on the wrong side of the duo since the beggining. So they set sail with the roman fleet and a battle for the future of Rome lies , once again , in the hands of Macro and Cato.

It's nice to see Scarrow trying another form of writing , taking on the challenge of writing about the Roman's sea battles is not a task many have accepted. He does very well keeping the action understandable and exciting , as its not only new to him but also to the audience.

The pirates are shown as ruthless and cunning right from the off , and the pirate leader Telemachus, has that sauve pirate attitude we have become accustomed to, although he doesnt feature as much as i would have though , only really appearing in person , at the beggining of the book and in the last 50 pages. This does keep an air of mystery and excitement about him though.

The book also starts quite fast paced as a bourne style chase occurs , as Macro is noticed in the stadium by the man who sentenced them to death. This pace setting really grips you and the story carrys on rising and falling as the action splits into two lines , as usual in his writing style.

We also get to see a bit more of Macro's background, we meet his mother and hear about his hardships and troubles with his father. His mother ran off with a roman marine , seeing as his job entails him fighting alongside marines , this leads to tense moments. Not only that but Macro is fighting beside the man who his mother ran off with.

Finally this book has got the most double crossing , twists and turns of any Scarrow novel so far, but he somehow manages to keep it streamline and easy to keep on top of , leaving it as a surprise than a confused piece of text.
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on 2 April 2008
This is the sixth book in Simon Scarrow's excellent Macro and Cato series, and is the first book in the series that is wholly set outside of the ever raining isle of Britain. Personally I think that readers of this series will be happy at the new settings and locations, there is a limited amount of entertainment value in a series being flogged to death constantly fighting the same enemy in the same locations time and time again.

The Eagles Prophecy see our illustrious duo on a mission to rescue to some mysterious scrolls from raiding pirates in the Adriatic, and in the process rescuing Rome from the threat of bribery and constant ransacking of small towns and villages. Macro and Cato, whilst brave to the point of stupidity sometimes have no choice in taking the mission due to the threat of death still hanging over them from the previous book `The Eagle's Prey`.

All the characters in the book hold to the form of previous novels by Scarrow, and the evil and scheming Vitellius makes a welcome return in his own unique way. Sometimes I feel I find myself reading more than I intended just to see if Vitellius gets his just deserts - it is good to have a villainous adversary but I would prefer to see him or maybe some of his lackeys get on the wrong side of Emperor Claudius on occasions.

Another welcome aspect to this book is the addition of some family history of Macro, and indeed the appearance of his mother makes Macro seem to the reader to be a little more human than he may have come across in previous books. I think though as the novel goes on the reader is going to start to get an idea of who Minucius is and the revelation at the end maybe does not surprise the reader as much as what I feel Scarrow intended.

Scarrow's books are not about the Generals or Kings that have made the headlines in history. They are hard, dirty and gritty, and are about the everyday centurion in the Roman army, their struggles to live through to retirement and the bravery of the everyday soldier. I would imagine that if you enjoy the Cornwall `Sharpe' novels you may well enjoy these. However, with Scarrow previously running Roman history programmes, the story is continually enhanced by his knowledge and expertise of the subject.

The best recommendation that I can give the reader of this review is that I have about a hundred unread second hand paperbacks in my cupboard and yet I still went out and bought this book and felt it was money and time well spent ! 5 out of 5.
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BRIEF STORY DETAILS - SLIGHT SPOILERS

Spring 45 AD and Centurions Macro and Cato, dismissed from their Legion in Britain, are trapped in Rome accused of a crime. Politically devious Narcissus offers them a dangerous way out but they must re-capture an imperial agent and his vital scrolls accompanied by an old enemy Vitellius. Amid more plots that could destroy the Emperor, Macro and Cato struggle to clear their name and stay alive.

SAFE READING _ NO SPOILERS

I have read all the "Eagle" series in order, followed the careers of Cato and Macro with great interest and eagerly await the already pre-ordered "Praetorian".
Not the heights of Literature (nor pretending to be), but well-written nevertheless, the series is filled with his great depth of knowledge, enthusiasm for and interest in the Romans.
Cunningly peopled with all the names from our history lessons - Vespasian, Cladius, Caratacus, Boudica - and the Roman campaigns to extend the Empire but centred on two Roman soldiers who become unlikely close friends, Macro and Cato, their careers and friendship carries the stories along. Following them closely allows the intimate details of human life to be in the forefront while the everyday lives of Roman soldiers and the political intrigues of the Roman Empire provide the backdrop.

PS I found it helpful to have a one-page list of Roman army ranks, which I used as a bookmark, and I had the odd glance at ancient maps (not mine I hasten to add!).
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 20 June 2007
Once again Simon Scarrow has excelled himself with the Eagle's series. He has drawn two marvellous lead characters in Macro and Cato and pulled off brilliantly the setting of their adventures within and amongst real historical characters.

If you enjoy this series then Scarrow has plenty of excellent company but I would put him on top of the pile containing:

Lindsey Davis

Rosemary Rowe

Steven Saylor

David Wishart

John Maddox Roberts

I cannot wait to see how their lives progress alongside Vittelius and Vespasian who are both destined to be Emperor in 25 years time. Having read Scarrow's characterisation of Vitellius it is easy to imagine they were queuing up to assassinate him in December of AD 69 and to imagine why Vespasian was everyone's choice as a stable figurehead for the empire.

Here's to 20+ years of Macro and Cato!?
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on 29 August 2012
This is the 6th of 11 books, written by the amazing Mr Simon Scarrow. This book, as all in the collection are centred around the two Officers of the Roman legions, these are Centurions Macro, a blunt and effective soldier and leader of men who won his promotion the hard way, and his friend Cato who was the youngest Centurian in the Roman legions. Young he was but intelligent and a born fighter he certainly was, on one hand the doer and the other the thinker but together they where unbeatable.
The action is brutal and totally action packed from page one to the very end, it is a real page turner. Started on page one at six pm and put it down realising it was two am. Beware it is really addictive, gritty and the only set of books that hooked me so efectivly that the only other collection that has come close to this has to be JK and her masterful Harry potter. It must be said not books for children.
I take my hat of to Mr Scarrow the word smith, love to meet him and I don't say that very often.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 19 May 2007
Whenever I pick up the eagle books I find I just cannot put them down and this is no exception Macro is one of the best characters since Sharpe
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An easy reading novel, full of fighting, daily army life and quite real in regards of not having "the" perfect army or the "super" hero dealing with all the mess of a war. The main characters are human, with a lot of weaknesses alongside the necessary bravado of a rugh tranditional Roman army, where discipline and fear of the superior officers exceeds by far the fear for the enemy. I think that the author has found out a simple and nice way of filling up the reader's hunger for action. If you like reading about all these then this is your series.
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on 22 February 2015
I have been reading this series since the very beginning and even though I'm making slow progress, I love every page in each book.
I can deffinatly say when I see a book that I haven't got (even if its not the next one to read) then I grab it and buy it straight away, so you can imagine what I was like when I found out about the new book ( 5 mins ago)

I give this book a 4 star (so far because I haven't finished the book) but the whole series is a deffinate 6/5 stars, the series is that good!
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