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Customer Review

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Certainly not his best, 22 July 2013
This review is from: Sword and Scimitar (Paperback)
I bought this as I love Scarrow's Cato and Macro series. This book doesn't belong in the same room. My wife asked if it was his first novel, an understandable mistake given how poor this is.

The story of the siege of Malta is told in a cursory fashion with no real sense of the peril, horror and courage that should have been conveyed. That's the entire plot.

The characters are laughable, mere ciphers with bits of story hung on them. I was begging for the main character to die by about halfway through, when he had to clench his fist to drive his anger down again. One of his fellow knights would appear to be in the book only to provoke him. The love story is hilarious and if you can't guess all the ins and outs of it at least a hundred pages before they happen, then you probably don't read very much. There is not one single surprising plot twist in the entire novel.

I can honestly say that if this hadn't been by Simon Scarrow, I believe it would have been rejected very swiftly by any publisher.

Very, very poor, not worthy of the man's talents.

If this is your first Simon Scarrow book and you disliked it, I'd say to you, please try again. The Wellington and Bonaparte books are excellent as are the Macro and Cato series. Give it another go, I'm sure you won't regret it.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 24 Jul 2013 14:07:54 BDT
Well, Paul, it happens to be the book I am proudest of...

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Jul 2013 14:59:17 BDT
Paul Harris says:
I'm sorry Simon, I write myself (not to your level nor anywhere near), so I'm sorry if the criticism hurts, but I review honestly. I love Cato and Macro, but I found myself counting down the pages until the end of this one. If anything I've said in my review has come across as personal, I apologise unreservedly, but it was intended solely as my opinion of the book, for people to disagree or agree with as they will. And I'm impressed that you've taken the time to do so.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Jul 2013 14:01:44 BDT
Ah, I begin to understand where you are coming from. As you say, it is no more than a matter of opinion, rather than a review as such. But whatever you may think, I am sure you will agree that 'terrible' is a very harsh overstatement.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Jul 2013 23:16:47 BDT
Paul Harris says:
Opinion, review, a bit of semantics really. With that said, I have change the title of my review and added a new final paragraph. Believe it or not, I do like your books, with this sole exception. The new bits should be up within 48 hours apparently, so I'd be more than happy to hear if you feel they're a bit fairer, in your opinion. Thanks for engaging on this, I'm genuinely pleased to see an author who is willing to talk things through and it's made me even more certain I'll be buying your next book (already on the Wishlist).
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