Centurion (Eagles of the Empire 8) Paperback – 7 Aug 2008
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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)
'Simon Scarrow has developed a strong following... a former ancient history lecturer who knows his stuff, and brings the ancient world back to life with verve and plenty of action.' (Brisbane News)
'Rollicking good fun' (Mail on Sunday)
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.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Book Summary : After a surprise attack by the Partians, Macro and Cato are ordered by Longinus to set out as a forward relief column to help King Vabathus of Palmyra, who has taken refuge in his cities own citadel from the rebel Army of his son, Artaxes. Meanwhile the rest of the Legions slowly march to their aid. Can our two brave heroes once again save the day by marching through the arid desert at arrive on time to defend the King from his infighting siblings ?
To those people that have never read one of Scarrow's Roman novels, I would like to say that these books are more about the everyday man in the Roman army than the famous historical figures that are known so well. They detail the hard life, the harshness and brutality of battle and the feeling of inaptitude of the Generals and upper class of Roman society.
Whilst I once again thoroughly enjoyed this book, I did at times feel that I was reading a re-write - albeit in another location, with new characters - of the previous book `Eagles In The Sand'. An eventful march to a fort/citadel, a stout defence and then attacking the opposition whilst they were sleeping - sound familiar ?
I would also like to say that I felt that Scarrow's writing of Marco and Cato in this novel seemed in places a lot more emotional than in previous books. Indeed Macro dealing with the young orphaned Roman girl in the citadel really pulls at the heart strings, showing a side to the character that has rarely been seen in the prior novels. Though I wonder where the author is going with Cato's new love interest and how that will relate to any new stories.Read more ›
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.
This is the eighth book in a series started seven years ago and Cato the young boy who left the confines of the Palace in Rome and entered the army as an Optio (second in command to a Centurion) has now matured into a man, moulded in the image of his friend and mentor Macro. Both men are battle hardened Centurions, though Macro has a dozen years on Cato. They have fought together in Britain and many other parts of the Roman Empire.
Macro and Cato are shipped to yet another part of the Empire by the Roman senate and become embroiled in a fight to stabilise what is to all intents and purposes a neutral kingdom, Palmyra. As usual wherever the pair go trouble follows close behind and it is not long before the pair of them are engaged in trying to stop the forces of one of Rome's long standing enemies, Parthia, who having heard of Rome's presence in Palmyra decide it will be in their own best interest if they also send a force into the kingdom.
Macro and Cato are old friends to the readers of Simon Scarrow's books and their adventures are interesting and exciting, particularly for those interested in all things Roman and in particular the workings and make-up of the Roman Legions. These books are a good form of escapism from the every day drudgery.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Well written stories. I've got into them and they are well worth your time.Published 1 month ago by S. Tomlinson