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Customer Review

63 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm with Cato and Macro, 15 Nov. 2010
This review is from: The Legion (Hardcover)
Thank goodness for books like this; `The Legion' is an example of some of the very best modern historical fiction available today. With this being the tenth instalment in the series, I was slightly worried that the book would not live up to the high standard set by its superb predecessors. My worries were soon put at ease however, as I began the book and delved into the world of Cato and Macro.

Sent to Egypt in an attempt to locate and capture the notorious rebellious slave Ajax, the intrepid duo are soon involved in the defence of the province from marauding Nubians. Cato and Macro are thrust into the heart of supreme power where every decision could have massive ramifications for the province, the Empire and the Emperor!

This book is in my opinion one of the finest in the series. The characters are by now fully rounded, likeable or detestable (depending on your allegiance!), but ultimately fully dimensional. The descriptions of the terrain and battle formations are well constructed allowing the reader to fully envisage the scene and almost take their place in the ranks. Scarrow has honed his writing technique throughout the series and has created a book which for the historical fiction fan; will be an absolute pleasure to read.

Some lengthy series sell well because the reader feels an obligation to continue reading in case of `missing out' or perhaps out of long established habit. I'm certain that Scarrow's books sell because they stand out in a very crowded and popular genre. I always look forward to reading his latest Roman novel because I can't wait to discover what has happened to some of my most favourite fictional characters. Cato and Macro are like father and son, they are likeable, interesting and captivate the reader from beginning to end.

Finally, I know that I should have supported the underdog Ajax in his quest against the monolithic Roman Empire, but I just couldn't bring myself to pledge my support to his ambitious rebellion.

I'm with Cato and Macro I'm afraid!
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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 16 Nov 2010 12:19:42 GMT
Je Salter says:
J. Cooper, as usual an excellent review of what I'm certain will be a very good book. I'm nearly a 100 pages in and wish I wasn't at work and could just get on with it! The Nubians have just crossed the border! Simon Scarrows books are without doubt up there with the very best. I hope Macro and Cato return to Britain maybe during the Boudican revolt!

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Nov 2010 16:54:01 GMT
J. Cooper says:
Hi Je Salter, thanks for the comment.

Yes you are right, this is an excellent book and I like you was unfortunately pulled away from total immersion by the awful obstacle that is work! Isn't life unfair?

Simon Scarrow is one of my many favourite authors, I think he has mastered the knack of creating historical fiction which is informative, yet modern and therefore highly readable.

Macro and Cato back in Britain... I hadn't considered that possibility before, but now you've mentioned it, I sincerely hope that Mr Scarrow takes note and returns the pair to our shores.

I'm a little concerned though as I don't know who I would support in the revolt! I know where I should pledge my allegiance, but I don't know if I can abandon my Roman friends!


In reply to an earlier post on 17 Nov 2010 08:48:00 GMT
Je Salter says:
Hi Joe, yes I know exactly what you mean about allegiance and it would be very difficult. I thing the Boudican 'revolt' would an excellent period to cover. Boudica crushed quite few Legions and was one battle away from pushing the Romans off our shores.

As the books have already passed the Caractacus period I think this would be a great story line and worthy of a few books about the period, especially regarding the way the Romans treated the Iceni Queen and her daughters.

The Iceni gave the Romans a run for their money even with inferior weapons and tactics etc. Douglas Jacksons, 'Hero of Rome' is an excellent read about the revolt in current day St Albans if your interested! Another brilliant author of the time.

Regards John

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Nov 2010 16:42:01 GMT
J. Cooper says:
Hi John,

I read Douglas Jackson's `Caligula ` during the summer and thought it was superb. I've added the rest of his books to my wish list and will have to purchase them during my next book splurge. I'm certainly looking forward to `Hero of Rome' now you've mentioned its set over here.


In reply to an earlier post on 22 Nov 2010 11:47:23 GMT
Je Salter says:
Hi Joe,

Not only is Hero of Rome a great book/story and set in Britian but it's the first book in a trilogy! It compares with Simon Scarrows best books which is surprising!

Also have you read Anthony Riches first two books in the Empire series about Hadrains wall? The third book is out next year, really good stories and like Mr Scarrow and Jackson are based on fact! I can't recommend them enough, they are 'must reads' ;-)


In reply to an earlier post on 23 Nov 2010 11:17:14 GMT
J. Cooper says:
Hi John,

I've read Anthony Riches first book `Wounds of Honour' but haven't got round to the second instalment yet. I remember particularly enjoying the first book; I was a little hesitant at beginning yet another Roman series but was definitely glad I did - superb author.

Have you tried any of Harry Sidebottom's books?


In reply to an earlier post on 23 Nov 2010 11:54:22 GMT
Je Salter says:
Hello Joe,

Yes I've read them, Warrior of Rome series! I loved the first book, got a bit fed up with the second and the third dragged and dragged so much that I couldn't finish it! I felt really let down so wrote a review accordingly! ;-(

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Jan 2012 17:20:51 GMT
tatties1875 says:
the second book in the series is just as good as the first its truly a great read

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Aug 2013 18:14:17 BDT
Eileen Shaw says:
I'm with Ajax - sorry.
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Review Details



J. Cooper

Location: Sheffield, England

Top Reviewer Ranking: 12,230