Category Archives: Simon Scarrow

Simon Scarrow: The Day of the Caesars (review)

Simon Scarrow

Simon Scarrow is a Sunday Times No. 1 bestselling author. After a childhood spent travelling the world, he pursued his great love of history as a teacher, before becoming a full-time writer. His Roman soldier heroes Cato and Macro made their debut in 2000 in UNDER THE EAGLE, and have subsequently appeared in many bestsellers in the Eagles of the Empire series, including CENTURION, THE GLADIATOR and most recently INVICTUS.

Simon is also the author of the novels YOUNG BLOODS, THE GENERALS, FIRE AND SWORD and THE FIELDS OF DEATH, chronicling the lives of the Duke of Wellington and Napoleon Bonaparte, and of SWORD & SCIMITAR, the epic tale of the 1565 Siege of Malta, and HEARTS OF STONE, set in Greece during the Second World War.

Simon has also co-written two bestselling novel with T.J. Andrews, ARENA and INVADER.

He lives in the historic city of Norwich.

Author Web Site

AD 54. Claudius is dead. Rome is in turmoil. And two brave heroes of the Roman army face the challenge of their lives.

Simon Scarrow’s DAY OF THE CAESARS is not to be missed by readers of Conn Iggulden and Bernard Cornwell. ‘A new book in Simon Scarrow’s series about the Roman army is always a joy’ The Times

The Emperor Claudius is dead. Nero rules. His half-brother Britannicus has also laid claim to the throne. A bloody power struggle is underway.

All Prefect Cato and Centurion Macro want is a simple army life, fighting with their brave and loyal men. But Cato has caught the eye of rival factions determined to get him on their side. To survive, Cato must play a cunning game, and enlist the help of the one man in the Empire he can trust: Macro.

As the rebel force grows, legionaries and Praetorian Guards are moved like chess pieces by powerful and shadowy figures. A political game has created the ultimate military challenge. Can civil war be averted? The future of the empire is in Cato’s hands…

Review

Macro and Cato return again, 16 books in and the boys have grown, matured and changed. The new relationship with Cato as superior is well embedded and Macro is starting to take on the mantle of the soldier coming to end of his career, jaded (well as much as Macro ever could be), and sick of the politics and BS that defines how his life may end. Cato with his rank is more mired in the the politics, yet as a man from the ranks likes it no more than his rough and ready colleague.

In this book Simon Scarrow weaves a tale that’s more intrigue and thriller than the action and battles that have come to define this series, that’s not to say that macro and Cato don’t get the stabby parts of their blades wet and gory, because they most certainly do.  But this book is more subtle, its the interplay of republicans and a dynastic squabble over the next emperor, and how despite everything our duo try to avoid it, yet they still get sucked into the storm of change.

Old enemies reappear, new enemies are made, this is another major turning point in the life of Macro and Cato, its a book not to be missed in this epic series that has helped shape the Historical Fiction genre.

Highly Recommended

(Parm)

Series
Eagles of the Empire
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)
aka The Zealot
8. Centurion (2007)
9. The Gladiator (2009)
10. The Legion (2010)
11. Praetorian (2011)
12. The Blood Crows (2013)
13. Brothers in Blood (2014)
14. Britannia (2015)
15. Invictus (2016)
16. Day of the Caesars (2017)
Eagles of the Empire Series Book 1-5 (omnibus) (2017)
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Wellington and Napoleon
1. Young Bloods (2006)
2. The Generals (2007)
3. Fire and Sword (2009)
4. The Fields of Death (2010)
The Wellington and Napoleon Quartet (omnibus) (2015)
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Gladiator 
1. Fight for Freedom (2011)
2. Street Fighter (2012)
3. Son of Spartacus (2013)
4. Vengeance (2014)
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Roman Arena (with T J Andrews)
1. Barbarian (2012)
2. Challenger (2012)
3. First Sword (2013)
4. Revenge (2013)
5. Champion (2013)
Arena (omnibus) (2013)
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Invader (with T J Andrews)
1. Death Beach (2014)
2. Blood Enemy (2014)
3. Dark Blade (2014)
4. Imperial Agent (2015)
5. Sacrifice (2015)
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Novels
The Sword and the Scimitar (2012)
Hearts of Stone (2015)
Invader (2016) (with T J Andrews)
Playing With Death (2017) (with Lee Francis)
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Novellas
Red Christmas (2014)
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Filed under Historical Fiction, Simon Scarrow

