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The Blood of Rome

Eagles of the Empire, Book 17
Narrated by: Jonathan Keeble
Length: 13 hrs and 22 mins
5 out of 5 stars (90 ratings)
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Summary

The gripping new Cato and Macro adventure in Simon Scarrow's best-selling Eagles of the Empire series, not to be missed by fans of Conn Iggulden and Bernard Cornwell. 

It is AD 55. As trouble brews on the eastern fringes of the Roman Empire, Tribune Cato and Centurion Macro must prepare for war.... 

The wily Parthian Empire has invaded Armenia, a frontier territory claimed by Rome, ousting King Rhadamistus. The king is ambitious and ruthless, but he is vital to Rome's strategic interests. General Corbulo must restore him to power while also readying the troops for war with the powerful Parthian Empire. Corbulo orders new arrivals Cato and Macro, and their elite cohort of Praetorian Guards, to carry out the task.

Marching into unmapped and unfamiliar terrain to restore an unpopular king is a perilous mission. Allies cannot be trusted, and foes lurk on all sides. The bravery and skill of the Roman army will be tested to the limit....

©2018 Simon Scarrow (P)2018 Headline Publishing Group Ltd

Critic reviews

"Blood, gore, political intrigue.... A historical fiction thriller that'll have you reaching for your gladius." (Daily Sport)

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Scarrow's Masterchef Moment!

All I can say here is Bravo Simon Scarrow! This is where I want Macro and Cato, out on campaign, battling the odds, solving problems and Simon taking the time to introduce me to new snippets of his excellent historical knowledge. Call me a child but the frequent descriptions of men putting their rocks into thongs before waving them around and letting go was definitely a new audiobook experience for me! Add to that the delicious moment when Macro demonstrated how lucky Greg Wallace is that our Roman centurion isn't around now to take his place as a judge on Masterchef! Bravura stuff indeed.

More seriously this series maintains its freshness because of the continuing development of the chemistry between Macro and Cato. I've asked before in reviews how much Cato could take and in this one we come close to finding out. This takes the intrepid two into darker places than even they have been before. It also delivers a lot of action and considerable intrigue as the pair try to deal with a particularly difficult companion on their travels.

Of course, it would be remiss to comment on these books without talking about the brilliance of Jonathan Keeble. He is spectacularly good, switching with ease from the gruff Macro to the refinement of royalty and from the gravitas of Roman generals to the whining obsequiousness of a bullied royal chamberlain.

What it all adds up to is a series that even after 17 books leaves me wanting more, and certainly the ending of this one promises just that! I can hear Macro now yelling: Come on Scarrow you dog, get a move on!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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The Boys are back!

Another outing for our boys Cato and Macro (Uncle Mac Mac), start in typical fashion sending the boys off to dangerous territory, but twist with a bit of psychological effect of war on people and our heroes, quite apt for the release date (Nov 2018). Very enjoyable romp into the Ancient world, Jonathan Keeble is excellent portraying the voices. One final thing this book will continue...……...

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Not the best

The book is well written as always .. Simon can tell a story as good as the best of them.

But in this episode i just found it hard to like Cato .. He has always been a favourite but in this book he does little to inspire. perhaps it was time Cato was brought down to earth .
The Characters were not very human .. The bad guys were evil and the story line a bit weak .. in short this book reminded me of bernard cornwalls sharpe series towards the end ..

worth a quick read

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another great episode

A superb story yet again. I never tire of the tales and Cato and Macro and each time Simon Scarrow puts pen to paper he comes up with the goods. As always, can't wait for the next one. All made even better by a great Audible narration by Mr Keeble.

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Cracking Good Yarn...

Jonathan Keeble is an outstanding reader - his characterisation brings an already good story to life - one man, so many voices.

Simon Scarrow just gets better. Our lovable heros go through complex personal change and harrowing danger; a truly detestable dictator whose flaws resonate strongly in today’s political context; and weak political commitment costing lives of men on the ground. This is an allegory as much as a novel.

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Another great instalment

Another twisting addition to the series leading us on a journey through to Armenia with contradicting feelings.