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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 all of 10 review with 4 star rating   See All Ratings
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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 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 August 23, 2013

    Enjoyable

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

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