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The Gladiator

Eagles of the Empire, Book 9
Narrated by: Jonathan Keeble
Series: Eagles of the Empire, Book 9
Length: 13 hrs and 31 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (61 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The Gladiator is the compelling ninth novel in Simon Scarrow's best-selling Eagles of the Empire series. A must read for fans of Bernard Cornwell.

While centurions Macro and Cato are returning to Rome from a harrowing campaign against the Parthians, their transport ship is almost capsized by a tidal wave. They barely make it to the port of Matala in Crete where they are stunned to find a devastated town. An earthquake has struck the island, destroying its cities and killing thousands. In the chaotic aftermath, large bands of the island's slaves begin to revolt and local bandits, taking advantage of the slave rebellion, urge the Cretans to overthrow the Roman administration. With many of the island's troops either killed or wounded during the earthquake, the governor of the province calls on Macro and Cato for help. Can they move swiftly enough to counter the rebellion before it sweeps the Romans from the island?

©2009 Simon Scarrow (P)2012 Headline Digital

Critic Reviews

"I don't need this kind of compeition." (Bernard Cornwall)

What listeners say about The Gladiator

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting version of a little known part of Crete’s history

Very interesting interpretation of this little know part of Crete’s history. Not Simon Scarrow’s best work, but it keeps the story flowing.

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Cato to the rescue

This book is great. I'm glad some of Macro & Cato's past foes are coming back into the story.
No spoilers.
Give it a listen.

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Another action packed adventure

Still loving this series and especially following Cato's character. His love interest, the conflicts that generates with duty and how it makes him vulnerable. Plenty of action, highs and lows. Well written and well narrated.

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Enjoyable

Struggled to finish in the end, but a great story none the less. Looking forward to the next one

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Excellence Reed

in the best tradition of the series. I found this one of the more enjoyable on the books.. an excellent read.

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  • Acteon
  • 14-06-2015

Good one, better than expected

Would you consider the audio edition of The Gladiator to be better than the print version?

Yes

What did you like best about this story?

The evocation of how hard and precarious life was, especially of course for those who were born slaves or ended up as slaves. It also brought me closer to the sense of what life must have felt like.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes

Any additional comments?

I enjoyed the book more than certain negative reviews had led me to expect. I don't entirely disagree with their objections (the romance, a certain novelistic crudeness -- I don't mean crude language! -- implausible elements such as the senator sending his daughter away for her safety when it seems at least as dangerous to expose her to the huge numbers of marauding slaves), but on the whole they did not bother me too much, perhaps because I was not looking for literary perfection.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Rollin
  • 18-09-2013

Exciting adventure

Would you listen to The Gladiator again? Why?

Yes, because I love Scarrow's series on centurions. This one is especially interesting because of the complexities of the local plot -- a slave revolt on Crete -- intertwined with the political implications for the Roman Empire.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Yes. There are very interesting twists and unexpected turns, as when Julia is captured by the rebel gladiator and is later freed by Cato.

Which scene was your favorite?

The final attack by sea and land on the rebels' encampment.

Any additional comments?

This is one of Scarrow's better efforts.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 14-06-2018

Great book - as all of the Eagle series

Like how Scarrow describes the daily life of the Roman period, besides the story itself

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  • Robert Evans
  • 26-05-2017

This is one you can't put down

BUT...
The following novel in the series, "Legion", is not available, at least in the US. A huge disappointment.

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  • james
  • 11-12-2016

Another great story

Exciting finish! Always a fun read. Macro and Cato have become like family to me now.

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  • Martin
  • 30-03-2014

excellent But !

Would you listen to The Gladiator again? Why?

probably, its a good book.

Any additional comments?

A great book as are all the authors others. However in hind site to be PC should'nt I be rooting for the slaves to win ?

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  • G.Monie
  • 28-06-2013

The Macro & Cato Show Continues

If u like the Macro & Cato books which if u are considering getting the 9th of the series I assume u somewhat know what they are about, this book is above average. They have the luck of Ulysses & end up on Crete after a huge earthquake where there is a slave uprising... thats what happens to pent up aggression pushed upon a certain caste when they are finally allowed to strike back at they're 'captors'. I like the gladiator "fighting honor" & it really shows how mankind can do the exact opposite of banding together & overcoming but when slavery still exists I guess there's not much brotherly love around lol.

It is another worthy addition to the duo's climb within the Roman hierarchy & entertaining mix of the 2 opposite personalities, but with an added almost 'in-law' uncomfortability while traveling with ur loved one, a situation that can lead not only to the death of the ones u love to not measuring up to a fathers expectations...

1 person found this helpful

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  • Simon
  • 12-07-2017

I'm not Spartacus!

Anyone who’s got this far in a series is most likely a devoted fan! And why not? Macro and Cato are thoroughly engaging characters and their developing story has never lacked action or momentum. This is another great addition to the series which also adds a little depth. Our heroes are cast into the midst of a disaster on the Roman province of Crete and a slave revolt led by a charismatic gladiator (no not that one!) proves one of their greatest tests yet. It’s intriguing that when this plotline has been told in the past we’ve sided with that gladiator and Scarrow isn’t scared to allow that the slaves had a point. The Roman Empire that Macro and Cato represent was a repressive one and it’s hard not to sympathise with their enemies on this occasion.

The book also sees a quite dramatic turning point in the relationships both between the two men and an ongoing love interest. As well as the action there are some very dark scenes and Macro in particular is put through possibly the toughest tests of his character to date. In fact I would say that as the book enters its final phase we are treated to some of the most powerful scenes I’ve encountered from Simon Scarrow.

The narration is just as good as ever from Mr Keeble so it’s another very fine package in a thoroughly enjoyable series.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Lavery Photography
  • 18-12-2015

great story that sucks you into another world

it sucks you into a world of combat, politics and friendship. Refusing to let you go until you know the fate of each character. It let's you like every character and begrudgingly you respect the bad guys.
I will be revisiting this author again.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Christine
  • 08-11-2015

So exciting!

This is my favourite so far! Full of action and excitement, with a totally unpredictable plot. And just secretly, I have a riduculous crush on Macro - a totally fictitious character, lol.

1 person found this helpful

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  • A R HAIG
  • 05-11-2015

A brilliant listen!

A huge fan of the series and this does nit disappoint, a great listen. loved the plot and about the purchase the next installment!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Dustin
  • 10-03-2014

Another great adventure!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. Well paced with a great story and interesting characters. If you enjoy action, adventure and mystery all rolled into one then this book will do well by you.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Macro. He facilitates smiles and chuckles throughout.

What does Jonathan Keeble bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

A vivid and dramatic recounting which is well paced.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Good clean fun.

1 person found this helpful

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  • david william priest
  • 04-03-2016

excellent

loved it will carry on reading and listening as long as Simon keeps writing excellent

2 people found this helpful

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  • Terry Vanner
  • 17-09-2020

Excellent Plot, but Too Much Romance!

For me I find the romantic storyline irritating and stretching the imagination to believe that a Senator would consent to his daughter’s relationship with a soldier.

I thought the narration not up to the usual standard and found it difficult to differentiate between the main characters and his impression of Julia awful.

But for all that, this is another excellent book in this series and I am looking forward to the next one.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-05-2020

Relentlessly good

As always Scarrow has written a thrilling book. I am too invested in Macro and Cato to stop!

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  • C Chidwick
  • 20-04-2020

excellent

loved it one of the best in the series
well researched and written will continue

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 22-01-2020

Best yet?

This is perhaps the best story in the series so far, i have not been disappointed in any of the books thus far but this one is definitely one of the best.