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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 10 November 2011
Praetorian: Book 11 of the Macro & Cato series, always a winner, i think the only time i have struggled with one of these books was gladiator and that was just the one character in the book.

Legion saw a return to old school Macro and Cato and Simons best work, so would Praetorian keep up that momentum?

Yes and No: No because the book is different, the style not what you normally expect from Macro and Cato, more mature almost (the characters), with more intrigue and danger around every corner, never knowing who they can trust.

Yes because the book is excellent, the usual fast paced exciting writing with characters we know so well and can honestly care about. This is one of the best in this series.

The Intrigue in this book gives it more depth without losing the great camaraderie which grows and grows with every book, the intricacies of a relationship that has to change and evolve as changes in rank and relationship occur, as the young Cato matures and grows.

As usual with my reviews i wont touch on the story too much as i feel reviews should not contain plot and spoilers. But if you have not read Simon Scarrow before, yes you could read this as stand alone, (but i also encourage you to buy them from the start) if you enjoy historical fiction with pace, passion, great research and also reality in your characters then look no further, this tale unlike some of the others just has an extra dimension (the politics)

And at the end...well for those readers who follow the series...the boys are coming home...Whoo Hoo!! Im really looking forward to book 12.

Highly recommended book and series.
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on 21 January 2012
Praetorian sees a departure from the usual legionary capers for Macro and Cato as the two intrepid heroes return to Rome to work undercover as members of the Praetorian guard as they try to uncover a plot to undermine the Emperor, Claudius and bring his reign to an end.

Being a big fan of all Mr Scarrow's books, I was really looking to this story especially as it was going to be different. Although enjoyable, the pace of the storyline was a lot slower than usual and I thought there was less humour and cutting remarks especially by Macro that usually have me chuckling away to myself.

The picture created by the writing easily allows you to 'see' the environment where the two spies find themselves especially during their escapades in Rome's sewer system. There is also an unusual attempt on the Emperor's life but I won't spoil it for you in-case you intend to read the book.