Simon Scarrow: Invictus (Review)

Simon Scarrow UK (1962 – )
Brother of Alex Scarrow

Simon Scarrow's picture

Simon Scarrow is a Sunday Times No. 1 bestselling author. His bestsellers include his novels featuring Roman soldiers Macro and Cato, as well as SWORD AND SCIMITAR, about the 1565 Siege of Malta, and four novels about the lives of the Duke of Wellington and Napoleon Bonaparte. He is the author with T. J. Andrews of the bestselling ARENA, introducing the gladiator hero Pavo, and the new ebook novella series INVADER.

Simon’s novels have been published in the USA and in translation all around the world.

Buy a Signed Limited Edition

Invictus (2016)
(Book 15 in the Eagles of the Empire series)

book cover of Invictus

It is AD 54. The soldiers of the Roman army patrol a growing Empire, from the Mediterranean to the North Sea, from the Atlantic to the banks of the Nile. Rome brutally enforces its rule, and its legions are the most efficient and aggressive fighting force in the world. Two battle-scarred veterans of this army, Prefect Cato and Centurion Macro, have survived years of campaigning in Britannia and have been recalled to Rome.

Their time in the teeming, dangerously political city is short, and soon they are travelling with the Praetorian Guard to Spain, a restless colony where simmering tension in the face of Roman rule is aggravated by bitter rivalry amongst the natives. The challenges that face two old friends and their comrades in arms are unlike any they have seen before – in a land that declares itself unconquerable….

Review

This is a tough story with a tough time for Cato and its this i feel that really gives this book its hard, realistic edge. For me this is a return to Macro and Cato of old and yet so much more. This could very possibly be the best book in the series so far, although that’s a very personal view, because as far as i can see Cato is slowly becoming Macro (whom i always thought carried the show). Cato is now a veteran of so many battles and missions, the holder of so many scars both visible and emotional, that a jaded cynical edge is coming through in his speech, decision and tactics.

As part of that return to the old days we see a return of protagonists of the past in the guide of Vitellius and Pulcher, both men who in their own way have tried to bring an end to Macro and Cato at some point in the past. The rome that our due return to is one with the succession of the empire in flux, Claudius now an old man, his freedman Narcissus is promoting Britannicus his son. Pellas, another freedman who has gained power and currently seems to have edged in front in the political game with his man Nero (Claudius stepson). The ebb and flow of the power struggle between these two factions spills out to many areas or Rome but also the empire in brutal and also subtle fashion, enemies are dealt with and yet all the while the empire must keep running, so when there is an uprising in Spain, both Macro and Cato are packed off with their old enemy Vitellius in charge to quell it, and save the finances of the army and the empire…. all the while Macro and Cato must not only fight the man in front but as usual worry about who might be trying to stick a knife in the back.

I really enjoyed that this book brought back some of the multi layer plot lines of old, the battle in front and the back stabbing politics or Vitellius, who is my fav bad guy of the series, he is such a smooth, sly silky bad guy, a born nasty politician. If i had one gripe for the book, it was the solution to the fight at the mine, it did jump out from its first mention…. but that could well be too many books read, (i leap ahead in my head for what each item could be used for). It doesn’t remove the power and destruction of the ending, the horror and sense of being used for the reasons of politics rather than good, you can see how and why this wears on Cato. For Macro its another day in the office, uncomplicated and simple, bad guy dead, good guy alive, job done, and i love his simplistic view over the top of Cato’s complex morals.

I’m very intrigued to see where our duo go next, there are many battles and perils to go before we hit the year of the four emperors, I’m intrigued as to where and how Simon Scarrow will keep this fresh voice going, and fresh is not anything to take lightly, after 15 books this is a huge achievement in my view.

