The first novel in Simon Scarrow's bestselling Roman series.
It is 42 AD, and Quintus Licinius Cato has just arrived in Germany as a new recruit to the Second Legion, the toughest in the Roman army. If adjusting to the rigours of military life isn't difficult enough for the bookish young man, he also has to contend with the disgust of his colleagues when, because of his imperial connections, he is appointed a rank above them.
As second-in-command to Macro, the fearless, battle-scarred centurion who leads them, Cato will have more to prove than most in the adventures that lie ahead. Then the men discover that the army's next campaign will take them to a land of unparalleled barbarity - Britain.
After the long march west, Cato and Macro undertake a special mission that will thrust them headlong into a conspiracy that threatens to topple the Emperor himself...
©2001 Simon Scarrow (P)2013 Headline Digital
"I don't need this sort of competition." (Bernard Cornwell)
Simon Scarrow is a new author for me. I enjoyed the first volume of his Macro and Cato series even though I felt something was missing but I can't actually put a finger on what. Maybe it was the lack of a conclusion, the ending being a setup for the next book, which is not available on Audible. It doesn't make sense to go on to Book 3 when there would be huge gaps in the major storyline.
That said, Macro the Centurion and Cato the Optimo are an appealing duo. I learned a great deal about the structure of the Roman military and Roman politics. The battle scenes are well orchestrated and are violent without being ghoulish. There are a few too many F-bombs considering the word didn't exist at the time but they don't feel inappropriate for the military setting.
David Thorpe is the wonder narrator. He captures each character perfectly.
I won't continue with this series until Book 2 is available.
Though it took a few chapters to draw me in, I ended up enjoying this story. The setting in a Roman legion is interesting, but this would work equally well in almost any army of any period. The reader did a great job with varying his voices so that you can recognize each character immediately. Very entertaining.
Love Historcial Fiction
At first I thought this was a thoroughly enjoyable series. But then I tried to get book two. You have to join Audible UK in order to get a number of the books. In a couple of words. Bravo Sierra. Guess I will never finish the series .
I always enjoy having historical charters recast into plausible yet obviously fictitious stories. Add on to that a couple of likable main characters as the centre piece for this book, and you have the start of an enjoyable franchise.
There was nothing earth-shattering in this story, but it does give good solid entertainment value for your money. The performance seemed well suited for the story and characters, and certainly added to the overall enjoyment of the experience.
To sum up, if you like historical fiction, and in particular the Roman period, then give this story a try. You shouldn't be disappointed!
It was very generic. There are long stretches where you'd be hard pressed to remember its about the Roman Army.
Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry. He never disappoints.
I have a well documented audio crush on Ray Porter, so I'd go with him.
None of them. It was an adequate story. Poorly narrated--- his Roman soldiers were overdone caracitures of English thugs. So bad they became almost comical.
I was looking for something more authentic and more about the army, and the esprit de corps. This was a tedious "mystery" with such poorly fleshed out characters there wasn't anyone to like.
A great book brought to life by the performer. Each character felt real and you feel a real sense of emotional investment into the characters. Recommended, but be warned, Audible is missing a few books in the series.
I love historical fiction. Can't get enough of it!
Great story with great narration. there is a surprising amount of good humor into the storyline. If you like fiction at all you will love this book.
Yes i Would recommend this book to a friend it was a good read and well worth it.
The most memorable moment from the book was the battle at the German village at the beginning of the book. It sets the stage for the type of people the characters are.
Both Cato and Macro were were my favorite characters.
This is a good book that was well worth listening to. The only problem I had with it was that there are scenes and twists in the story that don't have anything else to do with anything. Like the part where Cato gets caught in the tent with the thief, why did he need to be there when he couldn't identify the thief in the dark? It was pointless and 15 minutes worth of listening that didn't add any significance to the book. I did like the story line though and would like to see the second book "Conquest" get put on Audible in English rather than Latin (I think its in Latin at least).
End of the world and Sci Fi are my favorites with a lot of historical fiction added in
Very enjoyable story, well written with a complex style that builds on characters and descriptions to tell a story about the atypical Roman legionnaire in 50 AD
Yes, I've followed this series while I was in the military. Chasing one book after the other!
I enjoyed the telling from the "Grunt's" side instead of from the officers view.
Why the break in the series?? Not worth purchasing if you can't follow the series in order.
