Praetorian Paperback – Jan 10 2012
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About the Author
Simon Scarrow is a former teacher who now devotes himself to writing full time. He lives outside Norwich with his family.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The book followed up on the adventure of our heroes, Cato and Marco but now they are in Rome and forced to do some undercover work for the Imperial Secretary Narcissus by having them joined up with the Praetorian Guards. From there, they under go on more dangers as they wallowed through the cesspool of Roman politics to survived and successfully finished their mission. While in Rome, we get some ideas of how our two heroes regards Rome, both as a symbol and as a metaphor for the world around them.
The book read very well and its a fast paced book but it is not as exciting as his earlier works. And yes, it is far weaker then the previous three books. Macro in this book, had a hard time adjusting to his "secret agent" status and I thought the author, like Marco, was bit out of his elements as well. The plot of the book is simplified and there is no mystery who is who since the main characters outside of Cato and Marco are pretty clearly lined up. There are side plots to the main plot but it is all neatly and predictably tied in. Lack of sophistication in the plot would disappoint many who may like that genre and let face it, Marco is right, they are not really suited for all these sneaking around bit. Sooner they are out of Rome and back under the Eagles, better.
I think Simon Scarrow tried to do something different for this 11th book of the series and while it is not a complete failure, it really isn't a complete success. One thing that all readers will not find in this book are the fast paced, hard hitting, fighting under pressure elements of the previous three books that really put Marco and Cato on the death-ride of thrill-seekers. Luckily, there are more Cato and Marco adventures coming up after this so it will be nice to get them under a familiar setting. Probably be good for the author as well. And I really hope that the author will fix it so poor Cato can get on with it with poor Julia!!
The actual rating of this is 3.5 balloons but I rounded it up. Like I wrote before, its not a bad book but it not really a good book for Cato and Marco. It does seem to introduced Nero as the future character in this series beginning of the end for poor ol'Narcissus which I am sure no reader of the series will shed no tears of his passing if it happen in the next couple of books. It would help if you have read the previous books in this series so you got a clean understanding of our two heroes at hand. But you haven't, this book probably can be read without reading the earlier books although you will run into past references.