I for one want to see Macro’s cynical philosophy and explosive action in many more books, its the perfect foil to Cato’s moral musing and strategic clarity.

Recommended

(Parm)

Series

Eagles of the Empire
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)
aka The Zealot
8. Centurion (2007)
9. The Gladiator (2009)
10. The Legion (2010)
11. Praetorian (2011)
12. The Blood Crows (2013)
13. Brothers in Blood (2014)
14. Britannia (2015)
15. Invictus (2016)



Wellington and Napoleon
1. Young Bloods (2006)
2. The Generals (2007)
3. Fire and Sword (2007)
4. The Fields of Death (2010)
The Wellington and Napoleon Quartet (omnibus) (2015)

Gladiator
1. Fight for Freedom (2011)
2. Street Fighter (2012)
3. Son of Spartacus (2013)
4. Vengeance (2014)
Roman Arena (with T J Andrews)
1. Barbarian (2012)
2. Challenger (2012)
3. First Sword (2013)
4. Revenge (2013)
5. Champion (2013)
Arena (omnibus) (2013)

Invader (with T J Andrews)
1. Death Beach (2014)
2. Blood Enemy (2014)
3. Dark Blade (2014)
4. Imperial Agent (2015)
5. Sacrifice (2015)

Novels
The Sword and the Scimitar (2012)
Hearts of Stone (2015)
Invader (2016) (with T J Andrews)
Novellas
Red Christmas (2014)

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Filed under Historical Fiction, Simon Scarrow, Uncategorized

Simon Scarrow: Britannia (review + night out)

Simon Scarrow: 

simon

 

Simon Scarrow is a Sunday Times No. 1 bestselling author. His bestsellers include his novels featuring Roman soldiers Macro and Cato, most recently BROTHERS IN BLOOD, PRAETORIAN and THE LEGION, as well as SWORD AND SCIMITAR, about the 1565 Siege of Malta, and four novels about the lives of the Duke of Wellington and Napoleon Bonaparte. He is the author with T. J. Andrews of the bestselling ARENA, introducing the gladiator hero Pavo, and the new ebook novella series INVADER.

Simon’s novels have been published in the USA and in translation all around the world.

– See more at: Author web site

Britannia

Buy Signed Limited Edition (charity) edition

britannia

Simon Scarrow’s veteran Roman soldier heroes face a cunning and relentless enemy in BRITANNIA. Roman Britain, AD 52. The western tribes, inspired by the Druids’ hatred of the Romans, prepare to make a stand. But can they match the discipline and courage of the legionaries? Wounded during a skirmish, Centurion Macro remains behind in charge of the fort as Prefect Cato leads an invasion deep into the hills. Cato’s mission: to cement Rome’s triumph over the natives by crushing the Druid stronghold. But with winter drawing in, the terrain is barely passable through icy rain and snowstorms. When Macro’s patrols report that the natives in the vicinity of the garrison are thinning out, a terrible suspicion takes shape in the battle-scarred soldier’s mind. Has the acting Governor, Legate Quintatus, underestimated the enemy, his military judgement undermined by ambition? If there is a sophisticated and deadly plan afoot, it’s Cato and his men who will pay the price. Includes maps and charts.

Review

This for me is a return to form for Macro and Cato. I have been a fan of Simon’s work and this series since book one Under the Eagle, amazingly 15 years ago now. I remember that when this book came out i had to write to Simon (and use a stamp, not hit send)… amazing how far we have come in such a short time, its been great fun following Simon’s career. The last few books in the series i have made no secret (especially to Simon) have not lived up to the great books that came before, but now comes Britannia.

This book has the same dark gritty edge that the early books possess, but with the polished edge that defines Simon’s Writing. I’ve always thought that Macro and Cato are Simon’s older and younger self, and their banter and education is his older-self (Macro) educating and protecting his younger self from harm, but it ultimately being a fruitless exercise, as we never listen to our elders. (but that’s just me and i have odd book thoughts).

