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4.4 out of 5 stars271
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 14 January 2016
I am impressed.
Now, the above as a beginning to a book review may not appear very fulsome, but in mitigation, I am an insatiably, devouring beast for literature - reasonably good literature I think/hope - and have been ever since I was a nipper about a thousand years ago.
In my old age, I have also become ridiculously picky and very spoilt indeed as to that which I cast my peepers upon for any length of time, and frankly, if a new book has not 'grabbed' me within a very few chapters it is wantonly cast aside. Add to the above-mentioned foibles the fact I am additionally not one to rush to a new author and/or genre at the drop of a hat, and I must surely be the personification of an authors nightmare!
So, I hear you cry, what is this loon doing trying this particular literary offering? Simple really, I have always been a devotee of Bernard Cornwell, and instantly espying his generous comment re Simon Scarrow, I was very easily seduced.
In truth, I have not finished this first entry in this series by Simon Scarrow as I only acquired the first tome a few days ago, but I have to say I have thoroughly enjoyed every word to date. Well written, with great characters and a story which transported me back to the glory days of Rome.
If you are wavering for any reason please desist. I feel sure you will not regret the purchase.
Highly recommended.
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on 24 January 2007
Under the Eagle is the first in a stunning line of the 'Eagle Series'. Scarrow (The Author), creates believable characters, who you can grow fond of, and characters that you despise almost as much as if they people you knew for real. With plot twists, lots of detailed and well-described battles, combined with an insight into the way things were for the average Roman soldier, and the political games played by their superiors, this book is hard to put down. You may even find that you read the whole series too quickly, and be waiting for the next one desperately. Proof of this books high quality is from praise by Bernard Cornwell: 'I really don't need this kind of competition...a great read!'
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on 12 November 2012
The Weekend Starts Here!It's Different For GirlsMy first Simon Scarrow although I've read other Roman novels. Very enjoyable read that seems more interested in entertaining than educating. I liked the fact that the characters spoke in a language I understood instead of trying to make us learn cod Latin. If you like a good yarn you'll enjoy this.
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on 24 February 2014
Because I enjoy Roman historical novels and Simon Scarrow is an excellent writer. His novels create good mental pictures of Roman history
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on 2 June 2007
Under the Eagle is one hell of a book. The action and adventure is a true delight and the interactions of the characters are believable and runs the gamut in terms of emotions. This book's, and indeed the series, strength is the two main protagonists, Cato and Marco. The beginnings of their friendship and their joint exertions are hugely enjoyable and I highly recommend this novel to all lovers of historical fiction and those who aren't as well. A great beginning to a first rate series.
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on 23 March 2006
Having just finished the Boudica series by Manda Scott, I was still hungry for some more stories from that era, and in choosing this book, I have not been disappointed! The only thing I AM disappointed about is not finding this series sooner!
The writing style is quick and flowing, and grabs the reader to keep reading more. Firstly this style of book will always be compared to Bernard Cornwell, and while I am a fan of his, I have to say that the quality of writing in this book is better than the "Sharpe" series.
The characters on first viewing look standard format; older guy nurturing a younger lower ranked sidekick....but don't let that put you off. Both of the main characters, Macro and Cato, have very independent thoughts and actions and their own sub-plots and trials and tribulations.
Such is the nature of the Roman period, there is so much scope for intrigue and political plots, based around the real historical characters too. In his writing, it is obvious how passionate and knowledgable the author is on this subject.
The book provides not only an excellent historical fiction, but it also gives some good ideas and insights on the invasion of Britain in 43AD.
A great read...off to read book 2!
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on 24 April 2009
I throughly enjoyed this book. The characters are great, the story is gripping. Historical fiction at its most exciting!
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on 13 April 2003
“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 action, and Scarrow’s elaborately woven, underlying plot of political intrigue. I have read various reviewers suspicions of Scarrow’s characters using modern British slang, however I think this ultimately works well (although it is a little jarring to begin with). Just so long as Scarrow doesn’t let it get too fluid and we end up with a Cockney “Jack the Lad” Roman Centurion. But this doesn’t occur in this book and I am pleased to say that the use of modern dialogue makes the pages skip by quickly and eludes the sometimes dire “thees” and “thous” which have made some novels with ancient settings sound like a “Carry On Caesar”.
Scarrow has created the start of what promises to be a great series, centred around the adventures of Macro and Cato. I recommend this book to anyone after a cracking good, light weight read. It’s a fun story, packed with action. I dare say there’ll be many amateur classicists who’ll jump behind their high-browed snobbery and berate this enormously. Their loss. This isn’t meant to be “I Claudius” or a Mary Renault novel, it’s a little bit of daring-do set in Roman times. And a fine piece of escapism it is too!
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on 12 April 2002
This is definitely one of the most exciting debut novels in the genre for many years. Scarrow's opening tale of the legions introduces us to tough veteran centurion Macro and his painfully raw sidekick Cato. Together they face barbarian german hordes, desperate british warriors and scheming traitors in a pacy whirl of a story. The characters are beautifully drawn with all the foibles of real people. The settings are described with a lyrical intensity that makes them highly visual. The battles are unbearably tense and described with a gripping immediacy that left me breathless. If ever a book was described as a page-turner then this is it.
While some wags have described this as Sharp in togas, Under The Eagle is better than that. Better than O'Brian and even better than CS Forester.
I can't wait to read the sequel when it comes out in a few months' time. If it is as good as Under The Eagle then I may well break the rule of a lifetime and buy the third book in hardback...
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on 28 April 2009
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. Very different to Sharpe and other War Novels but after disciplining myself and cracking on with this book I got hooked.

Try this book. I reccomend it.
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