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on 14 April 2015
I'm afraid this will be my last Cato and Macro book.
They were what got me into the Roman period for historical fiction, but, for me, have not moved forward. Each one is basically the same story in a different setting. The main characters still have the same annoying weaknesses they had in the first book, having not, apparently, learnt anything along the way. The other characters come and go, but don't seem to develop.
For me, there are other 'Roman' novels and series which now hold more appeal.
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on 28 February 2017
Another triumph for Macro and Cato. Marooned by a storm, suffering an earthquake and facing a slave rebellion under a would be Spartacus. Cato has the added anguish of worrying over his captured lady love. Blood and death, fighting and humiliation. You feel you should be rooting for the slaves but nobody compares with out two heroes. I always want them to win. I'm funny that way. And at least Cato's lady is no weak damsel but a woman worthy of him. A glorious read. Enjoy, and roll on the next in the series. Thank you, Mr Scarrow, thank you.
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on 14 November 2012
Review of the series (followed by a review of this book):
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. Two niggles:the formatting annoys me in that the gaps between paragraphs are too long, particularly where there are long conversations, and they are a little over-priced.
Review of this book:
Macro and Cato find themselves on Crete after a huge earthquake and tidal wave. Law and order on the island have fallen apart, and they find themselves having to help re-establish order, and deal with a slave rebellion led by someone who they have encountered before. All in all, another good read; the story moves along well, and keeps you entertained. The romance which started in the last book continues here, but in a rather half-hearted way. I have a suspicion that this thread may have been suggested to the author rather then being his own invention. We shall see if it continues into future books.
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VINE VOICETOP 1000 REVIEWERon 20 February 2012
The Legion is the 10th in Simon Scarrow's 'Eagle' series featuring Roman soldiers Macro & Cato and having finished it I have to wonder whether this is a series that has run its natural course.

Its not that there's anything wrong with The Legion per se. After ten Eagle novels, his 'Revolution' series and his tween Gladiator novels Scarrow is too experienced a writer to produce a totally duff book. The prose is solid, the plotting logical, the historical details sound and the action when it comes coherent and reasonably exciting.

The problem I had with The Legion, and also to an extent with the ninth Eagle novel, The Gladiator (Roman Legion 9), is that it doesn't really offer anything new. Macro and Cato are confronted by a series of challenges as always, some large and some small, and they find a way to overcome each one. Its reassuringly familiar but at the same time very predictable. Scarrow does try and inject some fresh elements into the story. Ajax the rebellious former Gladiator reappears, providing an alternative point-of-view to Macro and Cato's. There's the change of location, with Egypt replacing the previous novel's Crete. In addition to Ajax the Romans are also facing a new enemy in the form of the massed ranks of the Nubians. Plus there's a spy within the Roman ranks working against them.

Despite all these seemingly new plot devices however, I just couldn't help but feel that I'd read The Legion before. Nothing in the book surprised me. At no point did I really feel Macro or Cato were in genuine jeopardy or would fail to triumph in the end. Neither of the lead characters behaved in anything other than the expected manner. It was as if Scarrow was working to well worn formula, which I guess to an extent he is.

The result is an unchallenging read. Perfect if you want comfortable familiarity but hardly a book to set your pulse racing or make you gasp with surprise. Even the mystery of the spy in the Roman ranks was utterly predictable despite some heavy handed attempts at misdirection.

At some point I will probably pick up the next book in the series Praetorian (Roman Legion II), but only when I want something I can dip in and out of and doesn't demand my full attention, but I can't say how much longer my loyalty to this series, which I have stuck with since Under the Eagle was first published in 2000, will last. Scarrow needs to do something radical to re-energise the series. Maybe, dare I say it, he needs to consider 'retiring' Macro or doing something equally extreme. If he doesn't, on the evidence of the last couple of entries, the 'Eagle' series is in danger of becoming safe, familiar and reassuring but ultimately rather dull.
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on 2 August 2010
Finding themselves shipwrecked on the island of Crete after an earthquake, our intrepid hero's find themselves struggling for survival and fighting against a slave army led by the Gladiator Ajax.

Simon Scarrow's Under the Eagle series has become a 'must buy' for me and with this story he continues with another invaluable tale. The devastation wrought by the earthquake and the conequencies it brings are easy to imagine as you read.

Cato has the complication of Julia to worry about as he and Macro attempt to lead the local population, most of who's leaders have been killed, as well as deter the Gladiator army.

With Macro and Julia captured and kept in a small cage and subject to regular threats of death by Ajax, Simon Scarrow once again recreates a wonderful world and another book that keeps you reading. The climax of the story concludes with a race against time, will the Gladiator army escape before the Romans get to Crete or will Macro escape or the unbelievable...will Ajax take revenge on him as he was partly responsible for his capture?

It's another very good installment by Mr Scarrow, not his best because they are more than worthy of five stars but it's certainly a very good edition and well worth member of the Scarrow book collection! I'm not sure about the 'Julia' element, maybe she should be sent to Rome out of harms way so the boy's can get on with the fighting!
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on 4 July 2017
really good series ,this is my second time of reading it up to number10 ,reading 11 now yummy.The signs of a good book or series I think is can't wait to read it but don't want it to end ,or being able to re read and still enjoy a lot
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on 23 April 2017
Nothing new in this. Just another rattling good yarn featuring Cato and Macro. If you have enjoyed the previous books you will enjoy this.
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on 9 November 2012
This book and the whole series of books about Macro and Cato are both an exellent and exciting voyage into the lives of the Roman army as each book finishes you want to start the next one to find out how their adventures procedes. They are well written with a fine attention to detail that will keep you enthralled, would fully recomend them not only for men but also for women as my wife also likes them and has read the whole series and cannot wait for the next book in the series to be published. I purchased this and the series from Amazon.co.uk by receiving books and e- books.
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on 25 August 2017
Simon Scarrow one of the best novelist about the Roman times. and the eagle series is something unbelievable good!
If you did not read it, you should definitely . :)
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on 31 August 2017
really very good. A bit different from the others, brings in enemy's from the past and begins to weave the progression of Cato and Julia/Cato and advancement.
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