It is spring 45 AD and Centurions Macro and Cato, dismissed from the Second Legion in Britain, are trapped in Rome, waiting for their involvement in the death of a fellow officer to be investigated. It is then that the imperial secretary, the devious Narcissus, makes them an offer they can't refuse: to rescue an imperial agent who has been captured by pirates operating from the Illyrian coast. With him were scrolls vital to the safety of the Emperor and the future of Rome. However, Narcissus also sends Vitellius, an old enemy of the two centurions. The three officers set out from Ravenna with the imperial fleet but the pirates are forewarned and the Romans pay a heavy price.
Outnumbered by the enemy, surrounded by rumours of treachery, and endangered by Vitellius' desire to redeem him, Centurions Macro and Cato must find the pirate base to avert a disaster that could destroy the Emperor.
©2005 Simon Scarrow (P)2012 Headline Digital
"It's Spartacus meets Master and Commander in this rip-roaring, thoroughly entertaining tale of swashbuckling adventure from one of the most exciting writers in historical fiction." (Brisbane News)
Don't get me wrong, the first 5 books in the Eagle Series were plenty exciting enough, but the change of location came just in time to stop things becoming 'samey'. And along with the change of location, Scarrow seems to have knocked things up a gear. With the others, I was happy enough to listen as time-fillers, but with The Eagle's Prophecy, I actively made time to listen, and very much looked forward to the opportunity of finding out what was going to happen next. Plenty of skirmishes, plenty of close scrapes, plenty of victory being snatched from the jaws of defeat. A good old-fashioned Boys-Own adventure.
A quick word about Russel Boulter. If I'm honest, I prefered David Thorpe. Can't really say why. Boulter is a damn good storyteller; he has all the voices, all the weapons in his narrator's armory, but I just thought Thorpe's voice better suited Scarrow's work. Possibly that's just a personal opinion.
Lastly, to be a bit nitpicky, Boulter can be inconsistent/incorrect with the pronunciation of some of the historical terms and names, but we can forgive him that.
Another good read and romes battles against pirates rang true. The change of narrator took a little while but I settled to him in the end. His narration of Verspasians voice was quite a change but I think better. On to the next book.
Trust No 1
I am a big fan of Simon Scarrow's Macro & Cato series of books, I have read all of his books and listening to the books again as a way of refreshing my memory. I found the audio version of the book to be very good.
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