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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Action, adventure, intrigue- All of Under The Eagle and more
If you thought Under The Eagle was a good read, you're in for a real treat. The Eagles Conquest follows directly on from the first book without breaking stride. Macro, Cato, the rest of the sixth century, second legion and their commander Vespasian are hurled into battles and confrontations both with the sword and with political intrigue. The Britons proove formidable...
Published on 24 Aug 2001

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Book Like an Espisode of a Saturday Morning Cartoon
I had high hopes for this book. As an avid history buff, I have enjoyed Bernard Cornwell's accounts of the latter years of Britain and had hoped for some more of the same sort of writing with Simon Scarrow.

Unfortunately, the two are incomparable. Simon's novel starts out feeling a bit like an 80s US Army boot camp kind of film, then morphs into feeling like a...
Published on 3 Oct 2010 by Histo Ry buff


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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Action, adventure, intrigue- All of Under The Eagle and more, 24 Aug 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Eagle's Conquest (Hardcover)
If you thought Under The Eagle was a good read, you're in for a real treat. The Eagles Conquest follows directly on from the first book without breaking stride. Macro, Cato, the rest of the sixth century, second legion and their commander Vespasian are hurled into battles and confrontations both with the sword and with political intrigue. The Britons proove formidable opponents to the might of Rome while the eminently hissable villain Vitellius plots and schemes towards his own ambitious ends. Along the way is murder, deception and even an attempt on the life of the Emperor himself. The book carries off the gritty feel of Roman military life with great aplomb, the established characters are human enough to almost be real, and the story flows effortlessly on both the action and political levels. When most follow up books are mere shadows of the original, this one outshines it's predecessor. It's an exciting page turner that I could not put down until the very last page.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Writer, 11 Jun 2011
By 
Parm (A bookshop near you) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Eagle's Conquest (Hardcover)
This was even better than Simon Scarrow's first book - and that's some achievement!
This time around Cato and Macro are ranged against the Britons, desperately defending their homeland in a series of pitched battles. The battle scenes are something else and carry the reader right into the heart of the bloody conflict so that somehow the author manages to make you see, hear, smell and feel the terrified combatants.

The characters are wonderful creations and smack of real living and breathing people complete with all their faults. Heroes try hard to be heroic, and sometimes fail. Villains seem to know no limit to their evil plotting. If ever there was a novel crying out to be filmed or made into a TV series then this is it.

if thes series keeps improving like this we will see Simon on the best seller lists in no time.
(Parm)
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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Battles, conspiracy and then some, 14 April 2006
This review is from: The Eagle's Conquest (Paperback)
The second in the series follows the legions of Claudius from their beachhead near Rutupiae to the battles on the Medway, Thames and before Camulodunum (Colchester). It moves at a great pace making use of several plot threads to keep tension high. As before, the main characters, Cato and Centurion Macro, unify all the threads from the terror and exultation of battle through the politics of military strategy to the machinations of conspiracy.

Scarrow does battles extremely well, if always at the service of plot. Confusion never lasts long; the reader always knows what part the detail plays in the whole picture. The fight is not clean, but it is clear, and Scarrow is able to draw out the action so that every battle has its own arc and could be extracted and read for itself.

Cato is seen to grow in this book. The action in the first was dominated by his need to prove himself; here, though his part is often heroic, he must also come to terms with helplessness and the aftermath of slaughter. His infatuation with the slavegirl, Lavinia, continues and plays a part in the machinations of Vitellius to assassinate the Emperor. Cato is decisive at the denouement of this conspiracy, but Scarrow does not allow him to take the hero's palm - a sign that the book is a little more than a boys' own adventure.

There is, as well, another point of view for Cato to understand and absorb: that of the conquered. Nisus is a surgeon and from North Africa, not only Carthaginian but a direct descendent of Hannibal! He voices the opinion that some might not be grateful for the benefits of Roman civilisation, that they might have been happier as they were. We're not told what Cato makes of this, and Nisus is soon involved in grand conspiracy. It is not clear if the seditious sentiments he uttered were merely a ploy by the author to justify the character's eventual treachery, or if they portend an important theme for the other books. I was a little surprised by the inclusion of these thoughts; they interrupted the flow of the narrative in what might have been an interesting way.

