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Centurion (Eagle) Paperback – August 7, 2008

34 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Roman legionnaires Marco and Cato continue their martial adventures in the eighth installment of Scarrow’s splendid Eagle series. When another remote corner of the vast Roman empire is threatened, the Second Illyrian Cohort is sent to Palmyra, an oasis city in the middle of the Syrian desert, to quell the double threats of rebellion and invasion. As the cohort prepares to ward off the Parthians long enough to buy sufficient time for reinforcements to arrive on the scene, the two indomitable comrades must vie with both overt and insidious enemies. Military and political intrigue abounds as combat positions are staked out, and the historical and literary stage is authentically set for a series of sizzling battle scenes. --Margaret Flanagan --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


'Simon Scarrow has developed a strong following... a former ancient history lecturer who knows his stuff, and brings the ancient world back to life with verve and plenty of action.' Brisbane News

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Product Details

  • Series: Eagle (Book 43)
  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Headline Book Publishing (August 7, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0755348362
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755348367
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.3 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,036,395 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By J. Chippindale on December 27, 2007
Format: Paperback
Simon Scarrow is a teacher at a Sixth Form College. He has run a Roman History programme that takes parties of students to a number of sites and museums across Britain and I assume that while doing this he gleans lots of useful information for his books on the Roman Centurions Macro and Cato.

This is the eighth book in a series started seven years ago and Cato the young boy who left the confines of the Palace in Rome and entered the army as an Optio (second in command to a Centurion) has now matured into a man, moulded in the image of his friend and mentor Macro. Both men are battle hardened Centurions, though Macro has a dozen years on Cato. The have fought together in Britain and other parts of the Roman Empire.

Macro and Cato become embroiled in the fight to stabilise what is to all intents and purposes a neutral
Kingdom, Palmyra. As usual wherever the pair go trouble follows close behind and it is not long before the pair of them are engaged in trying to stop the forces of one of Rome's long standing enemies, Parthia, who having heard of Rome's presence in Palmyra decide it will be in their own best interest if they also send a force into the kingdom.

Macro and Cato are old friends to the readers of Simon Scarrow's books and their adventures are interesting and exciting, particularly for those interested in all things Roman and in particular the workings and make-up of the Roman Legions.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By H. S. Wedekind VINE VOICE on May 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This, the 8th novel in the series, begins with the destruction of a Roman cohort by the Parthians, sworn enemies of Rome and a threat to its eastern province Syria. Centurions Macro and Cato are sent by the scheming "real power behind the throne of Emperor Claudius" Narcissus to spy on one of Rome's more ambitious generals, Cassius Longinus, Governor of Syria.

The other reviewers here have written enough about this novel to give anyone curious about it an idea of its plot. I won't add to what has already been said. Suffice it to say, this is another good read about the adventures, battles, and friendship of Roman soldiers Macro and Cato. I admit that I gave this book in the series only 4 stars instead of 5 because I think it wasn't as exciting or as full of the riveting " will they be saved in the nick of time" desperation that was so well-written by Simon Scarrow in the other books...but that's just my opinion. If you are looking for a fast paced book to take along with you to the beach on a summer's day, you can't go wrong with this. I recommend it highly. Newcomers to the "Eagle" series should first read UNDER THE EAGLE...the book that started it all. Enjoy!
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20 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Alex Tang on December 22, 2007
Format: Paperback
{review contains spoilers}

Fresh after their involvement with the Jews in the previous book, Roman soldiers Macro and Cato were involved in a brand new military adventure, this time in the kingdom of Palmyra, a desert state between Roman occupied Syria and the Parthian empire. The Roman Emperor wanted Palmyra as a buffer between them and the Parthians. Thus when a civil war erupted in Palmyra with the king besieged in his oasis fortress, the Roman governor of Syria were obligated to send soldiers to help. An advance detachment of the Tenth Legion led by Macro, and auxiliaries Second Illyrian cohort led by Cato, who was acting Prefect, were despatched to help the besieged king while the main army were to follow later.

In true, Scallow style, the story is fast moving with enough details about Roman military life to be interesting. The heavily armoured legionnaires and the lighter armoured auxiliaries were involved with fast marches, being besieged in a fortress and desert warfare against the Parthians. It is interesting to note that the Roman's technique of phalanx was not so effective against the Parthians who rode horses and were expert archers. The slower moving Romans were like sitting ducks. Apparently this unequal warfare led to the historical military loss of armies of General Crassus and later of Mark Anthony when they fought against the Parthians, many years before the time of this novel. The Roman legions have not learnt from their defeat.

In terms of character development, Cato fell in love with the ambassador's daughter and was pledged to marry when they return to Rome. Another good book for easy reading on military warfare and fighting men.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Frank C. Okusako on April 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was a thoroughly enjoyable novel that was hard to put down. After reading the whole series, I kind of know what's going to happen. For one thing, the leadership is always lousy, and the heroes have to survive in spite of it all. But you know what? I like the stories anyway because the main characters are so interesting and lovable. I wish the stories were twice as long.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By lordhoot on July 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Centurion is the eighth book of the Cato/Marco series about two centurions serving in the Roman Army during the time of Emperor Claudius. Anyone who have read any book of this series will immediately get into this book. (If you haven't read any book of this series, read Under the Eagle, the first of the series and work your way up to this book.) Once more, our two heroes faced enemies on both fronts, Roman side as well as from the Parthian Empire who was dueling Rome for control of the Middle East as we know it today. Caught in the middle is the buffer trading Kingdom of Palmyra where civil war reigned between elements friendly to Rome and those of the Parthian Empire. Once more our heroes were asked to resolve this nasty situation.

I have often regarded Simon Scarrow as "Bernard Cornwall light" type of author since many of his books are fast moving, superficial and lightweight. Once you read one Scarrow book, rest follow into the familiar pattern. Scarrow writes good enough but never has the substance that make Cornwall books superior. However, this book proves to be one of Scarrow's better efforts. While the book still moves pretty fast, there were more character development written in, a better and interesting story as well as a romance angle for Cato. For these reasons, the book proves to be a page burner and anyone who are into this series will find this book bit hard to put down.

Book come highly recommended for any one who is into this series and seeking lightweight reading material. Its an eighth book in this series so author will presumed that you know Cato and Marco as well as he does.
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