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67 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic read - utterly gripping from the first page.
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...
Published on 15 Feb. 2001

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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rip-roaring Escapism...
“Under the Eagle” is quite simply a rollicking read. And for a first novel is an adept piece of escapism. My reading of “Under the Eagle” undoubtedly suffered slightly from my reading of Steven Pressfield’s awesome “Gates of Fire” just prior. However I enjoyed the book’s quick pace, likeable characters, bouts of furious...
Published on 13 April 2003 by Smithy


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67 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic read - utterly gripping from the first page., 15 Feb. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Under the Eagle (Hardcover)
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Under the Eagle, 18 Jun. 2010
By 
Je Salter (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Under the Eagle (Paperback)
Under the Eagle sees the start of the epic adventures of Centurion Macro and Cato. I actually bought 'Eagle in the Sand' first and then spent frantic weeks trying to find all the previous titles in hardback format.

Under the Eagle sees the arrival of a young Cato with the legion and his experiences as he comes to terms with life in the army with Macro in Germania. Simon Scarrow produces an excellent story with realistic characters as the battles commence and the blood flows.

Some poetic license is included as the two Roman soldiers jump geographically from region to region in the books and their capers are more like those of Roman Special Forces but they are excellent reads.

I took five of his books with me to Spain on holiday and by the time the two weeks were over, the books were read and throroughly enjoyed. Simon Scarrow for me is a better story teller than Bernard Cornwell because theres more action, more going on and his stories flow.
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Eagle has Landed, 24 April 2007
By 
This review is from: Under the Eagle (Paperback)
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great stuff, 11 Jun. 2011
By 
Parm (A bookshop near you) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Under the Eagle (Paperback)
This is the first in series of really amazing books, starring the loveable and often highly amusing Centurion Macro and his awkward Optio Cato .In this series, largely based around the invasion of Britain in 42 AD, Simon Scarrow creates astonishingly vivid characters that really do bring history to life. It includes all the ingredients of an epic: violence, heroism, loyalty,deceit, freindship and love all set in the enthralling backdrop of the Roman empire.
This book sparked off a real interest in the Roman era for me, particularly the legions depicted here in such a heoric and fascinatng light.
I am still looking for a novel of it's calibre, that can equal it for it's ability to captivate and engross the reader.
I strongly recommend these books to not only those with an interest in Roman history but also anyone who wants a spellbinding,
and thoroughly enjoyable historical novel
(Parm)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As Macro and Cato meet they are polar opposites, who become good friends, 3 Aug. 2014
By 
Susman "Sussman" (London Mills IL) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
.
Some Spoilers

Under the Eagle is the first book in the Eagle Series, by Simon Scarrow. The book opens with a small preface set during the first Roman invasion of Britain in 55 BC. As a group of legionaries lose the army's pay chest in a marsh while withdrawing to the ships. The narrative then proceeds to the German frontier in AD 43, where a new draft of recruits is arriving at the base of the Second Legion.

We are then introduced to the two main protagonists; Quintus Licinius Cato and Lucius Cornelius Macro, are both Roman soldiers. Macro, a veteran with nearly 15 years’ service (at the start of the first novel) within the Roman Army, has recently been appointed to the Centurionate; Cato is subsequently made his Optio. From the get go straight Under the Eagle into the action and the reader is given a vivid account of in the Rome Army on the Rhine Frontier. For those of you who have sampled other books in the series you will no doubt be familiar with Mr Scarrow's approach to action scenes as the reader is immersed into the narrative, better than some video game. What you also get in this book are some new and interesting plot threads and the building of solid friendship between Optio and Centurion. There is action seen in Germany where the Romans are involved battle/skirmish with German tribesman. The action later on shifts to the second invasion of Britain by a Roman army.

Mr Scarrow also pays attention to historical element - the reader gets a thought-provoking look into Roman military society and here we really get to see the differences between say the new recruit and the veteran soldiers. The dialogue is framed in such a way - so you really get a feel for the merits of this book. The pacing, as ever is good, and is pretty engrossing as well as entertaining and at time amusing. Under the Eagle is literally edge of your seat stuff, as the author has mastered the art of balancing between well moulded characters and pulling the reader into their `world'. The characters of Macro and Cato are polar opposites, for they are the centerpiece of the narrative and the series, they are really well crafted characters. They do not fail in keeping the readers interest; after all `we' the readers have `invested' ourselves in their lives - warts and all.

So, if you're interested in reading about the rich tapestry of Imperial Roman army and the Empire they forged, or you are already familiar with Simon Scarrow's Eagle series - then look no further as Under the Eagle will be right up your street. Great story telling that only Simon Scarrow could have put together.
.
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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 (England) - See all my reviews
(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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars First Book in the Macro and Cato Series, 28 Dec. 2007
By 
J. Chippindale (England) - See all my reviews
(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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good page turner, 17 Aug. 2008
By 
John Hopper (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Pacey thriller, fulfilling the author's wish to write a military page turner set during the Roman invasion of Britain. The actual invasion of Britain (over three quarters of the way through) is a bit of an anti-climax and the Britons are not really in it until the battle at the end, except as an amorphous horde over the next hill or just inside the nearest patch of mist. Not as good as Saylor, but diverting and exciting. I will be reading the following 7 (at the latest count) novels in the series.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great read - looking forward to the next Cato adventure!, 27 Jun. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Under the Eagle (Paperback)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great debut!, 27 Dec. 2014
This review is from: Under the Eagle (Paperback)
A great debut for Simon Scarrow, he weaves a gritty tale of life in the Legions of Rome, combined with very believable three dimensional characters only a few historical holes, one in particular as far as I'm concerned, Cato's promotion to optio on entering the Legion, it would just not be possible.

Footnote:

The perfect companion to the Eagle series is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter 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!
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Under the Eagle
Under the Eagle by Simon Scarrow (Paperback - 7 Aug. 2008)
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