This book see’s Cato come into his own more than ever, for once Macro must take a back seat, Cato is the superior officer, and it is he who is at the forefront of the battle and danger presented to them on the march to destroy the Druids of Mona. Even here at the cold wet end of the world the politics of Rome reaches out to taunt and prod our pair of heroic soldiers in the form of potential future alliances, lending the story and extra edge.

But that is the least of their troubles, this is by far the darkest tale of the series, full of hunger, cold, death, battle, victories and defeats. The honesty of the battles in this book is brutal and unforgiving, whilst also being utterly engaging.

I was engrossed in the whole book, and hunkered down under the duvet at night as the men of the legion trudged through the rain and snow, Simon’s description being so vivid and to leave me chilled to the marrow, and my belly rumbling.

Finally my last couple of reviews had called out a lacking in the support cast, a bunch of faceless red shirts that the audience didn’t have an emotional connection with….. that’s not the case in Britannia, the Blood Crows become living breathing group, with quirks and personalities, and when they bleed and die you the reader feel it keenly.

I have to applaud Simon for this book, 14 books in and he manages to make the series fresh again, a new depth to Macro and Cato, a new edge to the Roman world and conflicts in Britannia, all achieved with style and a simply splendid plot line.

Highly recommended

(Parm)

I was lucky enough to be invited to an event in London just prior to the Launch of this book

Fans event in London

So off i headed down to London….. following my google map…. this road helped

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and got to the (very busy pub) where it seems someone asked Simon a tough questions

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helpful advice from hecklers didn’t help

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but this really stumped him

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for quite a while

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But being Simon he got there with a well thought out answer

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The event was perfectly run by this splendid lady, who was running a smiling competition

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She made it to the final against Simon

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Simon wasn’t happy at losing that competition

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Joe hadn’t noticed he had been disqualified

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My evening ended with some splendid views on the way back to get my train

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Series
Eagles of the Empire
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)
aka The Zealot
8. Centurion (2007)
9. The Gladiator (2009)
10. The Legion (2010)
11. Praetorian (2011)
12. The Blood Crows (2013)
13. Brothers in Blood (2014)
14. Britannia (2015)



Wellington and Napoleon
1. Young Bloods (2006)
2. The Generals (2007)
3. Fire and Sword (2007)
4. The Fields of Death (2010)
The Wellington and Napoleon Quartet (omnibus) (2015)

Gladiator
1. Fight for Freedom (2011)
2. Street Fighter (2012)
3. Son of Spartacus (2013)
4. Vengeance (2014)
Roman Arena (with T J Andrews)
1. Barbarian (2012)
2. Challenger (2012)
3. First Sword (2013)
4. Revenge (2013)
5. Champion (2013)
Arena (omnibus) (2013)

Invader (with T J Andrews)
1. Death Beach (2014)
2. Blood Enemy (2014)
3. Dark Blade (2014)
4. Imperial Agent (2015)
5. Sacrifice (2015)

Novels
The Sword and the Scimitar (2012)
Hearts of Stone (2015)
Invader (2016) (with T J Andrews)
Novellas
Red Christmas (2014)

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Filed under Historical Fiction, Simon Scarrow, Uncategorized

Simon Scarrow: Hearts of Stone (review)

Simon Scarrow

Simon Scarrow is a Sunday Times No. 1 bestselling author. His bestsellers include his novels featuring Roman soldiers Macro and Cato, most recently THE BLOOD CROWS, PRAETORIAN and THE LEGION, as well as SWORD AND SCIMITAR, about the 1565 Siege of Malta, and four novels about the lives of the Duke of Wellington and Napoleon Bonaparte. He is the author with T. J. Andrews of the bestselling ARENA, introducing the gladiator hero Pavo, and the new ebook novella series INVADER.

Simon’s novels have been published in the USA and in translation all around the world.

