Top positive review
40 people found this helpful
on 11 June 2007
In my own opinion, this - the fifth in the Eagle series of books about the adventures of Centurions Macro and Cato - is by far the best piece of Scarrow's writing to date. I admit to enjoying the first three, but felt a little let down by the fourth which I felt seemed to be inspired by Scarrow sitting down one Christmas after a healthy helping of X-mas pudding, watching the annual re-run of Zulu on the TV and then adapting it into The Eagle And The Wolves !
The book mainly concerns the aftermath of the disastrous attempt of the third cohort - under the leadership of the perpetual back-stabbing Maximius - to delay Caratacus from escaping from the main body of the legion, and ending the war with the rebellious Britain's as early as possible to keep the name of Claudius respectable in Rome.
After some serious passing of the buck by Maximius, Narcissus decides that a decimation of the legion would be best and the novel details the results, the escape of those facing death, the chase by the surviving members of the third cohort and the eventual final show down with Caratacus in the Marsh lands.
I found that when Macro and Cato's legion were facing decimation I could just not put the book down until I knew what was going to happen - and we all knew that one of our illustrious duo were going to draw the short straw.
Being a lecturer on Roman history the details of Roman society, political intrigue and army life in the legions are superbly written as usual and exactly what I have come to expect from Scarrow`s earlier novels. Scarrow's addiction to detail, mixed with adventure, political intrigue, friendship, blood and gore once again do the business for me.
The only down side I can see in this book, was that I wanted to know what happened to Figulus after he returned to Vespasian, and how much trouble Plautius got into politically after events of the final few pages of the book.
I would also like to thank Scrarrow for not flogging the British part of this series to death. The end of this book sees the duo departing for shores anew and new adventures - too many writers these days seem to flog a series to death just to sell books.
As a final note, I would like to ask the publishers of these novels to stop using Elizabeth Chadwick's praise on the back of these books. THERE IS NO LOVE in these novels (OK, Vespasian`s for his family, but...)!!! So if you pick this book up and think its romance, just ignore her !!