3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Cliched and Plotless,
This review is from: Under the Eagle (Paperback)
Scarrow's 'Under The Eagle' definitely left me thinking, unfortunately it was 'where is the plot?'
To me it seems that Scarrow wanted to write a modern day thriller in the vein of James Barrington, in the Roman period. Unfortunately it fails on both points.
There is no feeling that this book is Roman, apart from characters dressing up in Roman costume. Characters speak in a modern idiom, their dialogue littered with anglo-saxon swears. Cato calls the Legion's eagle 'a piece of metal,' surely a flogging offence in the Legions? The idea that a fort's sick bay would be an equivalent a modern day military hospital is utterly preposterous. For far too many times, Scarrow gets on his soapbox to lecture the reader on Roman history or politics.
But my biggest gripe is that the book doesn't go anywhere. I would be grateful if someone actually explained the plot to me. All I can see is a succession of scenes set in forts or battles. There is never a well developed antagonist anymore than a faceless, barbarian Celtic tribes. Cato and Macro's characterisation is cliched and cardboard at best. The narrative never progresses beyond a good vs bad mentality.
I can see that there is a market for this kind of military stuff, but give me a plot, strong characters and a well developed antagonist.