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The Silver Eagle (The Forgotten Legion Chronicles) Hardcover – 4 Jun 2009

124 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Preface Publishing; First Edition edition (4 Jun. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848090110
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848090118
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.8 x 24.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (124 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 165,878 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"The Forgotten Legion marches again. On an epic scale, Ben Kane vividly captures the heat and the dust, and the despair of the survivors of a defeated Roman army now forced to fight for their savage captors in the barbarous lands of the east. Three men with nothing left to live for but each other and the memories of a life they fear they will never return to. Tarquinius, Romulus and Brennus battle for their very existence in the face of impossible odds while, back in Rome, Romulus's sister Fabiola is threatened by the same political forces that threaten to destroy the Republic. The Silver Eagle is an utterly engrossing combination of historical fact and believable fiction that draws the reader in and holds his interest to the last page." -- Douglas Jackson, author of Caligula

Book Description

The second novel in the Forgotten Legion Chronicles takes Romulus, Brennus, Tarquinius and Fabiola, and places them in ever greater danger.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Nick Brett TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 23 Aug. 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have taken a long while to get round to this, it's been in my reading pile for a couple of years. I very much enjoyed the first one but for some reason this kept being pushed to the back of the pile, along with the follow up which is also in there. Well that was my mistake, because this is good stuff.

Following on from The Forgotten Legion (captured Legionaries being forced to fight for the Parthians) we find the soldiers far out to the East protecting the Parthian borders against the likes of the Scythians (nomadic tribesmen). The focus is on Romulus a Roman, Brennus a massive Gaul and Tarquinius a soothsayer. Mistrusted by their Parthian masters and some of their fellow Legionaries, the trio are desperate to get home and hope that Tarquinius's visions will keep them alive and help them realise their destinies.

Back in Rome, Romulus's sister Fabiola is the lover of Brutus who is away in Gaul with Caesar at a time where violent gangs are running wild in Rome and the Roman empire itself is on the edge of anarchy.

The best historical fiction does not just place characters in an era, but involves them in significant events of the time and has peripheral characters we will recognise. Ben Kane has done the research to provide a real and vibrant background to his story. The balance of the battles out in the East and the politics of Rome is an interesting one and although on one or two occasions the author does build up an interest in characters, only to then discard them, the story remains interesting and unpredictable.

I enjoyed it and am surprised at some criticism in other reviews, this is a good follow up to The Forgotten Legion and Ben Kane continues to be an author to watch.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Enquirer VINE VOICE on 24 July 2012
Format: Paperback
I never thought that I would find an action-packed military novel boring, but this time I did! I can see why sales for this kind of fiction are initially healthy and then demand suddenly tails off. Clearly, other reviewers enjoy Ben Kane more than me. Revealingly, one mentioned his lack of familiarity with the 'benchmarks' of the genre, authors like Conn Iggulden and Simon Scarrow. Both are twice as good. It's a case of thinking bad wine is good because you have never tasted the best.

Kane cleraly knows his Roman military topic well, and extensively explains at the back why he deviated so often from either fact or likelihood. All through the book I had assumed that it was pure ignorance producing the bloopers. I was outraged that he actually knew what he was doing!

What most of you care about is whether it is an exciting read. Well, the answer is no. The heroes fight too often in too similar a situation, usually when anyone with sense would and could avoid it. Every character is in just too much peril too much of the time. It becomes tedious. The motives of the key figures are too limited and not particularly believable. We are constantly reminded of them, as if the author doesnt quite believe they are sufficient either. I found the portrayal of Romulus's prostitute sister Fabriola the most unconvincing and the most irritating too.

Factually, I can stretch to Kane's claim that there is 'evidence' for women being allowed to worship the god Mithras in the east. (Although, in fact I'm pretty sure that it's incorrect.) But to make it acceptable among Romans in Rome, even before the cult really got established there, is unnecessarily pushing it. And why bother to do so, I ask? It's just to put the silly trollop into yet more self-created trouble she does not deserve to survive.

This could have been a good book with a third cut out and the action tightened up. Expect to regularly see on a market stall near you.
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42 of 46 people found the following review helpful By cholser on 8 Aug. 2009
Format: Hardcover
I qualify my review by saying I haven't read Iggulden, Scarrow et al, so I came to this series with no benchmark in the genre. The closest my usual interest gets is in reading military history, where my bias lies in accounts of the experiences of the foot soldiers, and that aspect is what drew me in to this excellent series.
Where the Forgotten Legion introduces the characters and plot, from the sweat and dust of the arena to the intrigues of the brothel - the Silver Eagle picks up where the action left off and brings it to another level. The action is relentless and it's scope is epic, blending the wars and politics of the Republic to adventures at the edges of the known world. The characters develop well as the twins mature and become more world-wise and Tarquinius is more dark and ambiguous. This book has been greatly enhanced by the addition of a very informative glossary.
The bottom line for me is that I'm hooked and can't wait to find out what happens next - the mark of a great book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Martin Lake on 10 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed the first novel in The Forgotten Legion series and rushed to buy the second, The Silver Eagle. I found much of the book a splendid read. I like the characters a great deal, especially Brennus and Fabiola. Fabiola is a great creation, a slave woman who makes the best use of her looks and her intelligence to thrive in a world dominated by dangerous men. Kane introduces a lot of interesting minor characters who caught my imagination, sometimes more than the major ones. Sadly, he has a propensity for killing off some of these or letting them drift away from the narrative. Hopefully, some at least will return in later books.

I thought that the links between the Romulus and Fabiola sections worked better in this novel than in the first. I had to flip back to catch up with events far fewer times in this novel. The whole narrative flow worked better.

The best parts of the novel are where Kane focuses on the harsher aspects of life. He magics us to the cruelty and squalor that must have been everyday experiences for the Roman soldiers; shows the fragile hold that slaves had upon their own lives and illustrates well what Tom Holland says in Rubicon: the Romans were often very different from ourselves. Best of all are his battle scenes which are well researched and described with great skill and command of the narrative.

I thought he was poorly served by his editor on a few occasions. It could do with a little trimming over all. There are also careless errors in the text. Secundus, a one-armed veteran, was lucky enough to be able to raise his arms above his head for example. (Unless he carried the severed limb with him as a talisman this was surely beyond even the skills of the best healers.
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