The Legion is the 10th book in Simon Scarrow's series featuring Macro and Cato. The Legion finds our heros in Egypt continuing to hunt Ajax the gladiator who lead the slave uprising on Crete that formed the main storyline of the previous book. As ever their path is never a smooth one with events, politics, incompetence and restless natives conspiring to make their time in the Bread Basket of the Nile Delta an eventful one.
For me The Legion is an example of the best of Simon Scarrow's writing, the action starts almost immediately, picking up where the last book left off, and moves at a rapid pace across the entire book. The politics and intrigue of Ancient Rome are never far away, and continue to shape the storyline and the situation of Macro and Cato.
The changing balance in the relationship between the stalwart Macro and the younger but brighter Cato helps keep the relationship, and hence the book, fresh. With Cato now superior in rank to the vastly more experienced Macro there is a new tension, balanced by their mutual respect and this prevents the relationship falling into the hero and sidekick role that would have been the easy option.
The Gladiator, of the title role of the previous book, Ajax continues to be a thorn in the side of Macro and Cato, and outwits them on a number of occasions. It is these events that help shape and drive our heros' hatred of the gladiator, and their regrets, desire for revenge and mistakes they make in chasing him bring a real human quality to the book.
Personally I loved this book, it is one of the standout books in the series and is one of those books that makes you want to read a few more pages whenever you start to think about putting it down. Highly recommended for fans of Simon, the Historical Fiction Genre and lovers of a cracking good yarn. If you haven't come across Simon yet, I would suggest reading the Gladiator before this one, although its not essential, it will add depth to the storyline and explain the hatred that drives both sides in The Legion.
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