Roman Britain, AD 44. General Plautius' hard-won defeat of Caratacus should have brought peace. But though the land is conquered, it is far from tamed. A puppet king is doing little to calm the hatred of the tribes and bring them under Roman rule.
Fighting is in Optio Horatius Figulus' blood. His Celtic ancestry is mocked by his fellow soldiers, but it gives him the toughness essential for survival. His Centurion, though, is a very different kind of soldier - one who seems to care more about paperwork than leading his men into battle.
Sent on a thankless mission deep in hostile territory, in the knowledge that to fail will bring the end of his military career, Figulus finds his courage - and that of his men - tested to the very limit. And, more than anyone, Figulus understands the Celtic mind. He knows that, even utterly crushed in battle, their warriors routed and the Druids driven from their hill forts, the tribesmen of Britannia will sooner die than surrender.
©2016 Simon Scarrow (P)2016 Headline Digital
"I really don't need this kind of competition.... It's a great read." (Bernard Cornwell)
"Blends together historical facts and characters to create a book that simply cannot be put down.... Highly recommended." (Historical Novels Review)
"A fast-moving and exceptionally well-paced historical thriller." (BBC History Magazine)
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"Sadly formulaic and very disappointing"
No because although I am a Simon Scarrow fan of many years; standing, I find this book a poor example of his writing. The dialogue is unconvincing and the plot chiefly just a series of fights, loosely linked together. The characters are weak and some of the writing could be by a novice, eg. the Romans being threatened by the "slings and arrows" of the Britons , the frequent use of "battle-hardened, ", the Romans being attacked twice after entering a British village and so on.
I don;t know. He is very experienced but I never felt he was the best choic for the earlier Scarrow books
No. It would just be more of the same - fights, hostile senior officers, Britons using guerrlla tactics which seem to surprise the Romans every time,.
I have listened to all of the Eagles series and was pleased to find another to keep me going.
All link together to entertain.
Same story , same setting but without Cato and Macro.
Pity to dump established characters which help enliven a tired theme
It was very great audio - if you read Cato & Macro then this for you.
"Entertaining and enjoyable"
A great yarn, with many twists and turns as it plays out. Perhaps predictable in the accepted genre, but we buy it to enjoy, and this is enjoyable in the extreme. The character of Figulus does develop during the story highlighting the tensions of an optio being directed by situations and forces outside of himself to a more commanding role.
Apart from the story itself, the narrator, Jonathan Keeble, delivers yet another amazing performance, moving the characters forward in his inimitable style. Battle descriptions seem to be his forte and he relishes the action, blood and gore of this bygone age. Does one detect a still remaining shadow from Uhtred of Bebbanburg?
A great production, highly recommended.
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