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Centurion (Eagles of the Empire 8) Paperback – 7 Aug 2008
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Praise for Simon Scarrow: 'I really don't need this kind of competition... It's a great read' (Bernard Cornwell)
Gripping... ferocious and compelling, it is a story of blood, romance and sacrifice (Daily Express)
A new book in Simon Scarrow's series about the Roman army is always a joy (The Times)
A satisfyingly bloodthirsty, bawdy romp...perfect for Bernard Cornwell addicts who will relish its historical detail and fast-paced action. Storming stuff (Good Book Guide)
Scarrow's [novels] rank with the best (Independent)
Gripping (Sunday Times)
'Rollicking good fun' (Mail on Sunday)
[Simon Scarrow] blends together historical facts and characters to create a book that simply cannot be put down... Highly recommended (Historical Novels Review)
AD 46. The Roman Army force in the land that is now Syria marches deep into treacherous territory to defeat Rome's bitterest enemy. This No. 1 bestseller is the eighth novel in the Eagles of the Empire series, which includes INVICTUS, BRITANNIA and THE GLADIATOR.See all Product description
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This series of books is based around the adventures of two men - Macro and Cato. Macro is a soldier through and through; he has spent his life in the army and is a centurion when we first meet him in the first book. In that book we also meet Cato who joins the legion as a new recruit, although he seems an unlikely candidate for a soldier. The series goes on to relate their many adventures and the relationship between them. Most of the stories are based - sometimes loosely - on real events and people, with a healthy dose of artistic license.
As far as I can tell the historical detail and facts are accurate, and the writing is generally engaging. There are criticisms in other reviews about the authors use of 'modern' slang; I know what they mean, but would we identify with 'roman' slang? For me, it is not a problem, I am not a fan of trying to invent historical language, it is too easy to fall into the 'ye olde shoppe' trap!
Overall, the series is very readable, and rolls along at a good pace. Like some other historical series, it doesn't do to try and fit the events into a timeline, as it soon becomes clear that the two men could not have done everything they do in one lifetime, but that doesn't detract from a fun series. I would also add that with this, the 8th book, the publishers have finally decided to format the kindle version properly! My only niggle now is that they are a little over-priced.
Review of this book.
Our heroes are still in the east, helping shore up their friendly neighbour Palmyra against one of Rome's greatest enemies, Parthia. Once agin, there is treachery around every corner, and lots of battles. There is even a romantic element in this episode, although I'm not sure it is the author's forte! This book is a return to form after the rather disappointing last book.
Disappointing is an understatement