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The Eagle's Prey [Hardcover]

Simon Scarrow
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)

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Book Description

5 July 2004 Eagle (Book 24)
It is late summer 44AD and the battle-weary Roman legions are in their second year of campaigning against the British tribes. The troops' commander, General Plautius, is under considerable pressure from the emperor to crush the natives once and for all. Centurions Macro and Cato are with the crack Second Legion under the precarious leadership of Centurion Maximus and it's their task to hold a ford across the river Tamesis when the natives are forced into a trap. But Maximus's nerve breaks at the critical point, allowing the enemy leader, Caratacus, and his men to escape. Outraged by this failure, General Plautius orders the decimation of the unit. Their choice: die, or escape to become a fugitive pursued by soldiers of their own ruthless army. Hiding from their former comrades, as well as the Britons, Cato's small band of fugitives have only one chance to redeem themselves before they are hunted down like animals...

Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Headline; hardcover edition (5 July 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0755301153
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755301157
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 89,789 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Simon Scarrow's passion for writing began at an early age. After a childhood spent travelling the world he pursued his great love of history as a teacher, before becoming a full-time writer in 2005. Simon's Roman soldier heroes Cato and Macro first stormed the book shops in 2000, and Simon continues to create one new adult Roman novel each year. Simon has many other literary projects in hand including a young adult Roman series and THE SWORD AND THE SCIMITAR, an epic tale of the Siege of Malta in the sixteenth century. To find out more about Simon Scarrow and his novels, visit and

Product Description


'A satisfying, bloodthirsty, bawdy romp. Perfect for Cornwell addicts who will relish its historical detail and fast-paced action' (The Good Book Guide) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

The fifth in this increasingly popular series sees veteran officer Macro and recently appointed centurion Cato face another challenge in their battle for control of the British Isles - 'I really don't need this kind of competition...It's a great read' Bernard Cornwell

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Decimation !! 11 Jun 2007
In my own opinion, this - the fifth in the Eagle series of books about the adventures of Centurions Macro and Cato - is by far the best piece of Scarrow's writing to date. I admit to enjoying the first three, but felt a little let down by the fourth which I felt seemed to be inspired by Scarrow sitting down one Christmas after a healthy helping of X-mas pudding, watching the annual re-run of Zulu on the TV and then adapting it into The Eagle And The Wolves !

The book mainly concerns the aftermath of the disastrous attempt of the third cohort - under the leadership of the perpetual back-stabbing Maximius - to delay Caratacus from escaping from the main body of the legion, and ending the war with the rebellious Britain's as early as possible to keep the name of Claudius respectable in Rome.

After some serious passing of the buck by Maximius, Narcissus decides that a decimation of the legion would be best and the novel details the results, the escape of those facing death, the chase by the surviving members of the third cohort and the eventual final show down with Caratacus in the Marsh lands.

I found that when Macro and Cato's legion were facing decimation I could just not put the book down until I knew what was going to happen - and we all knew that one of our illustrious duo were going to draw the short straw.

Being a lecturer on Roman history the details of Roman society, political intrigue and army life in the legions are superbly written as usual and exactly what I have come to expect from Scarrow`s earlier novels. Scarrow's addiction to detail, mixed with adventure, political intrigue, friendship, blood and gore once again do the business for me.
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44 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much, Much better Mr Scarrow !!! 22 July 2004
The Eagle's Prey is the best written of all Scarrow's Macro and Cato's adventures so far, in my opinion.
It begins with an attempt to trap the Celtic leader Caratacus by an increasingly desperate General Plautius, who is himself facing mounting pressure from the Emperor's freedman, Narcissus. However, under the weak leadership of the senior centurion, Maximius, Caratacus escapes with several thousand of his men. Infuriated, Plautius insists on a show of Roman disciplinary measures - decimation - to appease the Emperor. Unfortunately, Cato is amongst those singled out to be killed by his friends, which leads his loyal friend Macro to help him and the other condemmned escape.

Vespasion in turn comes up with a suggestion to restore the honour of the 2nd Legion by ordering Maximius to stir up the natives by brutal means so that Caratacus will retaliate and be forced into another trap. Cato is therefore trapped between the angry Celtic hoards, and the Romans who are determined to capture and carry out punishment.
Where this story excels is in the quality of writing which has increased in style and clarity. There are numerous fine descriptions of the landscapes, and of battlescenes that are both bloody and realistic. Both Cato and Macro develop more as characters too. Cato has to learn to lead his rag-tag followers by force of personality alone, and Macro becomes more reflective as though the two friends have undergone a personality swop. Cato's language becomes more like the colourful Macro's and Macro himself has to think hard in order to survive the fall-out from Cato's escape.
Scarrow shows also, that the brutal discipline of the Legions is in fact little better then that of the Barbarian Celts.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The epic continues 23 Jun 2004
By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
This novel picks up where the previous one finished and as such doesn't contain a massive time delay between the events that unfolded and as such give the reader the opportunity to understand, perhaps a little clearer, the turbulent times in which our ancestors lived. However if your a new reader you dont have to have read the characters past excursions as each novel is self contained. As such it adds few complications that will leave you wondering as to what the hell happened and what have I missed as this doesnt make any sense.
As I discovered in the previous novel the tale is crisp, exciting and action packed and never leaves a dull moment in the whole of the book. If you love Cornwell then this is definitely an author to add to your shelves and will be one that you read time after time, more for enjoyment than anything else, but also to build your excitement for the next installment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 28 Nov 2013
By Trajan
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Calix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker
Scarrow does it again, an excellent read plenty of blood and guts as usual with some intrigue and dry humour. A real page turner. Recommended.
The perfect companion to this excellent series is the ROMA VICTRIX wine beaker.

Footnote: The perfect companion to the Eagle series is the Roma Victrix wine
beaker, Simon in his review says.
Calix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars For my Simon Scarrow collection
Bought this to add to my collection, now can't wait to read them all! Thankyou very much.
Published 10 days ago by stephen hicks
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
love the books
Published 10 days ago by DAVID-79
5.0 out of 5 stars Simon Scarrow at his best
Have always been a fan of Simon Scarrow and know I'm not going to be disappointed with this book
Published 18 days ago by Radio Fan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Can't wait to read it !
Published 25 days ago by Yvonne J. Yeoell
5.0 out of 5 stars Another triumph
I have read many of Simon Scarrow`s books and found them all to be fascinating reads.

This is no exception and keeps you gripped all the way through. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jon Diamond
5.0 out of 5 stars so good for birthdays
Compulsive reading, bought as a gift for my husband, so far there are 13 books in the series, so good for birthdays, fathers day and other gift giving occasions.
Published 1 month ago by June Marie Birch
4.0 out of 5 stars 5th in a series of 7 great books
if your looking for a roman legion novel then this series is as good as any. note that this is the 5th in a series of 7 the order goes

under the eagle
the eagles... Read more
Published 1 month ago by liam
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
good read
Published 1 month ago by george reid
5.0 out of 5 stars The Eagles Prey
Another excellent chapter in the series. Once again, the author has managed to combine fiction with historical fact. Read more
Published 2 months ago by John parry
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read gripping story line Simon Scarrow at his best.
Good read from start to finish. Macro and Cato doing what they do best. looking forward to the next one, although I seem to read in not a conventional order.
Published 2 months ago by William Heath
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