1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Over all very good,
This review is from: Under the Eagle (Eagles of the Empire 1) (Paperback)
Having read Conn Igguldens' "Emperor" series I wanted to read more historical fiction about the Romans. This book, indeed the entire series (Which I am in the possess of working my way through) is taken from an entirely different view. Set in AD 42, the year before the Roman invasion of Britain, the book covers the lives of Macro, a newly appointed Centurion, and a fresh recruit from the imperial palace of Rome named Cato.
Although the details are very historically accurate the style in which it is written is perhaps, for me at least, a little two modern. Modern day phrases are dropped into dialog and this could, for some, detract from the realism. On the other hand we do not know what sort of phrases were frequently used by the Romans so inserting some of our own into their speech can make the characters seem more human. That is for the reader to decide.
The book flits between complete fiction with the lives of the Roman soldiers, obviously we do not know what individual soldiers got up to or what personal missions they were assigned, and hard fact. The information on the movement of legions is accurate and the presence of historical characters such as Vespasian and Narcissus make for a very interesting read.
All in all I think that this book, written from the common legionaries' perspective, is very involving and easy to read. The author creates some very believable barrack room conversation and, although the odds against the main protagonists are sometimes a little too high, a very realistic picture of the Roman army.