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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a magnificent series this is!
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...
Published on 14 Nov 2002 by harold1069

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Not up to Scarrow's usual standard
This story is O.K. but is not as good as the previous tales. Some of the action feels somewhat forced and the depictions of Boudica and Prasutagus are a bit cliched, particularly the latter's dumb but descent barbarian act. On the other hand, it does have it's moments and the introduction of the Druids as bogeymen adds a nice new level of threat.
Published 21 months ago by William Axtell


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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a magnificent series this is!, 14 Nov 2002
This review is from: When the Eagle Hunts (Hardcover)
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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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars WHEN THE EAGLE HUNTS, 15 Aug 2002
By 
Mr. Warren M. Fisher (East Grinstead, West Sussex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: When the Eagle Hunts (Hardcover)
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better and Better, 12 Jun 2011
By 
Parm (A bookshop near you) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: When the Eagle Hunts (Hardcover)
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Cato & Macro go on a mission of rescue behind enemy lines, 28 Aug 2014
By 
Amazon Customer "Sussman" (London CA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: When the Eagle Hunts (Paperback)
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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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hurry up! Where's the next one., 9 Jun 2003
By 
This review is from: When the Eagle Hunts (Paperback)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Another Adventure for Young Cato and Macro, 28 Dec 2007
By 
J. Chippindale (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: When the Eagle Hunts (Paperback)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Another Adventure for Young Cato and Macro, 18 Jan 2008
By 
J. Chippindale (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: When the Eagle Hunts (Hardcover)
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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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic read, 4 Sep 2003
By 
Neo Man (Alconbury, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: When the Eagle Hunts (Paperback)
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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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The, 23 Jan 2005
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This review is from: When the Eagle Hunts (Paperback)
I have read literature on military history throughout my life, having a proud military tradition in my family. However in the last year I have found myself fixated with Roman history, from foundation to republic and past empire to byzantine times. Having read such fabulous non-fiction as Rubicon, and Goldworthys 'In the Name of Rome' aswell as many others, I'm starting to understand Rome quite thoroughly and the way it shaped the world.
I have also read many fiction books of late based in the time of Rome. I have just finished 'Eagle in the Snow' by Wallace Breem and I have never before been so awe inspired by a fictional tale. It is wholeheartedly recommended.
I chose to start the Eagles series of books before I attempted The Emperor series, and I must say after reading the first 2 novels in this series I have no complaints.
The books are full of fast flowing action, if you read the books in sequential order the characters are actually well developed, and on whole the series is turning into a slick page turner.
Having studied the history behind the books, their is obviously lots wrong in the sense of as a previous reviewer pointed out, the humour between centurions and what not. But Simon Scarrow is a history teacher in his own right, and has obviously allowed some artistic license.
If you take the series for what it is, a damn good adventure book, you'll enjoy every page you read.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superior, realistic 1st C AD Roman Army historical fiction. Highly recommended., 7 July 2007
By 
Achaean (Patras, Achaea, Greece) - See all my reviews
This review is from: When the Eagle Hunts (Paperback)
This is the 3rd book in Scarrow's Roman History series. The other books, properly numbered, are: 1. Under the Eagle, 2. The Eagle's Conquest, 4. The Eagle and the Wolves, 5. The Eagle's Prey, 6. The Eagle's Prophecy, 7. The Eagle in the sand.

This novel is set during the reign of Emperor Claudius (full name Titus Claudius Nero Germanicus) and follows the fictitious lives of two Roman Army Officers during the campaign season of AD 43 in Britain, Optio (Sgt.) Quintus Licinius CATO and Centurion (Cpt.) Lucius Cornelius MACRO.
Centurion Macro and Optio Cato are serving with the II Legion Augusta, one of the historically most famous Roman legions that played a crucial role in the conquest and subjugation of Ancient Celtic Britain. They are under the command of Legatus (Legion Commander) Vespasian,the famous future emperor Titus Flavius Vespasianus.

One of the characters starring in this book is Boudicca, a.k.a Boadicea or Boadicaea, none else than the historically famous later queen of the Iceni tribe (lived in the vicinity of modern Norfolk), as well as her husband-to-be and future King of the Iceni, Prasutagus. A statue of Boadicaea stands today near Westminster Pier, London.

In this novel, the family of Gen. Aulus Plautius, Commander of the Roman Expeditionary Force in Britain are kidnapped by servants of a fictitious druid sect that honours the dark Celtic God Lud (actually LLUD, a dark deity honoured as the ruling God of Celtic Britain whose temple once stood in London's Ludgate, named after him). It falls to Macro and Cato to attempt a commando operation with the help of both Boudicca and Prasutagus in order to save them.

I highly recommend this book, as well as each and every book in the series, to fans of Roman military history. Scarrow does a very succesfull job in recreating the atmosphere of the era, and it actually feels like as if you, the reader, are actually a member of the "third century sixth cohort" there side by side with Macro and Cato, living their life, fighting their battles, experiencing their agonies. I have just finished reading the whole series (all 7 books) for the third time, and I still want more of it.

My sole complaint of Scarrow is, that he writes his books from the Roman historical perspective (it is as if you read an account of the lives of two Roman Army Veterans written by a third Roman) and he sometimes fails in writing more detail about the fascinating ancient indigenous European cultures that his heroes encounter, namely the ancient Celto-British culture and the ancient Germanic and Celto-Gallic cultures.
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