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Under the Eagle [Hardcover]

Simon Scarrow
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)

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Book Description

6 July 2000 Eagle (Book 2)
It is 43 AD, and Centurion Lucius Cornelius Macro is based in Germany with the Second Legion. Battle-scarred and fearless, Macro is prepared to lead his men against any foe, but even he is shocked to discover that the army's next campaign will take them to a land of unparalleled barbarity - Britain. Quintus Licinus Cato is a new recruit, and the regulars are disgusted when he is appointed second-in-command to Macro because of his connections to the imperial court in Rome; Cato will have more to prove than most in the adventures that lie ahead. In a bloody skirmish with the local German tribes, Cato gets his first chance to show that he's more than a callow youth. And then comes the long march west, and a special mission which will thrust Cato and Macro headlong into a conspiracy that threatens to topple the emperor himself...

Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Headline; First Edition edition (6 July 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747272824
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747272823
  • Product Dimensions: 24.1 x 15.9 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 893,263 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


I really don't need this kind of competition... It's a great read (Bernard Cornwell)

'Historically very accurate... The story also moves along very nicely, with plenty of action, and has a pretty twisty plot. If Cornwell or Forester is your idea of good reading, give this one a try' South Wales Argus

'A good story well written is a pleasure to read. Scarrow does this and more in his debut historical novel... Tightly paced... Fans of the historical novel... will appreciate Scarrow's detailed research' Cambridgeshire Journal

A thoroughly enjoyable read. The characters are so lifelike they almost spring off the page... An engrossing storyline, full of teeth-clenching battles, political machinations, treachery, honour, love and death (Elizabeth Chadwick)

'A gripping tale... There is some impressive dialogue and excellent descriptions...enabling the reader to become quickly immersed' Warrington Guardian

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)

Book Description

In the tradition of Bernard Cornwell's SHARPE series, a novel of millitary adventure and reckless heroism with the Roman legions in 43AD- '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
66 of 69 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Mr. Scarrow's first book in this new series is inspired. It is a gripping, enjoyable read that provides a thrilling sense of what it must have been like in the heart of a Roman legion as it fights its way through the barbarian hordes. The barracks life also feels very authentic. The characters are very life-like and likeable and I want to see how the Cato/Macro relationship develops, as well as plot the career of young Vespasian. The dialogue is sharp, the settings vivid, and the action nail-biting. If he can keep this up then Scarrow is onto a winner. If I had to comapre it to anything, it would be Hornblower, but a Hornblower who lived in a much grittier, bloodier and lethally political world. If you like Cornwell, Davis and their ilk, and you enjoyed Gladiator as much as I did - then this one is for you!
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Eagle has Landed 24 April 2007
Cato and Marco could not be too different legionnaires. Marco has become a Centurion by years of battles and experience whilst Cato has become his second in command via politics and at a young age. Although they may be complete opposites they must combine their experience and intelligence to lead their men in battle. This is made even more important when they discover themselves involved in a political struggle for power and a long march to the barbaric shores of Great Britain.

'Under the Eagle' is the first in a series of book by Scarrow that follow the adventures of Cato and is an excellent introduction. Scarrow writes just the right blend of action and description so that readers of other historic fiction are not bored, whilst new readers are informed about the period.

The best aspects of the novel are probably the battle scenes and the characters. Scarrow is very good at describing everything from minor skirmishes to full on conflicts. These battles are heightened because he has created in Cato and Marco two characters that you soon grow to like. It will be a pleasure to see how Cato rises over the next few novels.

