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The Blood of Rome

Eagles of the Empire, Book 17
Narrated by: Jonathan Keeble
Length: 13 hrs and 22 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (19 ratings)
Non-member price: $30.38
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Publisher's 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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Another great story.

As always another great story by Simon Scarrow superbly read by Jonathon Keeble. Cant wait for the next one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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pretty boring.

boring. 15 words 15 words 15 words 15 words 15 words 15 writes 15 words. needs 7 unique words. why?

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blood of ceasar

great story . good narrator . lots of action. mysteries in the final part. wonderful character buildup

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    4 out of 5 stars

A bit more of the same

Whilst enjoyable Macro's and other enlisted Roman voices became repetitive and grating
despite this Jonathan Keeble is an excellent narrator.

The story line was nothing new and Cato's character needs some work on, together with the plot. Overall, very good, though.

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What a team, Scarrow and Keeble

Another excellent historical fiction novel by the great Simon Scarrow. Loved the addition of Cassius as a companion to Cato on his great adventure. Credit to Jonathan Keeble as his narration has become just as thrilling as the story itself. What a team, can’t wait for the next novel between the two.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • peter
  • 13-02-2019

Legionary Soap Opera

I chose this book because of the reviews, wondering at the same time why I had abandoned the series earlier. The beginning of this book was excellent hence three stars instead of two - until the heroes' domestic scenes became a necessary part of the story. Then I remembered why I had given up on this author's work: it is basically a TV series written as novels with the same predictable, labored, trite, lame, cardboard cutout charactered tedium that passes as entertainment on the airwaves.

There really is no story here: the narrative is based loosely around a Roman-Parthian conflict in the reign of Nero. What plot there is has more to do with the author's catering to modern sensibilities than with anything actually related to the period, and all done with the rise and fall tempo of a soap opera.

Really disappointing.

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  • Paul Amorde
  • 07-01-2019

Great Series

Love this series, great plots with a cast that you can relate to! A must listen if you enjoy Roman warfare.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Simon
  • 22-11-2018

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!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Ron
  • 18-11-2018

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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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Watcher
  • 08-02-2019

Rushed finish

Too many obvious failures of continuity which were really iksome. A pity because I normally like this author. Very much felt as though Scarrow was on a deadline

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  • James Jarvis
  • 08-02-2019

A great read again by Mr Scarrow, <br />

A great read, looking forward to the next instalment. A very listenable story, very entertaining.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • will h
  • 25-01-2019

Darker

It seems to me that the stories in this long running series are getting darker and Tribune Cato is decidedly troubled in this latest book. All the usual tropes are included the closeness of Catoand Macro, the hard life of the Roman soldier, the subservience of the soldier to imperial glory. I enjoyed the story but the plot doesn’t quite work and runs out of steam at the end, although it is nicely set up for the next novel. The research as always is excellent, the portrayal of men at war convincing and a great sense of time and place. Scarrow links the story to the present day neatly “it never serves a country to have a stupid braggart as it’s leader”. The narration is very well done, excellent emphasis in the dialogue to push the story on, great pace in the action sequences and full marks for the distinctions between characters. In fact the high quality narration makes this audio book. The authors note is very illuminating drawing parallels between the Roman Empire and present day global politics. I think Simon should consider some essays expanding the points he makes. I for one would welcome what he has to say based on this short but very insightful note. So perhaps not the best in the series but l will certainly listen to the next!

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  • Mr Samuel A Burrows
  • 15-01-2019

Another Gripping Story

Great book. Just sad it had to finish! I do hope Macro's head is okay!

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Suenosbuddy
  • 07-01-2019

Disappointed

I’ve loved all the other books in this series and was so looking forward to listening to this but it never had the intrigue or excitement .
I have given every other book 5 stars my feelings of this book are sadly rated in my ratings

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  • Tialdpod
  • 04-01-2019

Great story

Great narration really enjoyed it. As for the story as always Cato and macro never disappoint another cracking tale in the series I've genuinely come to love.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jannie
  • 15-12-2018

Vintage Cato and Macro

One of the best in the series. Splendid story and interesting characters; well worth listening to.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Uhtredson
  • 29-11-2018

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