Simon Scarrow: Sword and Scimitar

Simon Scarrow

is a UK-based author, born in Nigeria and now based in Norfolk. He completed a master’s degree at the University of East Anglia after working at the Inland Revenue, and then went into teaching as a lecturer, firstly at East Norfolk Sixth Form College, then at City College Norwich.

He is best known for his Eagle Series of Roman Military fiction set in the territories of the Roman Empire, covering the second invasion of Britain and the subsequent prolonged campaign undertaken by the rump of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. To date there are eleven books in the series, with the 11th released in November 2011, Praetorian.

He has also written another series, Revolution, focusing on Wellington and Napoleon, whose first title, Young Bloods, was published in 2006. The second volume, The Generals, was released on the 31 May 2007 and the third volume Fire and Sword was released in January 2009. The fourth and final novel of the series was released in Jun 2010 and is called The Fields of Death. He has also branched out into writing a new series titled Gladiator for Young Adults. 1. Fight for Freedom (2011) 2. Street Fighter (2012)
3. Son of Spartacus (2013)

His Latest book due out October 25th:

Book Description

1565; In its hour of greatest need, Malta must rely upon the ancient Knights of the Order of St John for survival. Bound by the strongest ties: of valour, of courage and of passion, the Knights must defend their island against ferocious and deadly Ottoman attack. For Sir Thomas Barrett, summoned by the Order and compelled by loyalty – to the Knights, to his honour and to his Queen – returning to the besieged island means revisiting a past he had long since lain to rest. As the beleaguered Knights grapple to retain control, decade-old feuds will be reawakened, intense passions rekindled and deadly secrets revealed.


This book covers and amazingly complex time in history, and a particularly thorny issue in modern times. In nearly 450 years we really have not come that far in terms of religion. What amazes me is how little I knew about the siege of Malta and the total change it would have had on the face of europe if the Knights of the Order of St John had lost.

I have been to Malta a few times and have seen so many of the places, stood on some of the streets and monuments written about in this book, and yet I still didn’t truly comprehend the momentous battle that took place. To have lost would have probably meant the sweep of Islam into western Europe, changing the entire face of history. There are very few times in history when the world and its current order have been balanced on a knife-edge.

Other moments in time that spring to mind (with great books attached) The Mongols sweeping into Europe, if not for the death of Ogedai they would have carried on unstoppable all the way to the English Channel and beyond (read Conn Igguldens Conqueror series)  also the battle at Marathon, where a Greek loss would have meant Greece falling under the dominion of Persia, there would have been no classical period, there may possibly have been no Rome or at best a greatly altered Rome. So much art and culture lost and changed, the whole mediterranean dynamic would have changed, (Read the Long War series by Christian Cameron).

When you understand the above it makes the writing of this books seem so ambitious to border on nuts. Yet Simon Scarrow in his own unique style provides the perfect narrator in the form of Sir Thomas Barrett. As usual the lead character engages the reader from the start, you sympathise with his situation in life and root for his underdog situation, and sympathise with the way life has treated him, the book makes you feel the characters. Then you add in his vivid description of the places, the battles, both sides of the fight. He brings to life the roar of the cannon, the desperation of the siege and the courage of both the defenders and the fanatical courage of the attackers.

The bravest part of this book though, has to be the perfect balancing act between Christianity and Islam. At no point does Simon denigrate either religion, he doesn’t push an agenda for either religion, he just tells you what happened and leaves you to think for yourself about the insanity religion brought, brings and will keep bringing to this world. Killing in the name of doctrine differences is wrong, but that is my conclusion, not Simons, he provided me the history and the framework to make that decision, and he did it with an amazingly engaging read.

This is Simons best work to date and well worth £10 of anyones money

Highly recommended


Other Books

Cato 1. Under the Eagle (2000) 2. The Eagle’s Conquest (2001) 3. When the Eagle Hunts (2002) 4. The Eagle and the Wolves (2003) 5. The Eagle’s Prey (2004) 6. The Eagle’s Prophecy (2005) 7. The Eagle in the Sand (2006) 8. Centurion (2007) 9. The Gladiator (2009) 10. The Legion (2010) 11. Praetorian (2011)
Under the EagleThe Eagle's ConquestWhen the Eagle HuntsThe Eagle and the Wolves The Eagle's PreyThe Eagle's ProphecyThe Eagle in the SandCenturion The GladiatorThe LegionPraetorian
Revolution 1. Young Bloods (2006) 2. The Generals (2007) 3. Fire and Sword (2009) 4. The Fields of Death (2010)
Young BloodsThe GeneralsFire and SwordThe Fields of Death

Gladiator1. Fight for Freedom (2011) 2. Street Fighter (2012) 3. Son of Spartacus (2013)

Fight for FreedomStreet FighterSon of Spartacus
Also coming soon
Arena: Barbarian (2012) 25th October


Filed under Historical Fiction

3 responses to “Simon Scarrow: Sword and Scimitar

  1. Pingback: My stand out books, and Fav’s of 2012, and the publishers who do so much for me and others. | parmenionbooks

  2. Mike Collins

    Dear Mr Scarrow

    I have just completed reading the Wellington / Napoleons series which I thoroughly enjoyed. It seems that 100 years on from the wars the above fought the Generals that fought the First World War learned nothing by sending men to be massacred in the same way and our politicians learned nothing by sending men to Iraq and Afghanistan without suitable equipment.

    I have just started to read The Sword and Scimitar as have just returned from Malta.

    Mike Collins

  3. Pingback: Simon Scarrow: Hearts of Stone (review) | parmenionbooks

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