The only minor misgivings I have with the book is that some of the political aspects were slightly confusing and that Cato comes across as a bit too weedy. I am sure that both of these elements will be dealt with in future stories as being inexperienced is all part of Cato's journey. I recommend these books to fans of authors such as Bernard Cornwell and Conn Iggulden.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I gobble up every Sharpe novel, and having seen Cornwell's praise on the cover of Scarrow's book I thought it might be worth a try. In the event, I read it in one sitting - it's that good. Convincing characters, wonderful evocation of setting and a fast paced and engrossing story. What more could I ask? (Apart from being longer!) I'll definitely be buying the the sequel when it comes out in August. I think that the battle scenes in Under The Eagle are some of the best pieces of action writing I have ever come across... In conclusion then. Under The Eagle was one of the best reads I've had in recent years, and promises to be the start of a great series. I wish Scarrow every success in this venture.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First Book in the Series 28 May 2007
By J. Chippindale TOP 500 REVIEWER
The author, Simon Scarrow teaches at a leading Sixth Form College. He has run a Roman History programme taking parties of students to a number of ruins and museums across Britain. This is the first in a series of books about Quintus Licinius Cato, Optio (second in command) to Macro a centurion and veteran of more than one campaign in the Roman legions.

The year is AD42 and Cato has just arrived in Germany as a new and raw recruit assigned to the Second legion, well known throughout the Roman army as the toughest legion. After a life of relative ease and contentment Cato not only has the job of adjusting to army life, but must also contend with the scorn of his colleagues when because of his imperial connections he is immediately promoted to a rank above them.

But the men's attention is soon drawn away from Cato when they discover that their next campaign will take them to the shores of Britain, a land of mists, cold and forbidding where the people are barbarians in the true sense of the word. After the long march west, Cato and Macro are chosen to undertake a special mission that throws them headlong into a conspiracy that threatens the Emperor himself.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good start 29 Jan 2007
By B. Kunz
Having seen the latest in the series on display at my local bookshop I had a quick browse and decided that I needed to start at square one immediately.

I was not dissapointed - the first volume got into the action very quickly and set the scene for the continuing and burgeoning relationship between the hard drinking experienced Macro and the bookish Cato.

I have since finished volumes two and three and am still enjoying both the action and the growing friendship that both characters find hard to express.

An exceptionally lucid series and well worth reading.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tremendous action! 20 Nov 2002
By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE
Like a welcome pint after a long hard day, this just slips down and you don't want it to stop.
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 - I can't wait for the sequel - a damned fine read.*****.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A GREAT DEBUT
Calix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker
A great debut for Simon Scarrow, he weaves a gritty tale of life in the Legions of Rome, combined with very believable three... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Trajan
3.0 out of 5 stars Roman dialogue?
Although I enjoyed following the descriptions of the battles and the political intrigue, I found it a bit humorous and quite a bit off target to hear Roman soldiers speaking as if... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Glenn Goeres Central Lcms
4.0 out of 5 stars Under the Eagle
A good read, well writen and full of historical trivia about the Roman Army that makes the story so believable.
Published on 13 July 2009 by RC Snell
4.0 out of 5 stars Different.
I decided to try a change from the oh so many Bernard Cornwell novels and try something else; Simon Scarrow's Roman Books.

At first I could not get into it at all. Read more
Published on 28 April 2009 by S. Holtby
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read!
I throughly enjoyed this book. The characters are great, the story is gripping. Historical fiction at its most exciting!
Published on 24 April 2009 by Avid Reader
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb series
I saw the authors name in WH Smith one afternoon and decided to see if there were other books by him. Read more
Published on 1 April 2009 by Elissakat
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant new series
I am an avid historical fiction fan, and in my search for a new author (as I have finished all the Cornwell, Iggulden and Manfredi books) I found Simon Scarrow. Read more
Published on 22 Oct 2008 by chuckles
5.0 out of 5 stars Prepare to buy more in the series as rather addictive.
I am no literary critic, but I do know what I like, and this series of books fills a nice niche for me. Read more
Published on 18 Oct 2008 by Bob Floyd
4.0 out of 5 stars Good page turner
Pacey thriller, fulfilling the author's wish to write a military page turner set during the Roman invasion of Britain. Read more
Published on 17 Aug 2008 by John Hopper
2.0 out of 5 stars This is poor but read on...
I am putting the same review on this book and Scarrow's latest one in the series, "Centurion". Now this one is poor; poorly written, bog-standard charactarisation and ho-hum action... Read more
Published on 22 Mar 2008 by Big Jim
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