Customer Reviews for

Under the Eagle: A Tale of Military Adventure and Reckless Heroism with the Roman Legions

Average Rating 4.5
( 33 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 34 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted February 5, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Fun Adventure with Roman Military

    Simon Scarrow's "Under the Eagle" is the first in a terrific series of novels on the Roman Military. The series follows two soldiers - Macro and Cato - fighting under Vespasian in the mid-first Century AD.

    "Under the Eagle's" action is terrific and Scarrow has done a very good job of making each battle sequence unique. It's perhaps the best in Scarrow's series, but I've found the second, "The Eagle's Conquest", equally as enjoyable.

    The core components of the story consist of the introduction of the characters, their initial bonding during an action-packed fight in Europe, and then, as the war front moves to Britain, a series of exciting battles orbiting the search and discovery of war loot buried in Britain by Julius Caesar about a century earlier.

    "Under the Eagle" introduces our two main characters. Macro is the older battle-hardened Centurion. He fights hard and drinks harder. Cato is a freed slave who grew up in the palaces on the Palatine Hill in Rome. He's young, lanky, bookish and completely unfamiliar with a military lifestyle. Coming from different worlds, Macro and Cato clash. And the story launches it most persistent theme by defining the growth of each character individually and the growth of their relationship.

    It's a "buddy" book, with action, adventure, and fun interplay between characters set in the dramatic locations of a peaking Roman Empire.

    The characters are a bit thin and superficial, but are drawn from familiar military examples. In Scarrow's world, while the weapons, strategies, tactics and politics are very Roman, the character-types are pretty timeless. You could conceivably modify the language slightly and picture Macro and Cato in WWII, Vietnam, or even on an alien world.

    If you're looking for military action, then this book is for you. It's a fast and engaging read. It's not the deepest of military dramas, so if you're looking for something more substantial, I'd recommend Wallace Breem's "Eagle in the Snow", or Robert Graves' "I, Claudius".

    Consider "Eagle" a solid snack, compared to the full meal you'd get with Breem or Graves. Another analogy would place "Eagle" as a summer blockbuster, but you shouldn't expect it to win many Oscars.

    All in all...I highly recommend this book and series.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 3, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    GLIMPSES OF ROMAN LIFE

    I just discovered Simon Scarrow. This book is noteworthy for the various glimpses it provides of Roman society and culture revolving about the Roman army. The reader gains insight into the life of a legionnaire, the organization, training and command structure of the Roman army, and the politics involved in attaining high military rank. We also glimpse the stratum of Roman society, the intrigue between those that want to restore the Roman republic and those that want the peaceful order supposedly provided by an emperor, and the critical importance of the armies favor and the glory of military victory to Emperor Claudia’s ability to survive. However, the book does not get bogged down in Roman politics, but moves along at a rapid pace. Characterization is also good for the most part, especially of the grizzled veteran centurion Marco. However, the naïve bungling of Marco’s second in command arrived directly from the emperor’s palace, Cato, makes the latter appear a bit one dimensional and shallow. I look forward to further development of the character of Cato in the next book of this series.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 25, 2011

    Great.....but a little slow paced

    Lots a good twist and turns but characters are a little flat and one deminsional. Slow is slow moving at times. Overall a good read if you can stick with it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 29, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    anarchy in the u.k.

    I always enjoy reading about the romans, fiction or nonfiction. This is a can't miss. Great characters and story and action. Also very fine attention to detail. Really gets you into the makeup of the legion. Very much looking forward to the rest of the series!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 26, 2008

    The Language Used

    I understand that Mr. Scarrow is very British. I have studied ancient Rome for many years. I am very amused at Mr. Scarrow's use of English terminology, i.e.Bullocks. But because of these fantastic stories I enjoy his "misplaced" usage. As I said before, I would like to think of myself as a bit knowledgeable of ancient Rome. I just know that Boudica will show up later in this great series. Thank you Mr. Scarrow, and please continue to be a rival to Mr. Cromwell.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2005

    Be Entertained and Educated

    All of Simon Scarrow's books have been great. I sit on the edge of my chair waiting for his next book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2005

    EXCELLENT!!

    Thoroughly entertaining story line as well as informative as to battle strategy and detailed descriptions of the everyday life of the ancient Roman soldier.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2002

    Simply Excellent

    This is one of the best historical novels published in recent years. If you are a fan of Sharpe or Hornblower.........don't miss this novel. Here's hoping there's a sequel and a complete series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2001

    Excellent!!!

    This is a really good book, both the plot and the writing. I couldn¿t put it down once I read the first page, every paragraph is filled with details of history that flashed through my mind like a movie. If you liked Gladiator, you will love this book. Can't wait for the sequel (I hope there is a sequel...)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2014

    Loved it

    Great book.

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  • Posted August 23, 2013

    Enjoyable

    I liked it and I'll be reading more in this series.

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 34 Customer Reviews
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