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63 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Macro & Cato series, always a winner
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,...
Published on 10 Nov 2011 by Parm

versus
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay, But Provides Only A Glancing Blow
The Praetorian Guard is a rich, under-mined topic in historical fiction. It has a lot of potential, and so far has only has been briefly touched in the work of Robert Graves and Robert Fabbri.

I have only read a few of Scarrow's earlier books, and swore I would never touch another. However, a book around the Praetorian Guard was too tempting to resist...
Published on 22 Jan 2012 by Dignitas


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63 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Macro & Cato series, always a winner, 10 Nov 2011
By 
Parm (A bookshop near you) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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.
(Parm)
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AWESOME, 10 Nov 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OUTSTANDING., 7 Sep 2012
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Once again Simon Scarrow delivers with the 10th sequel in this excellent series, this time with the indomitable Macro and Cato posing as members of the Praetorian Guard on a mission for the duplicitous Narcissus. The narrative is fast paced, full of intrigue and never lets up, a real page turner.

The perfect companion to the eagle series is The ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker, indeed Simon has one of his own, in his review he says:
Beautifully sculpted it is a very handsome thing! The reason why I particularly like this cup is that it features the men and insignia of the second legion, the unit in which Cato learned how to become a soldier under the affectionate eye of Macro! it's a lovely thing and has pride of place on my desk right now!

For those who would like further information on this epoch of Roman military history, I highly recommend the OSPREY Campaign, Warrior, and men at arms booklets, with great overviews, excellent illustrations, and highly detailed maps.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pulp fiction??, 8 Jan 2012
By 
Victor Meldrew Mk2 "stefan morawiec" (Dorset) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
I have viewed some outstanding reviews of this book which will be far better than mine! I, like many of the reviewers have read this series from 1 through to 11. I really like Simon Scarrow's work and enjoy the pace, the narrative and of course the two Roman Officers, Cato and Macro, who despite being diametrically opposed manage to compliment each other extremely well.

