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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scarrow getting emotional !!
This is the 8th novel in Simon Scarrow's excellent series of books about Centurions Macro and Cato, and follows on from the `Eagles In The Sand'.

Book Summary : After a surprise attack by the Partians, Macro and Cato are ordered by Longinus to set out as a forward relief column to help King Vabathus of Palmyra, who has taken refuge in his cities own citadel...
Published on 11 Sept. 2008 by Mr. R. Coleman

versus
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A series under siege
Scarrow knocks out novel number eight in this series, and sadly it is not one of his best.

Macro and Cato are sent to Palmyras, a small kingdom just about under Rome's control, but an aggressive Parthia is seeking to move in. Add conflict in the Palmyras Royal household and the a city under siege and our Roman heroes have a lot on their plate.

But...
Published on 27 Jun. 2010 by Nick Brett


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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scarrow getting emotional !!, 11 Sept. 2008
By 
Mr. R. Coleman (Marlow, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Centurion (Eagle) (Paperback)
This is the 8th novel in Simon Scarrow's excellent series of books about Centurions Macro and Cato, and follows on from the `Eagles In The Sand'.

Book Summary : After a surprise attack by the Partians, Macro and Cato are ordered by Longinus to set out as a forward relief column to help King Vabathus of Palmyra, who has taken refuge in his cities own citadel from the rebel Army of his son, Artaxes. Meanwhile the rest of the Legions slowly march to their aid. Can our two brave heroes once again save the day by marching through the arid desert at arrive on time to defend the King from his infighting siblings ?

To those people that have never read one of Scarrow's Roman novels, I would like to say that these books are more about the everyday man in the Roman army than the famous historical figures that are known so well. They detail the hard life, the harshness and brutality of battle and the feeling of inaptitude of the Generals and upper class of Roman society.

Whilst I once again thoroughly enjoyed this book, I did at times feel that I was reading a re-write - albeit in another location, with new characters - of the previous book `Eagles In The Sand'. An eventful march to a fort/citadel, a stout defence and then attacking the opposition whilst they were sleeping - sound familiar ?

I would also like to say that I felt that Scarrow's writing of Marco and Cato in this novel seemed in places a lot more emotional than in previous books. Indeed Macro dealing with the young orphaned Roman girl in the citadel really pulls at the heart strings, showing a side to the character that has rarely been seen in the prior novels. Though I wonder where the author is going with Cato's new love interest and how that will relate to any new stories.

I will as always look forward to the next novel in this series, and hope that Scarrow takes the opportunity to come up with a new idea for a story ! Once again 5 out of 5, but may be a 4 next time if its another seemingly re-write !!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A total winner, 12 Jun. 2011
By 
Parm (A bookshop near you) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Centurion (Eagle) (Hardcover)
review
Macro and Cato are shipped to yet another part of the Empire by the Roman senate and become embroiled in a fight to stabilise what is to all intents and purposes a neutral kingdom, Palmyra. As usual wherever the pair go trouble follows close behind and it is not long before the pair of them are engaged in trying to stop the forces of one of Rome's long standing enemies, Parthia, who having heard of Rome's presence in Palmyra decide it will be in their own best interest if they also send a force into the kingdom.

Macro and Cato are old friends to the readers of Simon Scarrow's books and their adventures are interesting and exciting, particularly for those interested in all things Roman and in particular the workings and make-up of the Roman Legions. These books are a good form of escapism from the every day drudgery. (Parm)
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4.0 out of 5 stars I like it, 28 May 2015
This review is from: Centurion (Eagle) (Paperback)
Writing style is good and fit for the genre. However, I have noticed that since “Centurion”, Scarrow’s writing style lacks elegance like other authors such as Iggulden and becomes boring after reading several chapters. This is why I alternate reading his novels and the novels of other historical authors.

Cato and Macro are well-developed characters. They are funny and have many qualities I really connect with. Scarrow often lets his readers know his criticism and opinions of religion through them, especially Cato, which can be distracting and trying at times.

The plot is steady and the novel is structured well.

Imagery is great, especially in battle scenes where he gets into tactics. Scarrow is not so good at describing other things such as people and civilizations.

Research is wealthy, though I feel there is room for more.

Scarrow is an interested and passionate author and the novel hints use of inspiration too. The author has a mature understand of the events, personalities and societies in ancient Rome, but still requires growth.

What makes Scarrow’s Roman novels so unique is that he really gets into the daily life of the Roman legions. Few other historical novelists can achieve this as well as he does. He is also the only author I have read of who successfully introduces modern course language into a novel set in ancient times, making the book as humorous as it is enticing. I do not always feel educated when I complete reading his novels, but I do obtain a good picture of Roman tactics and military lifestyle.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Eagle Has Sanded, 4 Mar. 2015
By 
This review is from: Centurion (Eagle) (Paperback)
With the abundance of Marco and Cato adventures that Simon Scarrow has written it would be easy to get a large vat of tar on the boil and paint the entire collection with the same brush, but this is simply not the case. There are similarities between the lot of them, after all Marco and Cato remain at their centre, but many of the stories have their own feel. ‘Centurion’ is what I would consider a battle book, dominated by some great action set pieces. Gone is some of the intrigue and guile of the last couple of outings and in their stead you some of the best fighting that Scarrow has written yet.

