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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Juvenile Gladiators
Simon Scarrow's books set in ancient Rome make absorbing reading, and this book, written for teenagers, make a good read for those who have left their teen years behind.
MITHRA
Published 18 months ago by Mithra

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK but not Great
Grizzled veteran of the Rhine campaigns Macro, optio of the 2nd Legion, is sent to Rome to receive an award for bravery. But he gets involved in politics - a series of plots by the Emperor Claudius' freedmen to punish Pavo, the son of an aristocratic general executed for disloyalty to Claudius. Pavo is demoted to slave gladiator and forced to fight for his life in the...
Published 10 months ago by jacw2000


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Juvenile Gladiators, 15 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: Arena (Roman Arena) (Hardcover)
Simon Scarrow's books set in ancient Rome make absorbing reading, and this book, written for teenagers, make a good read for those who have left their teen years behind.
MITHRA
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK but not Great, 22 July 2014
Grizzled veteran of the Rhine campaigns Macro, optio of the 2nd Legion, is sent to Rome to receive an award for bravery. But he gets involved in politics - a series of plots by the Emperor Claudius' freedmen to punish Pavo, the son of an aristocratic general executed for disloyalty to Claudius. Pavo is demoted to slave gladiator and forced to fight for his life in the arena. Meanwhile Macro is forced to train him.

According to the blurb, this book started as five separate short novellas, which probably accounts for its bittiness. Pavo wins and keeps winning, but gets no further forward. Macro too wants to be sent back to the legion, ideally with a promotion to centurion, but that doesn't happen either.

Apart from that? It's OK but not great. If you are a fan of gladiatorial combat, maybe you will like it better than me. The training, the self doubt, the aggressive self aggrandisement all resemble modern boxing, at least as perceived by an outsider like me. But I wouldn't want to watch it, and neither did the Emperor Claudius, a bookish introvert according to Suetonius.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gladiators life., 29 Jan. 2014
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A good read about the arena and the politics behind some of the fights and the conditions they lived in.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars first book for my kindle, 14 Jan. 2014
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Like the book although only half way through it. Prefer the stories about Macro and Cato. First book on my kindle
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Big fan of Simon Scarrow - this one not so much :-(, 17 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Arena (Roman Arena) (Hardcover)
I will start by saying that I love the Macro and Cato series. While Simon's writing style is easy and the plotlines are exciting and a bit "Boys' Own" - in a good way - the historical detail & background, settings and attention to detail more than offset the occasionally anachronisms. In short, great storytelling for a history buff like me.

Arena is a little disappointing. It feels as though Simon has jumped on the Gladiator/Spartacus bandwagon a bit. Macro is shoe-horned into this, and the plot feels a bit like the 'Perils of Pauline'. some of the dialogue is clunky, and I lost count of the number of times that Macro unnecessarily added the word 'lad' to the end of what he was saying. Sorry this seems very subjective & picky, but imagining the dialogue in my head it just sounds clunky.

Sorry Simon - love all your other work!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars IT's a Simon Scarrow book what mor is to be said!, 20 Oct. 2013
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It's just a shame that I bought the first bits first! (sigh), still cohesive & as expected a very good read
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2.0 out of 5 stars A real disappointment, 26 Dec. 2013
This review is from: Arena (Roman Arena) (Paperback)
Having read and enjoyed all the other books written by Simon Scarrow, I was looking forward to this new one. But what a disappointment. No real story/plotline development - just a series of bloody events which don't disguise the fact of the lack of either plot or character development. He and his co-author just seem to have dashed off the novel as quickly as possible to get it onto the market.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good Yarn, 31 Oct. 2014
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This book is set back in the time when Macro was an Optio and before he became acquainted with Cato. Thoroughly enjoyable but Simon Scarrow has made a slight historical error in his reference to "flash in the pan". The phrase did not exist in ancient Rome as the phrase refers to a mis-fire of a flintlock gun. Unless that is the Romans had...............
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not the usual standard, 29 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: Arena (Roman Arena) (Paperback)
I like others have enjoyed the previous Macro/Cato books and hoped this prequel would be as good but the fact that Scarrow has chosen to have a co author on this one and was written for younger readers should have warned me off, as, with other authors who co write, they are rarely as good and are possibly running out of ideas. It's ok, that's about all.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Roman entertainment..Premier League., 18 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: Arena (Roman Arena) (Paperback)
Whilst I thought the book O.K. it was not the page turner I had hoped for. The fact that the characters involved appeared to be watered down versions of the highly successful Eagle series....I found it quite boring at times and although no doubt historically accurate not a book to enhance Simons reputation...........
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Arena (Roman Arena)
Arena (Roman Arena) by T. J. Andrews (Hardcover - 15 Aug. 2013)
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