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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bloody good fun
Macro and Cato are back in town, and bring with them their usual amount of mayhem, intrigue and collateral damage.
They just don't seem able to sit idle and enjoy some down time, or lady fortuna has a sick sense of humour. Once again they are back in the legions, and once again its not a nice comfortable billet. But I don't think either of these boys would want or...
Published 21 months ago by Parm

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Does this advance the series?
I'm not sure.

Pretty standard fare here and I wonder if it was produced in order to satisfy a contract rather than Mr Scarrow actually wanting to write another Macro novel? I see that the Arena series has kicked off and i do wonder whether this has taken some inspiration out of this series?

All in all a good enough offering with the right level of...
Published 15 months ago by oldandgrey


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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bloody good fun, 1 Nov. 2013
By 
Parm (A bookshop near you) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Macro and Cato are back in town, and bring with them their usual amount of mayhem, intrigue and collateral damage.
They just don't seem able to sit idle and enjoy some down time, or lady fortuna has a sick sense of humour. Once again they are back in the legions, and once again its not a nice comfortable billet. But I don't think either of these boys would want or expect one, honours are earned at end end of a sword, and these boys still have medals and higher rank in mind.
In this book we are back where we began, in Britain, there is an unfinished conquest, a guerilla war being waged by the locals, and it needs to end. Tactics on both sides have got bloody and nasty. Cato has command of an auxiliary Unit called the blood crows led by a somewhat sadistic and nasty centurion, and someone that Cato and Macro need to work with, or work around.
Its a book that see's the need fr Cato to really grow into his new rank as prefect, and get over any fears he may have, to get past his concerns regarding his friend and having to command him, its time to grow up.
Will they survive... probably... it wouldn't be the time to end the series would it... but how they get there is a hell of a ride and really is a trip back to the early days of Macro and Cato.. (Julia hardly gets a mention... thank you simon).
A word of caution though, i do echo another reviewer, Simon has shown huge writing skill with his other series and stand alone books, and some times i do wonder if its not time to push Macro and Cato to their conclusion, before they become a stagnant parody of themselves. This book was a great trip back to where we began... can that be sustained forever? or should Simon drive towards the year of the 4 emperors with greater speed?
(everyone will have their own opinion).
But for now... bloody and excellent book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Boys are back and they are on top form!, 1 Dec. 2013
By 
Susman "Sussman" (London Mills IL) - See all my reviews
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Pretty much from beginning `The Blood Crows' goes straight into the action and the reader is given a vivid account of blood and guts. For those of you who have sampled other books in the series you will no doubt be familiar with Mr Scarrow's approach to action scenes as the reader is immersed into the narrative, better than some video game. What you also get in this new novel are some new and interesting plot threads.

Mr Scarrow also pays attention to historical element - the reader gets a thought-provoking look into Roman society and here we really get to see the differences between say the native inhabitants of Britannia and the Roman occupiers. The dialogue is framed in such a way - so you really get a feel for the merits of this book. The pacing, as ever is good, and is pretty engrossing as well as entertaining. The Blood Crows is literally edge of your seat stuff, as the author has mastered the art of balancing between well moulded characters and pulling the reader into their `world'. The characters of Macro and Cato, as always, are the centerpiece of the series, they are really well crafted and it was pleasure to be in their company again. They do not fail in keeping the readers interest; after all `we' the readers have `invested' ourselves in their lives - warts and all.

So, if you're interested in reading about the rich tapestry of Imperial Roman and the Empire they forged, or you are already familiar with Simon Scarrow's Eagle series - then look no further as The Blood Crows will be right up your street. Great story telling that only Simon Scarrow could have put together.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars STIRRING ADVENTURES DELIVERED WITH RELISH, 1 April 2014
By 
Mr. D. L. Rees "LEE DAVID" (DORSET) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
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AD 51. Britannia an irritating little province, a thorn in Rome's flesh. Friends Prefect Cato and Centurion Macro are amongst those despatched to put down rebellious tribes - prime target Caractacus, he creating havoc with his guerrilla tactics. Danger also threatens from an unexpected source: at the remote garrison where Cato heads, psychopath Quertus is in charge. He is a law unto himself, as Cato's predecessor fatally found out....

Here is Britain from the Roman point of view - weather, wine and women leaving much to be desired. Meet full-blooded characters (even Macro's mother a force to be reckoned with). This is a soldiers' world, there no holding back on the brutality of war: those giant pearls dangling from high above rebels are in fact skulls; carnage fills the final battle sequences.

Simon Scarrow's books are new to me. I was hooked from the start. Some claim the novel not as good as the others. If this is so, real treats lie ahead.

Gripping fare by a master of his craft.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars back on form, 29 Oct. 2013
By 
Nick Brett (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
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In the 12th outing for Prefect Cato and Centurion Macro they find themselves back to proper soldiering and are sent back to Britain. Their destination is a forward post in North Wales where the current commander is more barbaric than the locals...