M and C find themselves having to march to Parthia and, once there, they are tasked with holding out against the superior, in number, rebels. Rather than have the entire book set as one long siege, Scarrow uses the opportunity of historic Parthia to explore different types of fighting from hit and run, to siege and even gallant retreat. ‘Centurion’ shows off Scarrow’s prowess as a military fiction writer even more than normal. At this point he is truly on par with some of the better work of Bernard Cornwell of Conn Iggulden.

To go with the fighting, Scarrow is also able to move the characters on a little. Cato meets a potential love interest and we begin to see Marco understand that his young charge may one day end up being his superior. As always it is the relationship between the two heroes that make the books so fun to read. Marco’s gruff military style and Cato’s brains. They are a magical mix and as long as Scarrow continues to right such exciting action, I look forward to following them for many more years yet.
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24 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Macro and Cato at Their Best, 28 Dec. 2007
By 
J. Chippindale (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Centurion (Eagle) (Paperback)
Simon Scarrow is a teacher at a Sixth Form College. He has run a Roman History programme that takes parties of students to a number of sites and museums across Britain and I assume that while doing this he gleans lots of useful information for his books on the Roman Centurions Macro and Cato.

This is the eighth book in a series started seven years ago and Cato the young boy who left the confines of the Palace in Rome and entered the army as an Optio (second in command to a Centurion) has now matured into a man, moulded in the image of his friend and mentor Macro. Both men are battle hardened Centurions, though Macro has a dozen years on Cato. They have fought together in Britain and many other parts of the Roman Empire.

Macro and Cato are shipped to yet another part of the Empire by the Roman senate and become embroiled in a fight to stabilise what is to all intents and purposes a neutral kingdom, Palmyra. As usual wherever the pair go trouble follows close behind and it is not long before the pair of them are engaged in trying to stop the forces of one of Rome's long standing enemies, Parthia, who having heard of Rome's presence in Palmyra decide it will be in their own best interest if they also send a force into the kingdom.

Macro and Cato are old friends to the readers of Simon Scarrow's books and their adventures are interesting and exciting, particularly for those interested in all things Roman and in particular the workings and make-up of the Roman Legions. These books are a good form of escapism from the every day drudgery.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A series under siege, 27 Jun. 2010
By 
Nick Brett (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Centurion (Eagle) (Paperback)
Scarrow knocks out novel number eight in this series, and sadly it is not one of his best.

Macro and Cato are sent to Palmyras, a small kingdom just about under Rome's control, but an aggressive Parthia is seeking to move in. Add conflict in the Palmyras Royal household and the a city under siege and our Roman heroes have a lot on their plate.

But this novel is missing something, it lacks tension and complexity and sadly feels a little by the numbers. It's a shame because the earlier novels were so good, but this one feels a little tired I am sorry to say. It's not terrible, but just a little too average.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth a read, 10 Jan. 2008
This review is from: Centurion (Eagle) (Paperback)
Simon Scarrow is a brilliant author who has put a great deal of time into researching his books. I would personally compare him to Bernard Cornwell in that he writes books of fast paced action and comradeship between soldiers and the struggles of leading men in battle. These books are a must for someone interested in ancient history and in particular the roman legionaire and the empire. Set during the reign of cladius slightly after the death of jesus and during the conquering of southern britian, and hopefully the rise of vespasian in future?
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Scarrow back on form!., 15 April 2008
By 
S. Glossop "sgg" (uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Centurion (Eagle) (Hardcover)
I thought Simon's last book Eagle in the sand was a little weaker than his high standards for the other Macro and Cato books. Centurion is however a return to original form and is an excellent read. Fast paced and I could not put it down in the last 100 odd pages. This is more in line with some of the earlier books in the series. All the characters are fleshed out very well and the strenghts and weaknesses of Macro and Cato are portrayed very well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The boys are back, 10 Nov. 2012
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Another great adventure for the boys Macro and Cato. Yet againg they are sent in to another difficult and almost imposible situation. They have now built up such a bond that you can laugh with them at their interactive exchanged and appreciate the feelings they have for each others safety. Love it when Cato starts to have idea's and Macro's reaction. great battle descriptions and could not put the book down without knowing what happened next.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Putting the series back on track, 6 Mar. 2008
By 
C. Green "happily low brow" (Quenington, Glos, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Centurion (Eagle) (Hardcover)
After one so-so entry in the adventures of Roman soldiers Macro & Cato, Eagle in the Sand, Simon Scarrow puts the series right back on track with this latest book.

One of my niggles with Eagle in the Sand was that it failed to develop either Cato or Macro as characters. Part of the appeal of the series has been to watch Cato become a talented and experienced soldier under Macro's tutelage and in turn watch the rough edges be knocked off the older man by his younger friend's influence. Eagle in the Sand lacked that element of the previous books and was a weaker effort for it. Centurion on the other hand, has it in spades and by combining it with a truly entertaining and exciting storyline is one of the most successful entries in the series to date.

It also succeeds in laying the groundwork for future developments that could prove very interesting and help keep the series feeling fresh. With Centurion there is there very real sense that Cato, until now Macro's subordinate and pupil, is beginning to overtake the older man. There are also hints that the younger Centurion has it in him to rise far beyond his comparatively humble beginnings. If that is so and Scarrow does allow Cato to outstrip Macro then it will fundamentally change the dynamic between the two. The prospect of that happening in future books is an enticing one and will help maintain this reader's interest in the series.
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