The book “Eagles of the Empire. Traitors of Rome” by Simon Scorrow is the 18th volume of the famous series, telling the story of friends: centurion Macro and tribune Cato. This time they are involved in a diplomatic operation aimed at going to the court of King Vologazes and establishing an agreement with the Parthians. The book was published by the publishing house Publicat.
I think that it is not necessary to introduce the main characters of the novel too much because their fate is very well-known to many enthusiasts of the series. In the novel, we will also learn about the outstanding commander Corbulo, who commands the Roman army in the east and prepares the army for a possible expedition to the Parthians; and Apollonius, a secret agent of Corbulo who takes part in Cato’s mission to the Parthian king. There will also be such characters as: the faithful dog Cassius; son of Cato – Lucius; or beloved Macro – Petronnel and people associated with the Parthian court.
The action of the novel takes place in 56 CE, when Emperor Nero is in power in Rome, and Corbulo, uncertain of the political situation, tries to ensure the most favorable situation on the eastern borders of the Empire. To this end, he decides to send a trusted and proven officer – Cato – to King Vologases himself to ensure temporary peace on the limes. As it turns out, however, the “easy” task is intertwined with numerous intrigues and the fight and death of many people. In the meantime, Macro remains in the camp of the praetorian troops and works to improve discipline among the soldiers. On top of everything, the prevailing famine leads to a rebellion of the troops.
For the reader’s convenience, at the beginning of the book, there is a list of characters that appear in the 18th volume of the novel. In addition, a map of the Roman-Parthian borderland has been included, which makes it easier to follow Cato’s route to the capital of the Parthians. At the end of the book, we get an interview with the author of the novel, in which he responds to selected questions. It seems to be a form of an afterword in which the author presents his thoughts and information about the discussed places and characters.
To sum up, volume 18 did not disappoint and the author presents the further fate of our heroes in a very interesting way. There are plenty of fight scenes, chases and plot twists. In addition, as always, we can count on a solid dose of historical knowledge about Rome and Parthia.