The Legion (Roman Legion 9) by Simon Scarrow
|The Legion by Simon Scarrow|
|Category: Historical Fiction|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: Macro and Cato chase a renegade gladiator across Egypt in this ninth adventure in Scarrow's Roman Legion series. Lots of fighting and a traitor in the camp: ingredients that will more than satisfy fans.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 384||Date: November 2010|
|External links: Author's website|
Ajax and his crew of fellow renegade gladiators have been stirring things up in Egypt. Attacking small naval bases, merchant ships and villages along the coast, they're successfully stirring some unrest. Because Ajax isn't silly. Not only is he a skilled fighter and capable commander, he's also full of guile. The band pose as Roman soldiers when raiding, so their victims are left with anti-Roman sentiment in addition to their losses.
Our heroes, Cato and Macro, have been tasked with finding Ajax and bringing him to justice, but they're not having much luck. The gladiator evades them at every turn. And they're not getting much support from the governor in Alexandria, whose forces are fully-stretched with the Nubians moving on the border. So, it's business as usual for Cato and Macro - they have a quickwitted enemy to defeat, their resources are poor, and their superiors are incompetent...
... and if that weren't enough, they have history with Ajax, and a score to settle. Add a traitor in the camp into the mix, and you really do wonder how on earth they're going win through.
It's business as usual in this latest book in Scarrow's Roman Legion series. There's plenty of fighting, lots of chasing, some gory deaths, a badder-than-bad villain and two plucky central characters who spend as much time in conflict with incompetent superiors as they do with the enemies they're supposed to be fighting. This is not to say the book is at all dull or simply a template, because it isn't. It's an enjoyable historical military novel and I could read this sort of thing all day long.
Cato's just won a promotion, so everything he does here is in the hopes of seeing it ratified so that he can return to his fiance as a worthy groom-to-be. And there's further character development as the relationship between Cato and Macro inevitably changes as the superior becomes the junior.
I do take slight issue with some of the dialogue, which strays into anachronism too often, but other than that I'm recommending The Legion to all fans of the series - and the genre generally.
My thanks to the good people at Headline for sending the book.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Legion (Roman Legion 9) by Simon Scarrow at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Legion (Roman Legion 9) by Simon Scarrow at Amazon.com.
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