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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on 14 November 2002
Cato and Macro's third outing is the best yet. Having survived the full horrors of battle in the previous two books they find themselves embarking on a mission to rescue General Plautius's family from the clutches of some pretty bloodthirsty and terrifying Druids. As before, the principal characters are thoroughly three-dimensional and the dialogue crackles with smart one-liners and the kind of bluff words you'd expect soldiers to utter. The action is fast and frantic and the overall pace of the book accelerates away so that it becomes impossible to put the thing down. I don't want to spoil the ending for those who haven't yet had the chance to read this excellent addition to the series, but I can't wait to see how Macro and Cato's relationship weathers the new situation they find themselves in.
Having read Cornwell, Forester et al, I have to say that this is the best historical adventure series I have come across in years and I can't wait for the fourth one to appear.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 12 June 2011
WHEN THE EAGLE HUNTS REVIEW

This series gets better with each new episode. Centurion Marco is one of the great's of historical-adventure-fiction- easily the equal of Sharpe, but with a great vein of humour thrown in. I'm extremely suprised that the author (Simon Scarrow) has never served in the British army as the "language" is highly authentic & most un-Roman. Macro is every corporal I've ever met! As an ex-squaddy I found huge parts of Roman military life uncannily similar to the modern british army.

"When the Eagle hunts" focuses on the second legions invasion of South West england. Vespasian's boys have to tackle the massive British hill forts & contend with a extreme Druid sect (a 72Ad version of Al Que'da) who have taken the Roman General's wife & children hostage & are threatening to burn them alive. The battle scenes especially are worthy of Bernard Cornwell. If you haven't tried this series do it now. (Parm)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 28 August 2014
Possible Spoilers

This is the third book in the Eagle Series by Simon Scarrow. It is 44AD and a Roman army has finally taken ‘Camulodunum’. This book starts off from where the last book finished. It is winter, so the campaign year has stopped until spring. General Plautius's wife and children are shipwrecked in a storm and are captured by the Druids. As you can guess by now, the druids are the bad guys this book.

A book that can be split into two parts, the first is the winter part of the campaign, there is the odd skirmish and plenty of drinking. It is here that we meet up with a young lady called Boudica, from the Iceni tribe. She has a liaison with Macro and is a major part of the narrative. Considering this is a young Boudica that we meet, so I guess we will hearing from her again in future books. The second half of the story sees Macro and Cato, along with Boudica and her cousin in a rescue attempt of the Plautius's family. There are less mass battles here, but some good skirmishes with all the viscera that this entails.

Simon Scarrows’ plot devices hides’ fresh suspense round every corner; his characters are well-rounded and are enjoyable to follow through the narrative. There are fresh faces, in the form of Boudica and Prasutagus who are likeable, alongside some of the more familiar comrades. For example Vespasian, with his softer qualities but stern exterior is a particular well done. Scarrow gives even the most minor of characters a full bodied personality. Once again there is attention to detail without the need to get bogged down in technical terms.
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35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
The third Macro & Cato action-adventure more than lives up to its predecessors. Action, intrigue and mystery all in an evocation of the Roman Empire unparalleled since the days of Robert Graves and "I Claudius". Scarrow's characterisation is wonderful, not just of Cato, but also of secondary characters like Figulus, the clumsy Gaul legionary and Prasutagus, the giant Iceni warrior with a relish for violence, both of whom are hilariously drawn. Scarrow does lose a star though for the grating blokish dialogue he puts in the mouth of Macro and some of the other legionaries. That said the Macro & Cato novels remain a delicious treat, easily outclassing Bernard Cornwell. I for one can't wait for the next instalment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 November 2009
I fell across this series a short while ago and have quickly read up to this one and I am on Amazon to buy the next 2. So yes I am enjoying them and I must admit they are good fun, easy to read, not hugely challenging and basically boys own kind of adventure storys. There is historical detail and I assume it is well researched and as accurate as it can be but don't expect the level of depth of something like Robert Harris's books such as Pompeii, Imperium or Lustrum. Although there are many mentions of the similarity to Bernard Cornwell's historical novels for me they don't quite come up to that sort of standard certainly not that of his earlier works at least. Language is probably the hardest thing to take in this series and a lot of it is distinctly 21st Century, I know it is trying to put across the language of the common soldier but I don't think some of the Essex Boy speech works nor does having Boudicia as an early version of a laddette out on the raz with our two heros. That said take the books for what they are and they are a rollicking fictional adventure series set in Roman times and enjoy.
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on 14 November 2012
Review of the series (followed by a review of this book):
This series of books is based around the adventures of two men - Macro and Cato. Macro is a soldier through and through; he has spent his life in the army and is a centurion when we first meet him in the first book. In that book we also meet Cato who joins the legion as a new recruit, although he seems an unlikely candidate for a soldier. The series goes on to relate their many adventures and the relationship between them. Most of the stories are based - sometimes loosely - on real events and people, with a healthy dose of artistic license.
As far as I can tell the historical detail and facts are accurate, and the writing is generally engaging. There are criticisms in other reviews about the authors use of 'modern' slang; I know what they mean, but would we identify with 'roman' slang? For me, it is not a problem, I am not a fan of trying to invent historical language, it is too easy to fall into the 'ye olde shoppe' trap!
Overall, the series is very readable, and rolls along at a good pace. Like some other historical series, it doesn't do to try and fit the events into a timeline, as it soon becomes clear that the two men could not have done everything they do in one lifetime, but that doesn't detract from a fun series. Two niggles:the formatting annoys me in that the gaps between paragraphs are too long, particularly where there are long conversations, and they are a little over-priced.
Review of this book:
The story carries on directly from the previous volume; Macro and Cato are still in Briton, consolidating Rome's hold on the island. The story centres around efforts to rescue the family of the Roman commander from the Druids. It is well paced and an entertaining read.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 28 December 2007
Simon Scarrow is a teacher at a Sixth Form College. He has run a Roman History programme that takes parties of students to a number of sites and museums across Britain and I assume that while doing this he gleans lots of useful information for his books on the Roman Centurion, Macro and his Optio, Cato.

