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.