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
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Critic reviews

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

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Simon on 12-07-17

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.

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5 of 7 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By david william priest on 04-03-16

excellent

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

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Acteon on 14-06-15

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.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Rollin on 18-09-13

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.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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