Author website

Book Description

Buy a Signed Collector’s Edition

Hearts of Stone

The fierce courage of the men and women of the Greek Resistance is brought to vivid life in Sunday Times bestseller Simon Scarrow’s powerful new novel of World War II. 1938. A perfect summer on the Greek island of Lefkas for three young people untroubled by the simmering politics of Europe. Peter, visiting from Germany while his father leads an archaeological dig, has become close friends with locals Andreas and Eleni. As the world slides towards conflict and Peter is forced to leave, they swear to meet again. 1943: Andreas and Eleni have joined the partisan forces resisting the German invasion. Peter has returned – now a dangerously well-informed enemy intelligence officer. A friendship formed in peace will turn into a desperate battle between enemies sworn to sacrifice everything for the countries that they love…

Review

I have been waiting for this book from Simon Scarrow since 2012, because when ever he steps away from the Roman world he manages to produce something special. The last time was Sword and Scimitar , a fantastic view of one of histories great turning points.

This latest book is set during a much more recent, more sensitive era, both pre WW2, during and post WW2. An era filled with so many atrocities and horrors that don’t often translate to a book and yet with so many tales of courage and sacrifice that should be remembered.

For me that’s what this book has at its core, a retelling of the type of heroism and sacrifice that existed in Greece during the war, a remembrance of the level of horror visited down  to the level of one small group of friends in one small community on one small island. The backdrop of youthful friendship is a fantastic foil for the war-time age of the characters, the change caused by war and impact it has had on each of the core group of friends and family, how they are all irrecoverably changed by circumstance and situation. The setting and device of the search for the tomb of Odysseus adds a level of romanticism to the plot that’s coupled with the young love of Eleni and Andreas and the bitter-sweet sense of missed opportunity for Peter. How many of us have had grandparents / Great Grandparents lost in the wars, or returned but with painful memories? how many of them have shared those stories even a little bit, sanitised to protect us from the enormity that was war? Simon delivers that experience in a realistic and emotive fashion, showing the power of those memories and the importance of not forgetting, and learning from our collective pasts, and how much brighter the flame burned because of the simpler yet harsher times.

Simon as always has managed to bring all of the plot elements and characters together into a well researched, sympathetically told tale, add to this his usual impeccable research and awareness of the landscape and the end result is a highly engaging, very personal account of War torn Greece. The element that drives the story forward without it being “just another war story” is the time-slip device, the plot told from present day, Eleni looking back and retelling her experiences to her granddaughter, sharing that glimmer of the past, the hardships, the life lived, against the modern world of her granddaughter determined to not let the past slip away. It’s the constant drift back and forth in time that drives the reader to want to turn just one more page… and then suddenly the book is gone, finished.

If i had one niggle with the book its at the start, there are some very jarring, for want of a better phrase ” digs” at modern society, modern devices etc, the social commentary of modern times.. and i have to say i agree with just about every single one of them, i just didn’t feel they added to the book, in fact i didn’t think they worked in the book, they felt a little like a soap box moment before the book. (sorry Simon, agreed with pretty much every word though), they pulled me away from the story. When i wanted to be drifting into the world Simon had created i kept jarring back to reality, for me the points would have worked much better in the afterword, at this point the poignant finish of the book leaving the reader reflective and open to reading about why the world needs history, why we should learn from it, why we need to switch off from the internet etc..But this was a small quibble in what is another really good book, one where every character is someone, and you care what happens to them. 

I’m very interested to see what stand alone novel Simon produces next. and recommend that you buy this one immediately

(Parm)

Series
Cato & Macro
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)
aka The Zealot
8. Centurion (2007)
9. The Gladiator (2009)
10. The Legion (2010)
11. Praetorian (2011)
12. The Blood Crows (2013)
13. Brothers in Blood (2014)



Revolution
1. Young Bloods (2006)
2. The Generals (2007)
3. Fire and Sword (2007)
4. The Fields of Death (2010)
The Wellington and Napoleon Quartet: Young Bloods / The Generals / Fire and Sword / Fields of Death(omnibus) (2015)

Gladiator
1. Fight for Freedom (2011)
2. Street Fighter (2012)
3. Son of Spartacus (2013)
4. Vengeance (2014)
Roman Arena
1. Barbarian (2012)
2. Challenger (2012)
3. First Sword (2013)
4. Revenge (2013)
5. Champion (2013)
Arena (omnibus) (2013)

Invader
1. Death Beach (2014)
2. Blood Enemy (2014)
3. Dark Blade (2014)
4. Imperial Agent (2015)
5. Sacrifice (2015)

