Simon Scarrow


"... he (Scarrow) is simply a bloody good storyteller."


It is AD 25. Pirate ships strike terror in the hearts of those who brave the seas of the Roman Empire.

When Telemachus joins the crew of the merchant ship Selene, he's glad to escape the rough streets of Piraeus. He knows little of the dangers of life at sea. Even past hardship has not prepared him for the terror on board when a pirate ship appears.

The fight is bloody, but the result is never in doubt. Then the victorious pirate chief, Bulla, offers the beaten men a cruel choice: join us, or die. After surviving a brutal initiation rite, Telemachus impresses his new captain with his resourcefulness and strength, and swiftly rises through the pirate ranks. But dangerous rivals talk of mutiny and murder. While Prefect Canis, notorious commander of the imperial fleet, is relentless in his pursuit of the pirate brotherhood. Could Telemachus be the man to lead the pirates and challenge Rome?

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'Pirata' is the five novellas previously released as e-books in 2019 and now brought together in one book. Not having read these five e-books, I cannot say what extra has been brought to the book, if any. There wasn't as great a sense of place as his 'Eagle of the Empire' series. However, one thing you can't take away from Scarrow is that he is simply a bloody good storyteller. The adventures of Telemachus may at times feel a little far-fetched, but isn't that what a story is all about? Telemachus is an orphan on the streets of Piraeus AD 25. This is his tale as he boards the Selene to sea. Bulla is the most memorable character in this drama. 'Pirata' is as with Scarrow's other books, quite cinematic so you can envisage it on the big screen. This is the opener as it were, and sets up the rest of the story. By the end you can see that we are not done with reading the adventures of Telemachus by a long stretch. 'Pirata' may not be his best, but it starts a series that promises much.

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