Under The Eagle by Simon Scarrow
Review by Jacqui Slaney.
This is the first in a series of books about the Roman army, in particular the second legion. The author himself started as a teacher and part time writer and now thanks to his success is a full time writer.
The story revolves round an experienced Centurion Macro and his brand new second in command Cato. Cato is young and new to the army, the only experience he has comes from books, which as you can imagine in fights is not a great deal of good. He has to overcome a great deal of resentment from the men and officers alike as they look on him that he has only got his rank from his imperial connections. His task is helped by the fact that the legion are being sent to Britain, and so they soon have more to worry about than an inexperienced officer.
If you are interested in the Roman army and their conquests, then you will really enjoy this book. If you have never read any other Roman book then you will really enjoy this book.
The story is well written and has humour, and you come to care about Macro and Cato and enjoy their successes.
There is plenty of action to keep your interest and the details of the army life and the world in which the characters live is well written and detailed. There are not too many technical descriptions of the weapons used, as I have come across in some Roman novels which can bog down the flow of the writing. But still the fight scenes are believable from minor fights to battles and you find yourself being caught up in the story line. There is also political intrigue as well in the story with the normal undercurrent of conspiracies which seemed to run through all Roman lives.
Some reviews that you will see on this book say that the political intrigues are hard to keep up with, to be honest I didn’t find it confusing and thought it added to the story. Others complain about Roman names being hard to remember and that they couldn’t keep up with who is who. I also didn’t find that, the characters are individual so I’m not sure why anyone would get them confused.
As you can probably tell I really liked this book, was really glad I came across it and have read the whole series up to now and enjoyed each and every one and would totally recommend this book and the series.
10 out of 10