Top positive review
Macro and Cato on their latest outing -- but we've seen it all before.
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.