I greeted the publication of this book with eager anticipation, yet with a degree of scepticism regarding whether Mr Scarrow could continue this series in its current form. I was pleasantly surprised that he was able to change the focus of the storyline into something a little more subtle than his earlier books, but with that loss of bravado, I fear that this edition is not the best: I really enjoyed his early work and will continue to purchase future books, however, perhaps it is my familiarity with the characters that makes me think that I am buying each one chasing a storyline that has probably reached its peak some time ago. Ultimately readers will vote with their feet, there is a plethora of Roman historic novels about and in that respect, Mr Scarrow has got it right: perhaps too right and that is why we are at version 11 and I dare say many more to come. In essence, wouldn't it be nice if there was a happy ever after? Cato marries and moves off into politics like his father in law and Macro purchases a brothel in Syria.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read but................., 19 Dec 2011
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I enjoyed this book albeit not as much as the previous ones given that there were none of the usual pitched battles (at which Scarrow is so good describing) but palace intrigue and skullduggery which made this more of a thriller than an action novel. Oh well.........................
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rome, Praetorian Guard, Cato and Macro...another fine mix, 23 Nov 2011
Cato and Macro are back! It is A.D. 51 and, fresh from their last adventure in Egypt, we open with the treacherous murder of Balbus on the Appian Way and the stealing of two million sesterces that was bound for the pay chests of the imperial legions. It is the motive behind the theft that has Narcissus, the freedman of Claudius and one of the most powerful men in Rome, coerce Macro and Cato, as they kick their heels in Ostia, into infiltrating the Praetorian Guard. A unit known more for parade gloss and carousing than serious military action is about to get the wisdom and action of our dour, hard-headed centurion and newly promoted (though unconfirmed) intelligent prefect. With alibis as Capido and Calidus they find themselves in the Guard under the command of Optio Tigellinus, Centurion Lurco, and Tribune Burrus. Narcissus communicates with them through his agent Septimus instructing them to begin a mission to find the bullion, work out if the shadowy Liberators are plotting to murder Emperor Claudius, and understand where the disappearing grain supply is going. Tasks better suited to Cato's questing mind than Macro's blunt force.
Whilst undertaking the mission the pair is forced to deal with the imperial politicking of Narcissus and Pallas; tiptoe around the naked aims of the Empress Agrippina to advance her son Nero against those of Claudius' true son, Britannicus. The action commences soon enough with Macro and Cato coming up against a gang headed by the giant Cestius. The first skirmish in the streets of a rioting Rome has our heroes save the imperial family and work their way into Sinius' confidences as co-conspirators against Claudius. Having established their position all that remains is to work out who is really controlling the strings of the plot and where the grain supply is going. Having got the inept Lurco out of the way with a kidnap that also has the satisfaction of the annoying Vitellius from previous novels knocked cold and bound up, Cato and Macro find themselves being swept away by a burst dam, fighting gladiators at the Naumachia and then working out where the missing grain is being hidden just in time as Rome threatens to descend into a greater riot. A sodden trip into the Cloaca Maxima and a confrontation with Cestius leads to Cato and Macro racing back to the palace to thwart a final attempt on Claudius life and a denouement that reveals much, concludes little, of the politics of Rome and grants our protagonists a trip back to Britannia for their next outing.
I have liked Scarrow's novels ever since a fresh faced Cato appeared on the pages of the Augusta II with a crusty, plain-speaking centurion named Macro. The author's language is direct, he is clearly at his best when writing action scenes - though there is a five page philosophical almost-soliloquy by Cato around page 250 of the hardback version when he considers is legacy and the futility of the present... "The leaden sense of despair that it engendered weighed down upon Cato as he thought that this is how it was, is and would be for as long as those few with power were more concerned with accruing it for themselves rather than using it to better the lot of those they ruled." - and he keeps the `fill' to a minimum as Cato becomes the sleuth puzzling out who did what, when and where. Scarrow chooses to deliver his prose in modern format so we get words like "rake", "gangster" and "rabble" freely used amongst Macro's endearing soldier slang. There was only one typo that made it to the version this reviewer has read; somewhat amusingly Macro comments on the delights of "proper soldering" rather than "soldiering" on page 251.
Blacksmithing aside, Scarrow hits the spot unerringly. Eleven novels in the Roman series give the proof of the brilliance of what the author has achieved. As a reader, Cato and Macro have as much as place in the pantheon of Roman characters as Falco and Gordianus. Scarrow is as good as Davis and Saylor. Different in style, equal in success. The adventures of Cato and Macro are enjoyable and this latest instalment is as good as the rest. I hope the author continues with this pair for as long as he can.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Macro and Cato and the Intrigues of Rome, 10 Nov 2011
By 
Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog "Falcata T... - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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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5.0 out of 5 stars A chunk of good reading and zone outs, 17 Nov 2014
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I've appreciate this series because heroes' adventures are so sensibly embedded in the real history. I find it invigorating to begin my own search of the area to find out as many details connected with every story as possible. This time Simon has taken me to Rome (that cloak and dagger stuff to Macro), and the results have been splendid. I could have a look at this place again but this time virtually using old maps and bringing back my visit there. And strangely enough there is no chance not to identify with heros and their dilemmas. A chunk of good reading and zone outs :))) Thanks and I've been reading The Blood Crows by the way.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Write faster please!, 14 Nov 2011
I pre-ordered this on Kindle and it popped up as soon as it was released. I had been waiting for this for ages, but had forgotten the exact release date. Luckily I had almost finished my previous book when Praetorian arrived. A weekend, nothing much to do, and by Sunday i had finished it. I feel like a kid who has eaten his Easter eggs too fast - sort of greedy! What am i going to do until the next book in the series is out? This book was gripping from cover to cover, and expanded well on the previous books in the series. I like the historical detail, blended very well with the personalities and relationships of the characters. The plot and characters could form the basis of a brilliant film - but would need some heavy weight direction to do this series justice. I first encountered Simon Scarrow when Centurion was released, and had the joy of discovering that there were loads of previous installments to catch up on. Now alas, I only get my fix about once a year - so please write a little faster Mr Scarrow...
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fictionalised Ancient Roman History, 4 Oct 2012
By 
Mr. G. Johns "Master Mason 6407" (Nottingham, UK) - See all my reviews
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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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