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Simon Scarrow's brilliant adventure novels about the Roman army appear with stunning new coversIt is 42 AD and uintus Licinius Cato has just arrived in Germany as a new recruit to the Second Legion the toughest in the Roman army If adjusting to the rigours of military life isn’t difficult enough for the bookish young man he also has to contend with the disgust of his colleagues when because of his imperial connections he is appointed a rank above them As second in command to Macro the fearless battle scarred centurion who leads them Cato will have to prove than most in the adventures that lie ahead Then the men discover that the army’s next campaign will take them to a land of unparalleled barbarity Britain After the long march west Cato and Macro undertake a special mission that will thrust them headlong into a conspiracy that threatens to topple the Emperor himself

10 thoughts on “Under the Eagle

  1. says:

    I bought the first three parts of Scarrow's series on my trip to Scotland excited to finally stock up my book shelves and I cannot tell you how disappointed and infuriated I am with the books Not worth any amount of money even the six pounds I spent on them in a second hand bookshopAfter a hundred and fifty pages of the first book I gave up I usually try to give a book a chance but if Under The Eagle gets better at a latter point I'll never find out My brain hurt every time a Roman officer addressed his inferior as a 'son' or a 'lad' the British slang in the dialogue was ridiculous The whole army description felt as if the writer watched too many US military movies with psychopathic superiors The characters are unbelievable weakly portrayed and the dialogue is abnormally horrible His battle descriptions made me feel as if Macro pressed a 'Pause' button every time he started speaking a moment before being faced with a horde of crazy dully portrayed Germans The word 'fucking' and 'shit' was used in sentences that would be much better off without it too many times to count If Scarrow thinks that the way to portray a bastardly character is to make it into a violent bag unable of speaking anything beyond curses and shouts then he's got a lot to learn about human behaviour When the author referred to the seventeen years old Cato as a 'wet kid young for a soldier' I realized that Scarrow had no idea how uickly people had to grow up two thousand years ago when 16 was the starting age for most of the soldiers and women gave birth even earlierThe whole time which is to say the seven times I came back to this book to try again I felt as if I was on a Hollywood film set for a horribly made low budget Roman movie and the actors kept slipping out of their roles Tasteless boring unbelievable I've been dreaming of posting this comment the whole week and I cannot believe the good grade this series has received Please don't buy this book

  2. says:

    Simon Scarrow's Pulp Fiction esue Roman adventure is a win for me and nil for the bores Simon Scarrow use to be on the Goodreads author but apparently after some embarrassing comments by a well known member he removed his account After confirming this with the author it rather made me think really some people need to step back from the keyboard An opinion is one thing stupid is something elseThe year is 42AD what a boring opening Never start off with dates it'll kill interest faster than you can speakLet's talk about Under The Eagle by Simon Scarrow It's good in a sort of balls to the wall way Having read this before I knew what to expect Blood betrayal lots of swearing and gladius slashing fun With any historical novel there's a fine line between historical accuracy and story telling Conn Iggulden as much as I respect him for taking on Caesar is a fine example of bad story telling set against historical accuracy which in part is well researched Simon Scarrow doesn't pretend to be 'historical accurate' yes it is accurate in the sense of being set within the reign of Claudius I've The Mind Of A Child And The Eating Habit Of A Ox Yes it is accurate given the timeline the invasion of Britain was what solidified Claudius's Emperor ship without it he would have been history ironic Ok tangent there What's the story about? Picture this 42AD Rome isn't doing too bad yes it still stinks there a mixture of sweat people and shit I swore for which is common place in Rome with the rabble Caligula has just been assassinated Claudius is placed as Imperator and ruler of the Empire He has to have a triumphant uickly something that will enthor him to the plebeians and stop 'noble' daggers piecing him from the dark Welcome to Germania tales of several Legions being lost in a particular Rheine forest is common place here A border has been established and in some respects the flow of the river is a natural wall that keeps the conflict from eschewing More recruits are needed so newly appointed Centurion Marco and the somewhat unusual appointment of Cato to his second in command 'Optio' begin the story Well after a few harsh words from Centurion Bestia You there shut you're fucking mouth or I'll be spitting you on my gladius you won't be smiling then will you book boy Not all Roman's spoke like politicians of the day some had to get down and fight the attritional battle that Rome was famous for Think of the Legions as a meat grinder and everything the meat you won't be far wrong While the new recruits get a daily dressing down Vespasian Legate of The Second Legion Augusta receives secret orders that a invasion of Britain will take place This really begins the story and shoves you arse first into a serious of events that are at times a bit too uick From the skirmish with Germanic hordes to plotters from Rome and with the Second Legion itself things become a tad overawing you would think Not so Simon Scarrow seems to have the ability to tell several side plots while not having to deviate from the main story It helps keep the pace flowing fast but not to the point where I'm going ' the hell just happened?' I like that what I also liked was how well thought out Cato and Macro are They couldn't be further from each other in upbringing and attitudes to life Cato a 17 year old who has known nothing that palace life that being easy living and books a lot of books Macro a hardnosed bastard who cannot read or write but is very good with a gladius Seems a good balance and it works very well The humour is brilliant between the two not to mention how dumbfounded Cato comes across at times Foils within foils if you like There's plots and intrigue to find here a few choice fights 'where the metal meets the meat' and beyond this a intelligent plot that leads Macro and Cato above the call of duty that's a very bad game by the way If you want something story driven rather than historically accurate then I'd suggest Simon Scarrow's Eagle series as a good yarn I was going to talk about why some readers find swearing and curse words to be abhorrent to them I was also going to share some 'historically' accurate Latin phrases that highlight that not all were well mannered individuals am I going to? Maybe a little The problem is we all come from different backgrounds Swearing I'm always told isn't intelligent Swearing isn't acceptable in society and shows a clear lack of intellect Using curse words reflects badly upon one self Bollocks Swearing whether you do or don't has no bearing upon one's intelligence It is the makeup of a individual and those who judge upon well used paths really should lighten up especially when taking offense from written words in a novel Now I was going to sit on the fence and say neither side is right or wrong However it is wrong to sit judgement upon someone else imagine if myself as a academic dismissed Livy's work because it 'read' like propaganda for Augustus reign Or thought no Hipponax is a sexual deviant and I don't want to read his work neither does it have any merit within Classical antiuity Herodotus wrote with fanciful words embellishing his stories with tales of grandeur and inaccuracies He spent time with Persians so his evidence must be dismissed as both propaganda and potentially being one sided Most Latin insults that we know of are generally referring to a individuals mentula penis coleuscolei testicles Do you want examples? Read Martial Hipponax Sallust I could suggest many One of Martial's lines was If you want to piss over a boat do so and do so again until you piss on some Greek's Even Cicero is at it in Brutus something about mentioning cunnus They must have been ALL thick and stupid I mean who would use rude words heaven forbid By the way I respect those who are offended by profanity just not in a judgemental context

  3. says:

    I go through genre phases and historical fiction and GreekRoman philosophy and history is where my mind was focused for a while I finished studying stoicism and decided to read this novel by Scarrow that has been in my Kindle library for a couple of years I am glad I didI have noticed that WHEN I read something often affects the way I review it This book really hit the spot The author knows his story well and is able to bring the setting to life The background information provided a nice backdrop and what little research I did do as I read concerning people times and places liked pin point accurate Granted I did not exhaustively research every aspect of it but I looked at the major people form history while avoiding spoilers and studied some of the battlesI particularly liked the way Germany and Britain are shown through the eyes of a Roman soldier We have Cato's point of view which is a literate non military trained perspective as well as Macro a military veteran Looking at the Brits and the German through the perspectives of this unlikely pair really rounded out the experienceThis author is a master of writing combat seuences and making the reader feel the confusion that participants would There were times that I felt tension and unease along with the characters as situations grew tense and dangerousThere is a good amount of plotting and intrigue as well which is fitting for a novel set in this Roman era I found this to be a compelling part of the readOverall I enjoyed this novel and am looking forward to reading the next installment in the series4 stars

  4. says:

    Solid historical fiction despite the fact that a significant portion of the military behaviour seems anachronistic Particularly one of the protagonists Macro behaves like a stereotypical modern day sergeant moved straight into a Roman contextThat being said there are several praiseworthy elements Overall the historical elements are strong Depictions of Claudius' reign the invasions of Britain the discord between the court and the army and the generall overall flavour are all close enough to documented historical reality to be believable while leaving enough room for artistic liberty to fill in the blanks and come out with a product that's overall enjoyable if slightly simplisticIf I end up sticking with the series I imagine it'll shape my perception of the historical Vespasian and Flavia as they are a couple of fantastically crafted characters and considerably interesting than the basic and archetypal main characters

  5. says:

    810A very good start to the series I enjoyed the style of writing which made it a uick and enjoyable overall The two main characters were both interesting and I can see them growing and as the series continues and the friendship growing with each battle they enter into The plot isn't groundbreaking but allows for some great action such as the siege in the German village which was excellently done and allowed Cato to really shine and show his potential especially with his braveryThere is political plotting throughout with some of the fringe characters seeking ways to progress up the career ladder which leads to a major part of the final third of the book Nothing is really resolved in this book which means I'm expecting some big things from this series and some of these issues to roll onI've noted in a couple of reviews that they didn't like the interactions between characters and said the vocabulary they use is too modern etc but I uite liked it and it gave it a good style that flowed and allowed me to get involved uickly I don't know what terms the Romans would have used back then but as far as I'm concerned I think it works well A good start to the series which is easy to get into uick to read and I am keen to pick up Well worth a read if you're interested in this time period andor life in the armyIf you like this try The Gates of Rome by Conn Iggulden

  6. says:

    I am boggled at the hugely positive reviews of this historical fiction and I don't put historical in uotes lightly This is basically a Bat Durston story to borrow a term from 50s and 60s SF a genre story typically a Western which has been re genre fied with the trappings of SF In this case a mean streets of city novel has been tarted up with vaguely Roman names and plunked down into Roman era Britain Simon honey you ain't no Rosemary Sutcliff

  7. says:

    Nutty NUUT readI've skipped the prologue which may be read after; who knowsOpening THE RHINE FRONTIER in the second year of the reign of Emperor Claudius Late 42 ADAn icy blast of wind swept into the latrine with the sentryWagons approaching SirShut the bloody door Anything else?Small column of menSodiers?Hardly The sentry grimaced Unless there's been some change in marching drillMarco CenturionCato OptioVitellius TribuneAll under Vespasian the Legate I sleep under the Eagle#46 TBR Busting 2013

  8. says:

    This was fantastic Roman historical fiction We learn all about Roman military structure what life was like as a legionary an officer and a legate Plus there's treachery conniving backstabbing ass kicking and last but not least BROMANCE Macro and Cato are a stellar duoMy only gripe is that the language used is 100% modern slang That wasn't a deal breaker for me but it may be for some of you I almost deducted a star for that but the ending was so great that the warm and runnies wouldn't allow me to give it less than 5 stars

  9. says:

    Guilty pleasure read this First story in a long series concerning Marcus and Cato One the veteran and the other a new recruit with the starry eyes about to get a reality check The language is very colourful the 'drill sergeant' seems to have escaped from the US Marine Corps and I am sure there have been a number of liberties taken with history However it is a great 'boys own' romp with loads of battles and lots of intrigue Having recently finished the cerebral trilogy concerning Cicero by Robert Harris this was a great antidote sex and mindless violence Great stuff

  10. says:

    A fun little historical romp through the year of 42AD and the Empire of Rome Under the rule of Emperor Claudius Rome is beginning to weaken A centurion in the army Marco is gritting his teeth and keeping his head down when a posh young lad is promoted to Optio his second in command as a favour from on high up Cato doesn't fit in in the army he likes high literature poetry and fine clothes Now he has to pick up a sword and learn to use it in time for the legions to invade BritainThis book was fun Some of the battle scenes went on forever and the narrative jumped around a lot but this book just brought to mind all of those films and books I loved as a teenager about Rome Reading this was like playing Total War Rome; a little bit crazy and convoluted but a good time The funniest thing about the book was the language; everyone spoke in this funny British slang with a bucket load of swearing For exampleBloody Germans are coming through the wall someone shouted Easy lads I'm RomanOh Sorry mateHa Either way if you like light historical fiction and you like the Roman Empire give this one a shot when you have a long train journey