Novels
The Sword and the Scimitar (2012)
Hearts of Stone (2015)
Britannia (2015)

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Filed under Historical Fiction, Simon Scarrow

Simon Scarrow: Brothers in Blood (2014) (Book 13 in the Cato series)

author-photos

Simon Scarrow is a Sunday Times No. 1 bestselling author. His bestsellers include his novels featuring Roman soldiers Macro and Cato, most recently THE BLOOD CROWS, PRAETORIAN and THE LEGION, as well as SWORD AND SCIMITAR, about the 1565 Siege of Malta, and four novels about the lives of the Duke of Wellington and Napoleon Bonaparte. He is the author with T. J. Andrews of the bestselling ARENA, introducing the gladiator hero Pavo, and the new ebook novella series INVADER.

Simon’s novels have been published in the USA and in translation all around the world.

His latest novel is the 13th Cato and Macro adventure, BROTHERS IN BLOOD.

Author Web Site

Author Blog

Buy a special collectors Edition of the book

Brothers in Blood  (2014) (Book 13 in the Cato series)

A novel by Simon Scarrow

brothers in blood

The Roman Empire’s conquest of Britannia is under threat from within. Prefect Cato and Centurion Macro must uncover a traitor to prevent unthinkable defeat.

A messenger on the streets of Rome has been intercepted and tortured, revealing a plot to sabotage the Roman army’s campaign against Caratacus, commander of Britannia’s native tribes. A treacherous agent’s mission is to open a second front of attack against them and eliminate the two Roman soldiers who could stand in the way.

Unwarned, Cato and Macro are with the Roman army pursuing Caratacus and his men through the mountains of Britannia. Defeating Caratacus finally seems within their grasp. But the plot against the two heroes threatens not only their military goals but also their lives.

Review

I always like my reviews to be upfront and honest, so just for sake of clarity: I have been a fan of Simon Scarrow’s books since his first book 14 years ago. I have been lucky enough to consider Simon a friend and have (Centurion) Parmenion appear as a character in two of the Cato series (Eagle in the Sand and Centurion), that however should no way colour my review, each book on its merit.  As a fan of the series i had started to experience some concern with the Cato series around book 9 (Gladiator), I wasn’t a fan of the introduction of Julia as a character, she works well as a device in the background, a way to improve Cato’s position in Roman Society, but as a participant i always felt she diluted the plot, as such i have enjoyed her not being in the book. (sorry Simon)

I very much enjoyed book 12 and the introduction of the Blood Crows, a return to Britannia and a return to Macro and Cato being soldiers, working with their men within the twisted politics of the Roman world and army. Brothers in Blood is another continuation of that return to classic Macro and Cato. Our dynamic duo set to capture Caratacus, dangerous battles to be fought, The spies of Pallas to contend with and the ever present political shenanigans of the Roman army, the petty politics of the cursus honorum driving the behavior of so many of their peers.  As ever Simon manages to weave a splendid web of intrigue, making us guess at every turn who the Pallas may have put in their path, i like to think that knowing Simon and his books so well is why i guessed right, i think the reveal will come as a surprise to most. All in all the plot for this book is very well constructed, throwing plenty in the path of Macro and Cato, but always something the average good solider could deal with, there is no “Super Hero” here. Simons skill with this series is the down to earth soldier.

I do feel though that there is a lacking still in the books, we know Macro and Cato cannot die, they never really even suffer an injury to severe.  This is to be expected, many authors protect their Heroes,  But there are no characters surrounding them that grow with them, that you come to invest in and hope for survival, I have come to call all the supporting cast “Red Shirts” because like on a star trek mission you know they are going to get it, they are the cannon fodder, and to be honest, who really cares about them, we know nothing about them and have not grown with them or experienced their pain.  I feel with the introduction of the Blood Crows there is room to develop some supporting cast, some friends for both of the men. Macro and Cato are now set slightly apart in rank, so we could see the development of friendships in their own peer groups. A man who excels at this is Anthony Riches, there is a rich cast of many, and with every book he delights in keeping the reader on tenterhooks as to whom out of the cohort of friends he might kill. Its this that adds an extra depth and element of suspense and drama that is missing at the moment (at least for me) in the Cato books.

