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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 1 November 2013
Macro and Cato are back in town, and bring with them their usual amount of mayhem, intrigue and collateral damage.
They just don't seem able to sit idle and enjoy some down time, or lady fortuna has a sick sense of humour. Once again they are back in the legions, and once again its not a nice comfortable billet. But I don't think either of these boys would want or expect one, honours are earned at end end of a sword, and these boys still have medals and higher rank in mind.
In this book we are back where we began, in Britain, there is an unfinished conquest, a guerilla war being waged by the locals, and it needs to end. Tactics on both sides have got bloody and nasty. Cato has command of an auxiliary Unit called the blood crows led by a somewhat sadistic and nasty centurion, and someone that Cato and Macro need to work with, or work around.
Its a book that see's the need fr Cato to really grow into his new rank as prefect, and get over any fears he may have, to get past his concerns regarding his friend and having to command him, its time to grow up.
Will they survive... probably... it wouldn't be the time to end the series would it... but how they get there is a hell of a ride and really is a trip back to the early days of Macro and Cato.. (Julia hardly gets a mention... thank you simon).
A word of caution though, i do echo another reviewer, Simon has shown huge writing skill with his other series and stand alone books, and some times i do wonder if its not time to push Macro and Cato to their conclusion, before they become a stagnant parody of themselves. This book was a great trip back to where we began... can that be sustained forever? or should Simon drive towards the year of the 4 emperors with greater speed?
(everyone will have their own opinion).
But for now... bloody and excellent book.
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on 26 December 2016
I really want to give this one 3.5 stars. Having followed the adventures of Roman Legionaries Macro and Cato for the better part of ten years now, picking up with their adventures is a little like visiting old friends (albeit fictional ones) and catching up. The same thing happens whenever Sharpe and Harper appear in a new Bernard Cornwell book.

On the other hand, with this being the twelfth book in the same vein, there's really nothing new here to speak of; we've seen it all before. It's almost as though Scarrow is working off a checklist. Our heroes are posted to distant Britannia: check. Native tribes in insurrection: check. Always raining, muddy, windswept and miserable: check. Local warlord with a score to settle against the Romans: check. Rogue Roman officer building his own private army...well, you get the point.

"The Blood Crows" is by no means a bad book: it's serviceable written, and Scarrow has, as ever, done his homework where the Roman world is concerned. But with the Macro and Cato books these days, I tend to pick them up with a sense of, "Well, I've come THIS far..."

If you're looking for a by-the-numbers historical adventure novel, or are a long-term follower of Macro and Cato, then "The Blood Crows" will not disappoint. If you're new to their adventures, I recommend going back to the beginning and picking up one of Scarrow's earlier "Eagle" books.
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VINE VOICEon 3 December 2014
It is a book that starts well, Scarrow has always been good at atmospheric settings and the opening scene of this book is one of his best. I really liked the Blood Crows - bloodthirsty torturers though they were. Scarrow himself has said he was inspired by Apocalypse Now, and the leader of this unit is his nod to Colonel Kurtz - but sadly only up to a point.

Scarrow fatally undercuts his character here by revealing towards the end that the Blood Crows original leader's brutality is riven by an underlying terror.

It simply doesn't work, and it is sad because with a little more understanding of the likely psychological make-up of his own villain here, the book could have been better in its second-half.

That said the action scenes are well done - and I really like the fact that this series has come back to Britannia. For me that was always the fascination with the books in the first place. I think Scarrow has brilliantly conjured up how the first few years of Roman Britain might have been.

However, you know that Scarrow is writing modern Boys' Own stories - so commanding officers are cardboard caricatures who sneer or scoff at our two heroes, Macro and Cato, and it does get a bit wearing.

I do have an issue with the swearing at times in the book. Yes I know we all do it, and they did too. But excessive use of the C-word is simply dull. It betrays a lack of imagination on the writers' part. If you read the text without the word, you can see that it doesn't really add or intensify any of the action - that needs to come from the writing. You can't improve it by merely adding in ****.

So overall three stars. It is good and I am really glad the duo are back in Britain, but it could have been better, and he still needs to work on making his minor characters more consistent.

Ave atque vale, Tim
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on 6 June 2017
The blood crows (eagles) by Simon Scarrow is a great book you can follow all the characters right through all the books in the eagles series
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on 30 December 2014
Yet another in the series which I found the more you read the less you b wanted to put the book down. That said, I felt that the siege of the fort was not developed enough and almost skipped over, but done in a manner which I have to concede did not detract from the overall quality of the book. Another thoroughly good read
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on 13 July 2017
All good as usual with this author what a purist ,really entertaining ,number 13 next for the second time of reading the series
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on 21 April 2015
Simon Scarrow is back to his best after the mostly pointless Praetorian novel. The Blood Crows really puts Cato and Macro back in problematic and dangerous situations facing overwhelming odds with internal struggles thrown in. The books ending could be a bit stronger but i think it's written that way so it leads into his next novel Brothers in Blood, bring it on.
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on 7 March 2017
Love this book and all the others. More please.
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on 17 September 2015
Good story, well written. I'm a fan of the two Roman soldiers, but they are becoming rather predictable. But in the spirit of what it is and knowing how it will end, I still read and am entertained
Big Foot Writer
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on 2 April 2017
Great book that had me wondering what would happen next all the way through. Will move on now to the next in the series.
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