The prose does not hold you up. Nouns have immediate call on their tabloid adjective: "crush the enemy in an iron vice; deadly efficiency; an icy dread; bleak despair; the ruthless efficiency of vigorous training; the grim reality of their predicament". At times he feels the need to make use of every note taken during research - as a boat moors, who throws every rope to whom for it to be tied to every mooring post. However, these are small faults in a fast-moving narrative set in an exotic Britain.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From strength to strength, 13 Dec 2013
This review is from: The Eagle's Conquest (Paperback)
Calix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker
The second in the series does not disappoint, Simon scarrow's story telling goes from strength to strength, the narrative is fast paced with excellent sub plots full of intrigue and political machinations and dry humour combined with visceral and gritty battle scenes, so vivid you are there amongst the action.

The authors main protagonists characterisations are three dimensional so much so that you feel you know them.
All in all a well written and researched novel. Highly recommended

The perfect companion to the Eagle series is the Roma Victrix wine beaker, Simon in his review says.
BEAUTIFULLY SCULPTED IT IS A VERY HANDSOME THING! THE REASON WHY I PARTICULARLY LIKE THIS CUP IS THAT IT FEATURES THE MEN AND INSIGNIA OF THE SECOND LEGION, THE UNIT IN WHICH CATO LEARNED HOW TO BECOME A SOLDIER UNDER THE AFFECTIONATE EYE OF MACRO! IT'S A LOVELY THING AND HAS PRIDE OF PLACE ON MY DESK RIGHT NOW!Calix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Eagle has conquered me!, 12 Nov 2011
This review is from: The Eagle's Conquest (Paperback)
The Eagle's Conquest has proved that Simon is definitely no flash in the pan, in fact he is the chief protagonist of this genre of writers. With not so many writers of this genre around at the time (2001, when this novel was written), to inspire him to write such excellent works as The Eagle's Conquest, Simon really stood out alone, as if to say "There's more to a living history novel than you think". I'm glad to say lots of readers have responded to that in the most positive way - me included.

Simon's background as a lecturer in history has obviously propelled him to act on putting to an end the pretentious, over-romanticised, 2D story which is classed as an adult novel, but is just as fit to read to a 5-year-old. He has replaced all that with real-life, 3D effects which the reader cannot help but visualise. Even swearing, violence and promiscuity in the extreme is there (love it or hate it). The Eagle's Conquest endorsed that, thus inspiring a new genre of writers, and beginning the last chapter in the development of the living history novel. This is bearing in mind that this being only Simon's second book, was written at the time of when Ben Kane was still a vet working in the North-East during the foot-and-mouth outbreak, and Tony Riches still had 8 years to go before he released Wounds of Honour, and several other authors of this genre were only "thinking about it".

Simon's objective was to point out that war is something that no-one can romanticise over. Like most authors of this genre, Simon has been unfairly criticised for the use of swearing and other forms of crudeness, but that's what it's really like on the battlefront. People resort to extreme behaviour when they are attacked or even threatened, this case being the fear of being killed or maimed, and in reaction to that, they swear, simple as! It's not Times Square on New Years' Eve! Remember, it takes all sorts to make a world! Get over it!

What I liked best about The Eagle's Conquest is a social one which may even cause controversy, but is true to the point. It focusses on whether the emperor himself should lead the battle against Caratacus, as opposed to relying on the experience of the general Plautius. It goes to emphasise the arrogance of a corrupt authoritarian who refuses to listen to reason and leave it to the experts, and is only interested in the self-centred glory and flaunting of his own power. Of course he takes all the credit, as opposed to the soldiers who really did all the work, and were nothing more than soon-to-be-forgotten tools no matter whether they lived or died afterwards.

Claudius himself never followed a soldiers code, in fact his stammering alone proved he was too medically unfit to lead such a campaign, and he wasn't a well person at the best of times. Simon also bore emphasis on Vespasian's frustration at not being able to use his own experience in that field, to direct the battle without such interference from the powers-that-be. And how Vespasian had to bite his tongue as well, for fear of even the most extreme reprisals from above.