There is quite a bit of scene setting here which provides colour and background to the characters and the Roman invasion of Britain, most of the action is in the second half of the book. But I liked the background stuff, it gave the story real flavour and did show that Cato and Marco have changed over the years, with Cato coping with a new rank and Macro coping with.....his Mum! This is probably the Cato/Macro story I have enjoyed most for quite a while, a proper blend of context and story. Good stuff for fans of Scarrow's books and those that enjoy Roman actioners.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Does this advance the series?, 17 April 2014
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This review is from: The Blood Crows (Eagles of the Empire 12): Cato & Macro: Book 12 (The Eagle Series) (Kindle Edition)
I'm not sure.

Pretty standard fare here and I wonder if it was produced in order to satisfy a contract rather than Mr Scarrow actually wanting to write another Macro novel? I see that the Arena series has kicked off and i do wonder whether this has taken some inspiration out of this series?

All in all a good enough offering with the right level of detail and historic accuracy but with an outcome that was never in doubt and therefore an edge of tension taken away.

Let's hope the next one restores the standard we're used to.
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5.0 out of 5 stars More please!!, 24 Oct. 2013
By 
Uncle Barbar (Essex, England) - See all my reviews
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After a number of years away - Macro and Cato are back in Britain - hoping that after the intrigues of Rome they can settle down just to do some soldiering but they are to be sadly let down here as even this far from Rome someone seems to want to put them in mortal danger at every opportunity.

They are given the furthest posting in Wales - far away from the civilised parts of the Roman Empire - to a Fort that is on the brink of the wilderness where Caratacus and his supporters are just a stone throw away...

This story takes a little while to get going as Cato, Macro and Macro's mother get settled in London and then the two soldiers travel to their new outpost where a Thracian centurion is happily taking the fight to the Silurians. The arrival of our two heroes is not exactly to his liking but (without giving too much away!) that's the least of Cato's problems...

Another great story from Scarrow. It's great to see our heroes back in Britain and as always with this author there is plenty of action to enjoy mixed in with the facts of the Roman occupation of these islands. I am in awe of Scarrow's ability to meld these two things together. Great stuff! More please!!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good - but could have been even better, 3 Dec. 2014
By 
Tim62 "history buff" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Blood Crows (Eagles of the Empire 12): Cato & Macro: Book 12 (The Eagle Series) (Kindle Edition)
It is a book that starts well, Scarrow has always been good at atmospheric settings and the opening scene of this book is one of his best. I really liked the Blood Crows - bloodthirsty torturers though they were. Scarrow himself has said he was inspired by Apocalypse Now, and the leader of this unit is his nod to Colonel Kurtz - but sadly only up to a point.

Scarrow fatally undercuts his character here by revealing towards the end that the Blood Crows original leader's brutality is riven by an underlying terror.

It simply doesn't work, and it is sad because with a little more understanding of the likely psychological make-up of his own villain here, the book could have been better in its second-half.

That said the action scenes are well done - and I really like the fact that this series has come back to Britannia. For me that was always the fascination with the books in the first place. I think Scarrow has brilliantly conjured up how the first few years of Roman Britain might have been.

However, you know that Scarrow is writing modern Boys' Own stories - so commanding officers are cardboard caricatures who sneer or scoff at our two heroes, Macro and Cato, and it does get a bit wearing.

I do have an issue with the swearing at times in the book. Yes I know we all do it, and they did too. But excessive use of the C-word is simply dull. It betrays a lack of imagination on the writers' part. If you read the text without the word, you can see that it doesn't really add or intensify any of the action - that needs to come from the writing. You can't improve it by merely adding in ****.

So overall three stars. It is good and I am really glad the duo are back in Britain, but it could have been better, and he still needs to work on making his minor characters more consistent.

Ave atque vale, Tim
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3.0 out of 5 stars Ok, 28 Jun. 2015
By 
Matthew Turner "loyalroyal" (Reading, UK) - See all my reviews
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To me this was not one of the best books in the Cato and Macro series. Unfortunately, it did not grab my attention as previous books had. I had no problem with the novel being based on a drawn-out siege, as some previous reviewers did. However, the action is slow-going and Cato and Macro do not take up their commands at Bruccium (in modern Wales) until half-way through the book. The first part merely acts as scene-setting, as Cato is to take command of the fort currently run by the bloodthirsty madman Centurion Quertus. The atmosphere gets increasingly dark as they reach the fort, with impaled and beheaded natives, and stories of torture. It resembled a horror rather than an historical novel.

Once we get to the fort and the impending siege begins, the novel picks up and the battle scenes, with all the horrors of war included, are depicted well. A somewhat inconclusive ending sets the scene for the next book in the series. I'd recommend the book if you are a fan of the series, but it didn't, for me, have the same sense of enjoyment or compulsion to carry on reading as previous books.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blood Crows, 26 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: The Blood Crows (Eagles of the Empire 12): Cato & Macro: Book 12 (The Eagle Series) (Kindle Edition)
Fantastic story. A bit disappointing in the end chapter, however still enjoyed the book. Love the characters and their journey together
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The formula is now all too predictable, 29 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: The Blood Crows (Eagles of the Empire 12): Cato & Macro: Book 12 (The Eagle Series) (Kindle Edition)
I have read all of the books in this series but I am afraid they are becoming all too predictable and formulaic. There are only so many battles against appalling odds that remain believable and I think that was a couple of books ago. I won't be rushing to get the next... I think I would prefer to remember the fresher stories of the earlier books in the series.
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