Under the Eagle Paperback – Apr 5 2001
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'Everyone has been raving about the film GLADIATOR, but Cato's story is its equal in bloody cut and thrust and has the bonus of conspiracy and intrigue to give it extra flavour' -- Northern Echo
About the Author
Simon Scarrow is a former teacher who now devotes himself to writing full time. He lives outside Norwich with his family.
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Top Customer Reviews
"Under the Eagle" is an attempt to give the reader a "boots on the ground" view of the Roman army in the 1st Century AD by following the lives and adventures of two junior officers in the 2nd Legion- a veteran, battle-hardened centurion, Macro, and a fresh-faced, kid recruit, Cato, who because of connections is promoted to Macro's optio or second-in-command. It's a neat premise- what was it like to live and fight in a Roman Legion. However, Scarrow was only partly successful in creating this premise into a compelling work of historical fiction.
Scarrow obviously did some heavy historical research to capture the locations and political atmosphere of the era. However, one also gets the idea that Scarrow has watched too many war movies and unfortunately fell back on those memories to fill his novel with cliches and anachronistic dialogue. The recruit training parts are something out of "Full Metal Jacket" and the relationship between Macro/Cato is similar to the one between John Wayne and John Agar had in "The Sands of Iwo Jima"- a soft, rich kid grows up and becomes a leader under the tutelage of a battle-hardened vet.Read more ›
If you are looking for a fast read with good action when it happens combined with an overlay of mystery and political intrigue, you can enjoy this book. If you are looking for the depth of a "Tides of War," you won't find it here.
This is gripping stuff - 200 pages just flashed by in a welter of action - another cup of tea, then back into the thick of it, the latter part spiced with a touch of amour, a little subtle humour and a complex web of intrigue ... I couldn't put this down.
By using modern vernacular Mr.Scarrow avoids the trap of having the characters speak in a pseudo olde-worlde style - if not done properly it descends into farce ... at first it seems out of place, then is forgotten as the pace of the plot consumes everything else.
As might be expected from a History major, the tale is based on actual events leading to the invasion of Britain. Cato and Macro seem an ill-suited pair initially, but now seem destined for the same sort of partnership as Aubrey/Maturin - the illiterate man of action teamed with the young intellectual, who is not afraid of action either.
I finished this in 2 sittings - there HAS to be a sequel - a damned fine read.*****.
If there is a weakness in this wonderful book, it is that it has set up a level of expectation for the subsequent novels that I fear will not be justified. I've ordered the sequel direct from amazon.co.uk and am looking forward to reading it with a little bit of trepidation as a result....
Most recent customer reviews
If you like military fiction in any age, and prefer that it moves quickly, has bloody action and a little conspiracy and intrigue on the side, then Simon Scarrow writes for you. Read morePublished on Oct. 13 2011 by Rodge
This a well researched book with a lot off action through out the book. It involves 2 main characters, 1 is centurian who has been in the army for a while and the other is young... Read morePublished on March 24 2011 by Ben Nicholson
Lets just say the first few pages hooked me, and I wound up buying ALL of the sequels within the week. Best historical fiction writer that I have read since Steven Pressfield!Published on Oct. 15 2010 by Sharkman
A great first read. The characters leap off the page and the action makes you see the blood, sweat and triumph of Rome's legions. Read morePublished on Feb. 25 2009 by C. Lam
Enjoyed it thoroughly. Very interesting characters and a good story kept me wanting to read right through to the end.Published on July 24 2007 by James
Bought this to read on vacation. Devoured it in two days and am greatly looking forward to reading more by this author. Read morePublished on April 22 2002 by sam corrison