- Hardcover: 384 pages
- Publisher: Headline; 01 edition (16 Nov. 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1472213408
- ISBN-13: 978-1472213402
- Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 3.2 x 24.1 cm
- Average Customer Review: 208 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 76,762 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Day of the Caesars (Eagles of the Empire 16) Hardcover – 16 Nov 2017
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Praise for Simon Scarrow's novels: 'I really don't need this kind of competition... It's a great read' (Bernard Cornwell)
Scarrow's [novels] rank with the best (Independent)
Gripping and moving (The Times)
[Simon Scarrow] blends together historical facts and characters to create a book that simply cannot be put down... Highly recommended (Historical Novels Review)
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)
Rollicking good fun (Mail on Sunday)
A new book in Simon Scarrow's long-running series about the Roman army is always a joy (The Times)
A Sunday Times bestseller
AD 54. The Emperor Claudius is dead. The threat of civil war hangs over the Empire. Roman army Prefect Cato and Centurion Macro could save the day - or lose their lives in the fighting. The brilliant new adventure in the Eagles of the Empire series. From the Sunday Times-bestselling author of INVICTUS and CENTURION.See all Product description
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The first comment that this book inspires is that it is exciting and the factions plot against each other to seize supreme power. Although number seventeen, this is perhaps one of the most gripping of the whole series, with Cato being pressured and blackmailed by both sides to rally their respective causes.
My second comment is that the author deserves praise for his portray of young Nero as a cruel, sadistic and thoroughly horrid individual of who even his ruthless mother is afraid. The vivid scene where Britannicus is abused by his adopted brother and which takes place when Nero invites himself at a banquet can – if I remember correctly – be found in the sources and something like this is very likely to have happened. Despite attempts at revisionism and although the “bad press” that Nero has received only surfaced after his death (for very obvious reasons), he does seem to have been rather atrocious, even outmatching Caligula at times.
A third point is that the kind of plot to overthrow Nero that is presented in the book I largely part of the author’s license or, to put it slightly differently, there does not seem to be any indication of such a plot in the historical sources. There were however a number of plots – real or imagined – during Nero’s reign and while all senators feared for their lives, some are known to have been openly hostile to him (and generally payed for it with their lives). So the plot presented in this book is quite plausible. It could very well have taken place.
A further point is that the crucial role of the Praetorians, and more specifically the vital importance of making sure of the loyalty of their officers, is well shown, well explained by the author in his historical note, and historically perfectly correct. This in itself explains how Macro and Cato (even more so) find themselves embroiled in this struggle and forced to choose a side, with Cato’s circumstances adding a nice personal touch.
A last point is about another nice touch from the author and that is his decision to have some of the book’s last scenes take place in and around Capri and Tiberius’ palace. Again, and as mentioned by the author in his endnote, this is a rather marvellous and beautiful place that is well worth visiting, even if you are not “a fan” of everything Roman.
Five stars, and I am (with many others, no doubt), waiting impatiently for the next instalment as our two heroes are about to join Corbulo (Nero’s best general) in Armenia as war against the Parthian Empire threatens to break out.
At the beginning of the book you'll find four well-drawn maps of Italia, of the Sinus Cumanus in AD 54, of Rome in the Age of Emperor Nero, as well as the Chain of Command of the Praetorian Guard, and not to forget a fantastic Cast List of characters who'll feature within this glorious tale.
At the end of the book you'll notice a superb documented Author's Note explaining the important issues concerning this gripping story, while the book itself contains wonderful storytelling by the author, supplemented with a great cast of real lifelike characters.
The book is set in Rome in the year AD 54 after the death of Emperor Claudius, and the fight for the throne that will start between the factions of Claudius's natural son, Britannicus, and the son of Claudius's wife, the Empress Agrippina, Nero.
In this tale our main characters Prefect Cato and Centurion Macro will be dragged in a world of turmoil and intrigue after the death of Emperor Claudius.
Deadly plots are being hatched, betrayal and power games are being played out by powerful and shadowy figures, and all that in order to gain the upper hand for that ultimate goal, that is the throne, power and title of Emperor.
What will follow in this stunning eventful book is an action-packed story of cunning and intrigue in the highest echelons of Roman power, where especially Cato, certainly with some great help from his ally and friend Macro, must somehow seem to overcome this treacherous and dangerous deadly world, and where the right decision will mean survival and the wrong one death.
Very much recommended, because this marvellous book concerning this series is for certain: "Another Cato & Macro Triumph"!
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