Overall it's another good story and addition to the previous books and best of all, the boy's are returning to the legions and Britannia in the next instalment.
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on 8 December 2011
Life is never straight forward for our heroes Prefect Cato and Centurion Macro, as Narcissus-Imperial secretary and close adviser to Claudius,has them back undercover in Rome. This is the 10th outing for Cato and Macro and while they are not with the Legions they face just as much danger from their comrades in the Practorian Guard and those in the Imperial Palace who they suppose to protect. In a year when we have so many good Roman adventures,hear for me, the master show`s us why the standard is so high.If you have not read Scarrow before, then this is not a bad place to start and i bet it will not be long before you start on the other 10 adventures of Cato and Macro.
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on 10 November 2011
I have to admit it.I don't know if to be happy or sad.It took me just the first afternoon and evening i managed to be undisturbed, to end it up and i feel now as if i ran for it all the time.The book this time is so fast-paced and hooking that i have to protest Mr Scarrow,next time do something more boring please,a thing which can last a week at least
It struck me how the style of the narration this time was completely different and unexpected and nonetheless even more exciting than the past if possible.It's a more devious plotting story than i could have ever imagined.I stopped the reading many times just trying to understand how the plot could probably evolve,and i dare say no one will come up with "i got it at once".Really really a wonderful book.a sort of James Bond in nailed boots with the Liberators as the SPECTRE lurking at every corner.The part on the cloaca maxima or Great sewer as you prefer,is so vivid that it looked like playing at assassin creed brotherhood.I lived for some hours into the story,completely plunged into the story.I thought Legion was the peak of Simon Scaorrow.I was wrong.A beautiful diversion on the world of spy-stories without losing nothing about realism and the old good fightings.And a new Cato this time.Unexpected and tougher.My genuine compliments.
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VINE VOICEon 4 October 2012
Once again, Simon Scarrow pens another book starring his duo of heroes, Cato & Macro, who had to join the Praetorian Guard as lowly guardsmen in order to prevent the Emperor Claudius from being assassinated. These two Legionaries had forged a bond that has survived war, rebellion and torture, yet nothing had prepared them for a daunting mission on the deadliest and bloodiest battlefield of all: the bloody streets of Rome. It is AD 51 and traitors threaten to plunge the Roman Empire into bloody chaos. No one can be trusted. The Emperor ordered Cato and Macro to join the Praetorian Guard, his private bodyguard. Their deadly mission is to work undercover as ordinary Guardsmen and root out the traitors before Rome tears itself apart. As the true scale of the corruption dawns, they realise they are facing terrifying odds. Two men against many, in a desperate race to save, not only the Roman Empire, the Emperor Claudius, but each other as well...
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on 2 March 2016
It must be difficult when writing a series like this to avoid just repeating the same story over and over again - the only variation being where it is set. To ring the changes Simon Scarrow has decided to put his heroes (Macro and Cato) undercover in the Praetorian Guard in Rome. It's difficult to see how they can successfully pull this off, given that in the previous book Cato was a Prefect and Macro a Centurion. However their task, to protect the Emperor and his family was a laudable aim so they have to make do with their temporary demotion.
An interesting interpretation of the intrigue surrounding Claudius who was beset on all sides and at the potential mercy of the various conspiracies (or the starving mob).
Hopefully the next book is a return to a more straightforward tale, where it is easier to identify who the enemy is!
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on 30 April 2012
Good book, flowing narrative and your two main characters back to take you through another adventure. I personally like the way the relationships between all the characters changes between books sometimes with subtlety sometimes less so. The end of this book has a significant change but i'll let you read it to find out which. It was nice for Macro and Cato to see Rome once again although i'm fairly sure there would have been more who remember Cato, but I guess thats Mr Scarrows perrogative to play up or down. To sum up, a nice plot and continuation of the story, well worth a read. Although if you are new to Simon Scarrow I would suggest you start at the beginning of the series as its essentially one long story.
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Cato and Macro are thrust back into the cut throat world of Rome in this, the latest outing for our heroic duo who as usual are up to their necks in the thick brown stuff as they're played on the chess board of Romes Political Machination by Narcissus. It's devious, has all the elements of a bygone Rome and of course, pitches the soldiers into a world that they're not really equipped for.

Finally add to this, great pace, cracking prose alongside a great heaping dollop of double dealing which leaves the reader sated by the books conclusion. If you want an Historical Fiction series that ticks all the boxes of Cornwell for the Roman period or even just a book to keep you tied over and happy for the seasonal period, they you really have to get this. Cracking entertainment with a massacre or two thrown in.
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I like Scarrow's well drawn and fleshed out characters, the chalk and cheese legionaries Cato and Macro and have been a fan since Under the Eagle. Scarrow's ability to richly describe the backbreaking and violent daily life of the Roman legionary is well done throughout the Eagle series and to this he now adds the complex political intrigue at the end of the reign of Claudius as well.

However, Scarrow hasn't let up on the blood and guts in this book. You can still hear the clash of sword on sword, the screams of the injured and dying, the smell of blood and sweat and the immediacy, proximity, desperation and tension of the fights. This is Scarrow at his descriptive best.

Rome is starving and the overt and covert infighting now taking place in the first family and their supporters in the Roman civil service is now coming to a head and this is one Narcissus will loose eventually to his rival Pallas. Cato and Macro need to get out and away from this and the resolution to Praetorian gives them the opportunity to escape the upcoming infighting that was synonymous with regime change, with the added bonus of Cato earning a `get out of jail' card from Nero along the way as well.

I can't wait for the next three or four books in the series, let alone book XII, as there is so much potential still to be tapped.

A welcome addition to the series, an enjoyable read.
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on 10 January 2016
This novel was an interesting change of scenery for our two soldiers. Rather than the pitched battles and skirmishes we are used to, our heroes are operating in the vipers nest known as Rome. Serving in the Praetorian Guard, typically viewed as a comfortable and profitable job, they soon discover life in Rome is just as dangerous mixed in politics as it is facing a barbarian horde.
Subterfuge, conspiracy and backstabbing, Praetorian gives Macro and Cato a whole new set of challenges, and implications that will rock the top tiers of society.
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