That aside this is a splendid 4/5 for me, i enjoyed it and look forward to the next book, Britannia gives Simon a very rich tapestry for Macro and Cato to explore with minimal interjection from the devious politics of Rome. There are so many more fights to come before they need to get back embroiled with Rome…and what will eventually be the Year of the four Emperors.

(Parm)

Series

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)
aka The Zealot
8. Centurion (2007)
9. The Gladiator (2009)
10. The Legion (2010)
11. Praetorian (2011)
12. The Blood Crows (2013)
13. Brothers in Blood (2014)
Under the EagleThe Eagle's ConquestWhen the Eagle HuntsThe Eagle and the WolvesThe Eagle's PreyThe Eagle's ProphecyThe Eagle in the SandCenturionThe GladiatorThe LegionPraetorianThe Blood CrowsBrothers in Blood
Revolution
1. Young Bloods (2006)
2. The Generals (2007)
3. Fire and Sword (2007)
4. The Fields of Death (2010)
Young BloodsThe GeneralsFire and SwordThe Fields of Death
Gladiator
1. Fight for Freedom (2011)
2. Street Fighter (2012)
3. Son of Spartacus (2013)
4. Vengeance (2014)
Fight for FreedomStreet FighterSon of SpartacusVengeance
Roman Arena
1. Barbarian (2012)
2. Challenger (2012)
3. First Sword (2013)
4. Revenge (2013)
5. Champion (2013)
Arena (omnibus) (2013)
BarbarianChallengerFirst Sword Revenge Champion Arena
Invader
1. Death Beach (2014)
2. Blood Enemy (2014)
3. Dark Blade (2014)
4. Imperial Agent (2015)
5. Sacrifice (2015)
Death BeachBlood EnemyDark Blade
Novels
The Sword and the Scimitar (2012)
The Sword and the Scimitar

1 Comment

Filed under Historical Fiction, Simon Scarrow

Simon Scarrow: Blood Crows (Review)

The author (in his own words)

Simon

I was born in Nigeria and was raised in a number of countries before settling in Britain. Like my brothers I have always been interested in writing and started on my first novel once I had finished my degree and started working in the civil service. After two years of working in London I decided that I was better suited to a more academic career and returned to university to do a research degree. Once that was over I became a teacher. It was a great job. I have worked alongside some fine colleagues and great students. I would truly recommend teaching as a profession since the rewards are so diverse and real.

After I secured my first book deal I continued teaching full-time for as long as possible, before I was forced to scale back on my hours to focus on the writing.  Finally, at the start of 2005, I realised that I could not teach well while devoting so much time to writing and reluctantly decided to give up on teaching until I had more time to devote to it.

At the moment I am committed to writing one book a year in the EAGLE series as well as one book for other projects.

For now, I live in Norfolk with my wife, Carolyn, who runs her own copywriting business,  and two sons.

Blood Crows (Book Description)

blood crows

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.

(Parm)

Other Books

Series
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)
12. The Blood Crows (2013)
13. The Zealot (2014)
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 LegionPraetorianThe Blood Crows
The Zealot
Revolution
1. Young Bloods (2006)
2. The Generals (2007)
3. Fire and Sword (2007)
4. The Fields of Death (2010)
Young BloodsThe GeneralsFire and SwordThe Fields of Death
Gladiator 
1. Fight for Freedom (2011)
2. Street Fighter (2012)
3. Son of Spartacus (2013)
4. Vengeance (2014)
Fight for FreedomStreet FighterSon of SpartacusVengeance
Roman Arena
1. Barbarian (2012)
2. Challenger (2012)
3. First Sword (2013)
4. Revenge (2013)
5. Champion (2013)
Arena (omnibus) (2013)
BarbarianChallengerFirst Sword Revenge
Champion Arena
Novels
The Sword and the Scimitar (2012)
The Sword and the Scimitar

4 Comments

Filed under Historical Fiction, Simon Scarrow