First published in 2002, this is the third book in the series. The book opens in Britain in the year 43 AD. The Emperor has returned to sunnier climes leaving the Roman army to continue its rape of Britain. After a protracted effort the Second Legion have been instrumental in quashing resistance in Camulodunum, leaving time for Macro and Cato to rest with the rest of the Legion.

Their General, Plautius has had the distressing news that the ship carrying his wife and family to Britain has been shipwrecked in storms off the south coast. The survivors have fallen into the hands of the Druids, who now wish to use them as a bargaining tool for the release of members of their sect who have been captured by the Romans.

Unless their demands are met in full within one month, Plautius's family will be burned to death. The general decides to give Catp and Macro the opportunity to seek out the hiding place of the druids with a view to rescuing his wife and children before the month runs out. The general sees this as his only hope, as bowing to the demands of the Druids is not the Roman way . . .
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 18 January 2008
Simon Scarrow is a teacher at a Sixth Form College. He has run a Roman History programme that takes parties of students to a number of sites and museums across Britain and I assume that while doing this he gleans lots of useful information for his books on the Roman Centurion, Macro and his Optio, Cato.

First published in 2002, this is the third book in the series. The book opens in Britain in the year 43 AD. The Emperor has returned to sunnier climes leaving the Roman army to continue its rape of Britain. After a protracted effort the Second Legion have been instrumental in quashing resistance in Camulodunum, leaving time for Macro and Cato to rest with the rest of the Legion.

Their General, Plautius has had the distressing news that the ship carrying his wife and family to Britain has been shipwrecked in storms off the south coast. The survivors have fallen into the hands of the Druids, who now wish to use them as a bargaining tool for the release of members of their sect who have been captured by the Romans.

Unless their demands are met in full within one month, Plautius's family will be burned to death. The general decides to give Catp and Macro the opportunity to seek out the hiding place of the druids with a view to rescuing his wife and children before the month runs out. The general sees this as his only hope, as bowing to the demands of the Druids is not the Roman way . . .
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 9 June 2003
For all those fans of Bernard Cornwell, I have some shocking news. There is someone better. Even from the first pages of 'Under the Eagle' it was apparent that there was a great new storyteller about to hit the UK. His first book was gripping right from the start, his second was no disappointment to those doubting he could keep it going, the third 'Where the Eagle hunts' is just a masterpiece of excitement, humour and a thouroughly good read. The likable characters of Optio Cato, a self doubting yet courageous youth, trying to survive in an army his intellect has not prepared him for, and Centurion Macro, his Superior officer and mentor, to whom Cato is a youth showing more than a little military nouse. In this book, Scarrow manages to create a story that contains the descriptive ferocity of war, the cold-blooded cruelty of the ancient Druids and the strict, harsh life of a Roman soldier. And yet, Scarrow constantly manages to lighten by the dry and worldly humour displayed by our 2 main characters. A cliff hanger to the final word, this book really takes you to the noise and brutality of battle. It's an old cliche to say 'I couldn't put it down'. Well, I didn't. Not from cover to cover. Please Mr Scarrow, hurry up and write quickly so we can read some more.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 4 September 2003
Probably the most exciting adventure for Macro and Cato so far in the series (admittedly that's three books - but if Scarrow can keep improving then fans of historical novels are in for a rare treat).
After the Roman governor of Britain loses his family to some wild druids Macro and Cato are called in to search for them and if possible rescue them. A tall task to ask of anyone, but as ever the lads are game and get stuck into the enemy as only they know how. But this time they have the help of one Prasutagus and his fiery bride to be Boudica.
The adventure is gripping and literally page turning, and hte characrters play off each other like seasoned Quentin Tarantino pros. The dialogue is crisp and credible, and the language is exactly what you would expect from soldiers. This is no prissy Cornwell novel, these guys are three-dimensional with all the failings of real people. That's why the series is so successful; despite the fact that we know Macro and Cato are going to get out of whatever hot water they are in, their escape is never signposted and the reader is kept on tenterhooks right up until whatever qualified victory they achieve at the end.
Frankly, a military adventure series doesn't get any better than this and when you compare it to the swathe of poor quality fiction set in Rome that finds its way into bookshops, Scarrow's books shine out like a jewel in a middle of the midden (to coin a phrase).
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