The Blood Crows by Simon Scarrow

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The duo of Cato and Macro once again are in the middle of a mess; this time in Britannia fighting against the formidable leader, Caratacus.  Of course, that isn’t enough for the author as there is also the challenge presented by a rogue centurion and his fellow Thracian auxiliary cohort.  A robust, heart pounding tale of bravery and steadfast loyalty awaits the reader in this 12th episode in the series.   Life was hard at these frontier outposts and the author excels at bringing those hardships to life.  It is also a continued strengthening of the bond between Cato and Macro despite that Cato now outranks his friend and mentor.  4.3 stars

The Legion by Simon Scarrow

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When I first started reading this excellent series, lo those many years ago, I was hoping it would continue and as it went on I kept hoping for more.  Well this is the 10th one but the first one I have reviewed, so in a sense this is a review of ten books rolled into one.  The author has done an admirable job of keeping the story fresh as the characters of Macro and Cato keep growing and they are called upon to perform in many different scenarios and locations in the Roman world during the reign of Claudius.  Rest assured that wherever they are posted there is action and intrigue galore.

In this latest installment Cato and Macro are tasked with hunting down the fugitive gladiator Ajax who has already led one slave revolt and is now creating havoc in the Imperial Province of Egypt.  There is certainly no love lost between Ajax and out two protagonists and the revenge they pursue upon each other is a major theme in The Legion.

The author continues to develop the protagonists as they rise through the ranks and the bond between them is stronger than ever even with the reversal of positions as Cato is now a superior officer to his friend and mentor Macro.  Also included are plenty of plot twists and surprises one of which causes our heroes not a little anguish and remorse.

A solid entry in this entertaining series…looking forward to book 11.