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The Eagle and the Wolves [Paperback]

Simon Scarrow
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

July 5 2004 Eagle (Book 23)
It's 44 AD, and Vespasian and the Second Legion are forging ahead in their campaign to seize the south-west of Britain. Macro and newly appointed centurion Cato are ordered to provide Verica, ruler of the Atrebatans, with an army. They must train his tribal levies into a force that can protect him and take on the increasingly ambitious raids that the enemy is launching. But despite the Atrebatans' official allegiance to Rome, open revolt is brewing, for many want to resist the Roman invaders. Macro and Cato must win the loyalty of the disgruntled levies - but can they succeed whilst surviving a deadly plot to destroy both them? Macro and Cato face the greatest test of their army careers as only they stand between the destiny of Rome and bloody defeat...

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Review

'Simon Scarrow's stories of Roman military action in Britain have gathered quite a fan club and it's not hard to see why... Scarrow is highly skilled at describing violent action... for those who like their historical fiction to include plenty of bloody thrills and spills, Scarrow's latest book will prove irresistible' -- Living History

About the Author

Simon Scarrow worked as a teacher before becoming a full-time writer.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another sterling installment June 22 2004
By ilmk
Format:Hardcover
Scarrow's fourth adventure of our two heroes, Macro and Cato, has the two stepping out of the recovery ward in Calleva (Cato grumbling about his terrible rib injury that might end his career - though, suspiciously all pain seems to be forgotten by page hundred or so, making Scarrow's consistency questionable) and being ordered by Vespasian to raise two auxiliary cohorts to defend the Atrebatan capital. The situation is extremely tricky, widespread food shortages, constant raids by the Durotriges, and Plautius chasing of Caratacus' army deep into the territory of the Silures.
With the aging client-king Verica trying to secure his people the bext possible vantage as subjects of the Roman whilst ensuring annexation does not occur and the hotheaded idealistic younger celtic men (spearheaded by Tincommius) fomenting discord, we're on a rollercoaster of a ride.
Both the newly centurionated Cato and Macro take charge, drilling and educating the Britons in the true mettle of the Roman II Augusta and having several necessary arguments along the way until they eventually proudly blood them in a skirmish against the Durotriges who are attacking one of the supply columns. A sense of unity is created with the creation of the Eagles and the Wolves but discord threatens when first the standard bearer, Bedriacus, is murdered, then Artax is killed by Cato apparently attempting to take Verica's life.
Eventually Plautius realises he's been chasing shadows and Caratcus' army has travelled south of the Tamesis to aid the Durotrigans who have now attacked Calleva with the help of several of the Atrebatans.
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  38 reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another sterling installment June 22 2004
By ilmk - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Scarrow's fourth adventure of our two heroes, Macro and Cato, has the two stepping out of the recovery ward in Calleva (Cato grumbling about his terrible rib injury that might end his career - though, suspiciously all pain seems to be forgotten by page hundred or so, making Scarrow's consistency questionable) and being ordered by Vespasian to raise two auxiliary cohorts to defend the Atrebatan capital. The situation is extremely tricky, widespread food shortages, constant raids by the Durotriges, and Plautius chasing of Caratacus' army deep into the territory of the Silures.
With the aging client-king Verica trying to secure his people the bext possible vantage as subjects of the Roman whilst ensuring annexation does not occur and the hotheaded idealistic younger celtic men (spearheaded by Tincommius) fomenting discord, we're on a rollercoaster of a ride.
Both the newly centurionated Cato and Macro take charge, drilling and educating the Britons in the true mettle of the Roman II Augusta and having several necessary arguments along the way until they eventually proudly blood them in a skirmish against the Durotriges who are attacking one of the supply columns. A sense of unity is created with the creation of the Eagles and the Wolves but discord threatens when first the standard bearer, Bedriacus, is murdered, then Artax is killed by Cato apparently attempting to take Verica's life.
Eventually Plautius realises he's been chasing shadows and Caratcus' army has travelled south of the Tamesis to aid the Durotrigans who have now attacked Calleva with the help of several of the Atrebatans. What follows is a defense of heroic proportions as both centurions, a handful of legionaries and the auxiliaries defend the compound, royal enclosure and Verica's life before first Vespasian with a couple of cohorts, then Plautius arrive. Mixed in is a scheming tribune Quntilius (a poor replacement for the effervescent Vitellius) who wants to be the first procurator of the client kingdom of the Atrebates (he does achieve his aim but his poor management and cowardice are noted).
The latest installment adds more weight to Scarrow's resume, and the adventures of Cato and Macro are a refreshing breeze through the Roman historical genre. It is not designed for the historical purist and to pick holes in for inaccuracy of place, time and context misses the point of these novels. Long may they continue.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable though light read July 21 2007
By Konrad Baumeister - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Simon Scarrow's The Eagle & The Wolves is an enjoyable light read, worth reading to the end but not worth rereading. It is what it is.