On a more recent issue, Saddam Hussein never followed a soldier's code. Written in 2001 and before 9/11 which didn't come till later that year, The Eagle's Conquest, albeit indirectly, anticipated the shape of things to come in the 21st-Century. Shortly after 9/11, war was declared on Saddam Hussein!

Back to Roman times, however, The Eagle's Conquest is an excellent, clear picture of what actually happened during the Claudian invasion of Britain, just what our vision of such a historic event really needed. Such a novel cannot manifest itself without extremely careful research, and every page you read in this novel reminds you of that. Now you see why "The Eagle" has conquered me! Well done Simon.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable!, 14 April 2006
By 
Iceni Peasant (Norfolk, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Eagle's Conquest (Paperback)
Following straight on from the first book we find the characters, Macro and Cato on British soil with the legions awaiting the next movements in the invasion. Battles and skirmishes by the bucket load, all written in a fast paced way, giving the reader a sense of the tension and melee of battle.

There are more revelations of plots and sub plots from all the various characters, with the consequences of their actions played out and still providing unexpected surprises and intrigue. There are plenty of twists and turns in the lives of Macro and Cato too.

Again the author gives the reader a real sense of the life in the Roman legions. By including such rich characters as Vespasian and Vitellius the reader is given a top quality book.

The book goes through to the victory and gain of Camulodunum, and of course the path to that point is littered with political and personal games.

Excellent 2nd book of an excellent series; highly enjoyable.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A rare thing - the sequel is even better than the first book, 28 Jun 2002
This review is from: The Eagle's Conquest (Paperback)
I really enjoyed Scarrow's first book, Under The Eagle, and not being one who buys hardbacks I had to wait an age for this. But the good news is it was more than worth it. Besides the incredible battle sequences, which are the most vivid I have ever read, particularly the crossing of the Thames - made Saving Private Ryan look a bit tame, besides all that, Cato and Macro are more rounded out and I'm really getting into them. They talk like real soldiers and yet are thinking feeling men too. Sometimes they made me laugh out loud. When I finished the book (and what a nasty little hook Scarrow has planted there!) I felt very sad the whole thing was over. So much so that I might even break the habit of a lifetime and buiy the hardback of his third book when it comes out in August!
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute corker!, 5 Aug 2001
This review is from: The Eagle's Conquest (Hardcover)
This book follows on from the first in the series, 'Under The Eagle'. Too often the follow up fails to deliver the promise of the first book.NOT so in this case.In 'Eagles Conquest' the story is picked up seamlessly with Cato and Macro off again on a series of adventures during the invasion of first century Britain. Mr Scarrow has developed his characters well, added an utterly gripping storyline, and overlaid it with his obvious thorough knowledge of the history of the period. The end result is a breathtaking gallop from beginning to end, which left me gasping for more. If you like first rate historical adventures - then this is as good as it get ! Thoroughly recommended, but be sure to read 'Under The Eagle' first. I predict that Cato and Macro will soon be storming the ramparts of the bestseller lists ! - Bernard Cornwell should be a worried man. Excellent !!!
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't wait to see this as a film!, 6 Mar 2003
This review is from: The Eagle's Conquest (Paperback)
This was even better than Scarrow's first book - and that's some achievement! This time round Cato and Macro are ranged against the Britons, desperately defending their homeland in a series of pitched battles. The battle scenes are something else and carry the reader right into the heart of the bloody conflict so that, somehow, Scarrow manages to make you see, hear, smell and feel the terrified combatants.
The characters are wonderful creations and smack of real living and breathing people complete with all their faults. Heroes try hard to be heroic, and sometimes fail. Villains seem to know no limit to their wicked machinations, and the murder at the end of the novel I found quite shocking.
If ever there was a novel crying out to be filmed or made into a TV series then this is it.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars second novel but far from second best, 15 Jan 2006
By 
Didier (Ghent, Belgium) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Eagle's Conquest (Paperback)
Macro and Cato are at it again and I for one am very happy they are. This is a very good second novel in the series after 'Under the eagle', with as much action and adventure. The main characters do develop though not much (I wouldn't want them to), and at times it's funny to meet historical characters one knows from other novels too (such as Vespasian). Keep up the good work Simon!
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The Eagle's Conquest
The Eagle's Conquest by Simon Scarrow (Hardcover - 2 Aug 2001)
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