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on 6 January 2017
I'm actually now on book 15 of this series now but I came back to book one to encourage new readers to give Simon Scarrow a try. He is not quite as good as Bernard Cornwell but I have found myself just as hooked on this 'Eagles' series as I was with Cornwell's 'Sharpe Series'. That is high praise as far as I am concerned.

He gradually develops the main characters, Cato & Macro, extremely well so that you almost feel that you know them and how they will react. He also weaves the stories between real historical events (just as Cornwell does) which gives me a better sense of realism and a small real history lesson too.

Thoroughly recomended.
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on 18 January 2018
I'm very much enjoying working my way through this series. Yes, it's easy reading and not particularly sophisticated, but that's exactly what I'm enjoying as I'm in the mood to keep turning pages and watch the action bounce from one act of derring-do to another. Never a dull moment. The reason I haven't given this one five stars is that it's pretty silly how the gangling, utterly battle-inexperienced, weedy Cato goes into a fight and manages to defeat an awful lot of infinitely more skilled adversaries, not once, but repeatedly. If he were a woman he'd be called a Mary Sue (I'm not sure if there's a male equivalent!). I'd much rather have had him fall over, need rescuing, have lucky escapes etc, since he's obviously going to survive relatively intact, then have this skinny unfit youth suddenly knowing how to duck under a blow and whack his opponent into submission.

That aside, it's cheerful, undemanding stuff. The few women are wives or girlfriends, the only gay guy is dead, it's all very old-fashioned, but if you approach the series on that basis you'll have a very entertaining time.
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on 21 October 2017
I’ve been meaning to start this series for a long time after reading a collection of short stories by the same author and enjoying them, so I decided to give Simon Scarrow and his Eagle series a go. I will start by saying I really enjoyed it mainly because it wasn’t what I was expecting.
When reading historical fiction sometimes authors will write in the style of the period in which it is set which is understandable, but with this book it is written in a contemporary style with lots of over the top swearing and modern words which made it refreshing to read and also gave it a good pace and no real yawn moments.
The book begins with an excellent prologue and sets the backbone for the story as it’s relevant by the end of the book. Then we move forward and the year is 42 AD and Quintus Licinius Cato has just arrived in Germany as a new recruit to the Second Legion. He has a special note from the Emperor giving him a quick rise through the ranks of the Roman Army and he becomes an Optio and becomes second in command under Centurion Lucius Cornelius Marco, this is where the story takes off and most of the story is built around the relationship of this too. Cato is only 17, merely a boy, and because he has jumped the ranks the others don’t like him and to make matters worse he still has to do the basic training with the other recruits.
The basic training reminded me of the film Full Metal Jacket, as we have a drill instructor called Bestia who makes the recruit’s lives a complete misery and Cato gets the worst of it because of his quick promotion, this makes for some very amusing scenes and extremely colourful language is belted out throughout this segment of the book.
I want to move on now to Marco and Cato’s relationship and this book really sees the two bond well. At the start Marco has no respect for the boy, who has come from a cosy life in Rome and has done nothing but read books but this is important as he has intelligence, but Cato doesn’t cover himself in glory, it has to be said at times he can be a complete imbecile, but as the story progresses Cato’s intelligence proves a winner and he gains the respect of Marco and more importantly the men under him.
One of my favourite parts of the book is Marco teasing Cato over his love sick attitude regarding a servant girl who he wants to make advancements towards. Marco really does wind him up which really made me laugh, but I also enjoyed the fact that Marco and Cato eventually become friends which made this book so worthwhile and definitely helps for the future of the series.
The other characters are all good as well and there is a lot of scheming as you would expect from the Romans; however it made a nice change for me as a reader to not have to read lots of long speeches which can happen and so many historical authors do have a tendency to feel the need to put them in.
The battles against the Germans and the Britons are of a high standard too which is a plus for me but the author didn’t feel the need to give graphic descriptions of people getting mutilated, he just kept it simple which helped the flow a lot.
Overall I really liked the book, it was a character building book for future releases which I will undoubtedly read in the future and with this series spanning sixteen books I think I better get started before the author decides to write anymore.
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on 30 June 2016
This is one of the more enjoyable Ancient Rome based novels I have read over the years. It is set during the reign of Claudius and takes place mainly in Gaul. The action is exciting and moreish. I read this book in under a week and will definitely go on to read the next book in the series. The intrigue is enough to keep you guessing and the plot itself is well constructed and entertaining. I found myself cheering Cato and Macro on, and their developing relationship throughout the book was believable and comforting.

This is the first Simon Scarrow book I have read, but it certainly wont be the last.
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on 18 June 2010
Under the Eagle sees the start of the epic adventures of Centurion Macro and Cato. I actually bought 'Eagle in the Sand' first and then spent frantic weeks trying to find all the previous titles in hardback format.

Under the Eagle sees the arrival of a young Cato with the legion and his experiences as he comes to terms with life in the army with Macro in Germania. Simon Scarrow produces an excellent story with realistic characters as the battles commence and the blood flows.

Some poetic license is included as the two Roman soldiers jump geographically from region to region in the books and their capers are more like those of Roman Special Forces but they are excellent reads.

I took five of his books with me to Spain on holiday and by the time the two weeks were over, the books were read and throroughly enjoyed. Simon Scarrow for me is a better story teller than Bernard Cornwell because theres more action, more going on and his stories flow.
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on 25 March 2017
Received on time, very good well written story i will read the rest of the series and have the next book on my wish list.
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on 13 September 2017
I've read a number of books on the Roman Empire, this one is ok but I'm not sure I want the language translated in laddish English terms. However, not too badly written and has a good storyline. For the historic story enthusiast I would highly recommend Conn Iggulden books.
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on 11 January 2017
Conjures the events with exceptional clarity.Exciting, very well researched and find this Briton egging on Romans - how bizarre is that! I purchased the 2nd book of the series immediately on finishing reading this 1st book of the series - enough said! Book 2 is proving as addictive...
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on 9 December 2015
What an amazing book, honestly cannot recommend this enough. Great story and characters, If Roman era fiction is your thing then you should give this a go. It doesnt bog itself down too much with facts and historical authenticity like some do. The characters are modern and you can easily relate to them. Well worth reading.
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on 19 December 2016
Once I'd discovered the Cato and Macro books I simply couldn't put them down; a brilliant picture of the life of a Roman soldier on campaign. The whole "Eagles of the Empire" series is a brilliant read. Don't miss out on "The Gladiator", "Arena" and "Novella" series either. Just as good!
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