Scarrow's series of Roman military history has been well received, as more people develop an interest in the time period. It helps in the case of this book that Scarrow, a British teacher and writer, bases the action in Britain during the time of Caractacus' uprising, meaning English readers in particular may be more drawn to the topic. Besides the historical character of Caractacus, here spelled alternatively `Caratacus', who did in fact lead a guerrilla campaign against the Romans after the Claudian conquest of 43 AD, there is also Vespasian, who will go on to become Emperor himself (the final victor during the civil wars in the Year of the Four Emperors, 69 AD. The main protagonists are Cato and Macro, who are tasked with training a small allied local tribe, and have to wend their way through tribal politics, successions, murder, guerrilla attack, and the like.

Scarrow is best in describing camp and village life on the micro scale, topics not often brought up in books on the time. I liked the training regimen, learning to handle the weaponry, and teaching some typical legionary tactics. The author displays his depth of knowledge for his subject without writing condescendingly, and I thought this was the best of the work. Also nicely done is the sense of the action taking place in a very dangerous and uncertain part of the world, far from Rome, with inadequate communications and constant danger outside the walls. Less well done were the internal politics of the village, the conclusion of which seemed pretty predictable and not especially deep or complicated. The book is not strong on plotting. It's okay, it's just not Scarrow's strong suit. Finally, what to me was least interesting was the dialogue. Writing good dialogue can be very difficult; when one is replicating dialogue from almost 2000 years ago one has to decide just how modern or contemporary to write. Scarrow's choice has been to write as though his characters were speaking to one another in British English, especially slang, about 15 minutes ago. The story line is clear, he gets his point across, but for this reader anyhow it detracted from the period feel he is trying to get from the rest of his narrative. "Bloody" this, and "f-ing" that; no doubt the Roman legionaries had their phrases to describe precisely this kind of thought. But it just seems a little bumpy.

The book makes for enjoyable reading. When it was done I was ready to move on to something a little deeper.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it Now! Dec 8 2004
By J. Chippindale - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The Roman Legions are now well entrenched in Britain, but are still finding dogged resistance from the fearsome natives. Macro and Cato find themselves standing between victory and bloody defeat.

Cato is newly appointed to the rank of Centurion and it falls to him and Macro to provide an army of untrained recruits for the aged ruler Verica.

With an army of raw recruits can they halt the progress of a cunning opponent and plotters who are eager not only to destroy Macro and Cato but the whole of the Roman army.

Simon Scarrow has a wonderful feel for the period he writes about and his characters endear themselves to you the reader. These books are well researched and for anyone interested in this period of Britain's history are a great read. Fact mixed with fiction in the best possible way.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life in Roman occupied Britain Aug. 14 2005
By M. B. Hostetter - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Well researched view of Roman army life and conditions in first century Britain. The characters are interesting and the plot moves quickly. I would recommend it to students of Roman history and to those who just like a good story.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book but Kindle Format Problems Oct. 25 2012
By Bob of CNY - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
This is a 5 star book and great continuing of the Eagle series. You should not buy this as a Kindle book though. At location 4769 and till the end of the book the font changes in size on the pages from very tiny to large and at times this font size change appears all on the same page mixed.

So do yourself a favor and buy the book as a paperback and avoid the Kindle edition. This is the second time I have seen this happen for the books in this series for the Kindle stuff. It is a shame that Amazon does not have a better quality control/review of this stuff and leaves it up to a reader to find. They should actually hire or provide Kindle books for free to a volunteer QA staff to check this stuff out, but that would be too simple.
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