Roman on the Beach,
This review is from: The Eagle In The Sand (Paperback)
Simon Scarrow is a canny author who decided early on in the Marco and Cato series of novels to pace himself in a way that will allow the pair to appear in many adventures together. This does mean at times that the series is a little slow, but each tale has its own feel as Scarrow explores different types of narrative whilst still remaining within the structure of the action led historic fiction genre. Here M and C find themselves travelling East and having to deal not only with possible treason, but also a powerful new cult that is arising in the area.
Like previous books in the series ‘The Eagle in the Sand’ mixes the fictional adventures of our heroes in with the real history of the time. As previous books have been set in Britain and Rome I was able to follow what was going on as I have covered them many times before. This time Scarrow looks to the cult of Jesus et al of the period and I found it all very confusing. There are many rival elements vying for power in the region and I for one could not get my head around who was who at times. Scarrow’s insistence at bringing in all these warring elements really detracted from the central story at times.
This is a shame as the action and story are as solid as ever. The battles are well written and spending time with both Marco and Cato remains a joy. The prolonged siege is one of the best battle sequences that Scarrow has written yet and I really enjoyed the various guerrilla tactics that Cato in particular liked to evoke. It is just the elements that sit around the action that are a little poorer than other outings in the series. As our intrepid duo head back West to take on the Brits and Boudicca, I am sure that the plots will once more come back to match the high quality of the action.