"Let down a bit by the narrator"
Rattling good story
Casual, chatty, undramatic
This the first in the 'Eagles' series, and as you'd expect the story and language isn't as polished as after Mr Scarrow gets a few under his belt and finds his stride. However, it is an entertaining story that rattles along nicely. Not quite 'Sharpe in sandals', but nearly.Unfortunately, the narrator has a chatty, casual style that doesn't vary in even the most dramatic moments, which takes the edge off somewhat. It is very easy on the ear, but just doesn't suit the words he is saying. However, I did get used to this after a few hours and move past it, except his pronounciation of 'Cato' as 'Car-to', and even, I'm certain, 'Carter' a few times. This goes against how I (and others I know) have always pronounced it, and how it is pronounced in the later books by other narrators, and never ceased to grate a bit.
I was really excited to see that Scarrow's early Macro & Cato books were finally being released as an audio version. The more recent books have had a couple of different but excellent narrators who capture the voices of the leads excellently. It's always difficult when a series has a new reader but David Thorpe handles the gruff voice of Macro and the younger Cato well. My only gripe, which is small but for me really off putting is his pronunciation of Cato. I have always read it, as previous narrators have as Kay to. Thorpe calls him Car to. For someone new to the series this is irrelevant. But after over a dozen books I just can't think of him this way. I wonder how Scarrow pronounces his name?
This aside it's a great first story with humour and fast paced gritty action that follows our two heroes across Britain in search of Caesar's lost treasure. Great fun and worth a listen.
"Roman squaddies on tour."
I've listened to a lot of audiobooks set in the Roman era including Lindsey Davies (Marcus Dideus Falco) and the SPQR series. If you enjoyed those, you'll probably like these. The author does a good job of inserting his characters and their story into known historical settings.
The main characters are likeable and I quickly became interested in their situation. The 'banter' between the soldiers is amusing, particularly Macro and his bad language. The drill sergeant character Bestio is funny as well.
David Thorpe is a good narrator. He has a range of accents to bring the characters to life, and on the whole he does this very well - often with comic effect. His narration doesn't irritate or intrude, he is easy to listen to.
This was a very good audiobook if you enjoy the Roman setting and don't mind the odd expletive. The story was well paced and the characters were likeable. I enjoyed it so much, I ordered the next two in the series and immediately listened to them.
"A Brilliant Series - but incomplete!"
To me this is an excellent series of books. Simon Scarrow produces two well-developed "chalk and cheese" main characters that somehow develop an excellent chemistry as brothers in arms. Plenty of action mixed with plenty of character development is what I like in my books and here we get both aplenty. The narration is lively and positive so moves the story forwards well.
The only thing that irritates me (at the time of writing) is that quite a few of the books are currently not available on audible UK at least and this has been the case for over a year now. I have no idea where the problem is but this point is worth knowing if, like me, your literature is almost entirely consumed these days via Audible.
I'm stuck waiting for book four. This is such a good series I am determined to do them justice by listening in order.
"A Roman Century revealed"
Highly recommended as a Roman outpost is revealed & the leading characters begin to forge a lifetime bond, the readers are admitted to the Century with admiral skill and direct tutelage.
Impossible! The expert knowledge of the writer reveals Imperial Roman concepts, structure, and power with sympathy, demonstrating the breathtaking stoicism of the Legions and the brotherhoods formed in an utterly visionary way.
Macro! Grumpy, taciturn, dedicated Legionaire. From the top of his crested helmet to his sandalled feet David Thorpe brings the character to come alive with skill and sincerity.
The gruff protectiveness of the older more experienced man as he begins to form a fatherly interest in Cato, and the reciprocation of that friendship.
I'm thoroughly hooked, looking forward to listening to the other titles particularly as my maiden name is Caesar, from whom my family is descended. In Simon Scarrows hands Rome lives
Love this series of books have already read them but have decided to re-read(listen) to them loved the narration of the book and the way he brings the characters to life!!
i loved this audio book as Simon scarrow s stories about Rome are the best.!
Thoroughly enjoyed this and looking forward to listening to the rest in the series.
Cator, enjoyed how he progressed through the novel.
the battle scene
"Blood and Intrigue"
A thundering story of war, politics and betrayal. I was gripped from beginning to end.
The performance was absolutely outstanding. Utterly convincing, it brought 2000 year old characters vividly to life.
Good yarn which translated well into an audiobook. Spoiled a bit by mispronounciation of names... Notably Cato, which grated every time.
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