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4.7 out of 5 stars
171
4.7 out of 5 stars
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Simon Scarrow is a teacher at a Sixth Form College. He has run a Roman History programme that takes parties of students to a number of sites and museums across Britain and I assume that while doing this he gleans lots of useful information for his books on the Roman Centurion, Macro and his Optio, Cato.

First published in 2002, this is the third book in the series. The book opens in Britain in the year 43 AD. The Emperor has returned to sunnier climes leaving the Roman army to continue its rape of Britain. After a protracted effort the Second Legion have been instrumental in quashing resistance in Camulodunum, leaving time for Macro and Cato to rest with the rest of the Legion.

Their General, Plautius has had the distressing news that the ship carrying his wife and family to Britain has been shipwrecked in storms off the south coast. The survivors have fallen into the hands of the Druids, who now wish to use them as a bargaining tool for the release of members of their sect who have been captured by the Romans.

Unless their demands are met in full within one month, Plautius's family will be burned to death. The general decides to give Catp and Macro the opportunity to seek out the hiding place of the druids with a view to rescuing his wife and children before the month runs out. The general sees this as his only hope, as bowing to the demands of the Druids is not the Roman way . . .
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on 9 June 2003
For all those fans of Bernard Cornwell, I have some shocking news. There is someone better. Even from the first pages of 'Under the Eagle' it was apparent that there was a great new storyteller about to hit the UK. His first book was gripping right from the start, his second was no disappointment to those doubting he could keep it going, the third 'Where the Eagle hunts' is just a masterpiece of excitement, humour and a thouroughly good read. The likable characters of Optio Cato, a self doubting yet courageous youth, trying to survive in an army his intellect has not prepared him for, and Centurion Macro, his Superior officer and mentor, to whom Cato is a youth showing more than a little military nouse. In this book, Scarrow manages to create a story that contains the descriptive ferocity of war, the cold-blooded cruelty of the ancient Druids and the strict, harsh life of a Roman soldier. And yet, Scarrow constantly manages to lighten by the dry and worldly humour displayed by our 2 main characters. A cliff hanger to the final word, this book really takes you to the noise and brutality of battle. It's an old cliche to say 'I couldn't put it down'. Well, I didn't. Not from cover to cover. Please Mr Scarrow, hurry up and write quickly so we can read some more.
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on 4 September 2003
Probably the most exciting adventure for Macro and Cato so far in the series (admittedly that's three books - but if Scarrow can keep improving then fans of historical novels are in for a rare treat).
After the Roman governor of Britain loses his family to some wild druids Macro and Cato are called in to search for them and if possible rescue them. A tall task to ask of anyone, but as ever the lads are game and get stuck into the enemy as only they know how. But this time they have the help of one Prasutagus and his fiery bride to be Boudica.
The adventure is gripping and literally page turning, and hte characrters play off each other like seasoned Quentin Tarantino pros. The dialogue is crisp and credible, and the language is exactly what you would expect from soldiers. This is no prissy Cornwell novel, these guys are three-dimensional with all the failings of real people. That's why the series is so successful; despite the fact that we know Macro and Cato are going to get out of whatever hot water they are in, their escape is never signposted and the reader is kept on tenterhooks right up until whatever qualified victory they achieve at the end.
Frankly, a military adventure series doesn't get any better than this and when you compare it to the swathe of poor quality fiction set in Rome that finds its way into bookshops, Scarrow's books shine out like a jewel in a middle of the midden (to coin a phrase).
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on 7 July 2007
This is the 3rd book in Scarrow's Roman History series. The other books, properly numbered, are: 1. Under the Eagle, 2. The Eagle's Conquest, 4. The Eagle and the Wolves, 5. The Eagle's Prey, 6. The Eagle's Prophecy, 7. The Eagle in the sand.

This novel is set during the reign of Emperor Claudius (full name Titus Claudius Nero Germanicus) and follows the fictitious lives of two Roman Army Officers during the campaign season of AD 43 in Britain, Optio (Sgt.) Quintus Licinius CATO and Centurion (Cpt.) Lucius Cornelius MACRO.
Centurion Macro and Optio Cato are serving with the II Legion Augusta, one of the historically most famous Roman legions that played a crucial role in the conquest and subjugation of Ancient Celtic Britain. They are under the command of Legatus (Legion Commander) Vespasian,the famous future emperor Titus Flavius Vespasianus.

One of the characters starring in this book is Boudicca, a.k.a Boadicea or Boadicaea, none else than the historically famous later queen of the Iceni tribe (lived in the vicinity of modern Norfolk), as well as her husband-to-be and future King of the Iceni, Prasutagus. A statue of Boadicaea stands today near Westminster Pier, London.

In this novel, the family of Gen. Aulus Plautius, Commander of the Roman Expeditionary Force in Britain are kidnapped by servants of a fictitious druid sect that honours the dark Celtic God Lud (actually LLUD, a dark deity honoured as the ruling God of Celtic Britain whose temple once stood in London's Ludgate, named after him). It falls to Macro and Cato to attempt a commando operation with the help of both Boudicca and Prasutagus in order to save them.

I highly recommend this book, as well as each and every book in the series, to fans of Roman military history. Scarrow does a very succesfull job in recreating the atmosphere of the era, and it actually feels like as if you, the reader, are actually a member of the "third century sixth cohort" there side by side with Macro and Cato, living their life, fighting their battles, experiencing their agonies. I have just finished reading the whole series (all 7 books) for the third time, and I still want more of it.

My sole complaint of Scarrow is, that he writes his books from the Roman historical perspective (it is as if you read an account of the lives of two Roman Army Veterans written by a third Roman) and he sometimes fails in writing more detail about the fascinating ancient indigenous European cultures that his heroes encounter, namely the ancient Celto-British culture and the ancient Germanic and Celto-Gallic cultures.
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on 17 July 2005
AD 44 and Macro and Cato have been on sabbatical, but in typical Scarrow style, not for long! They are soon thrust into the action as the wife and children of General Plautius are taken hostage by the Druids of the Dark Moon, and only this Centurion and his Optio can save them from an unpleasant end!
Scarrow continues the adventures of Macro and Cato in confident style and as is typical of his series the pace gathers inexorably as the book progresses, to the point at which I could quite literally not put it down!
If you enjoy high adventure, and non stop action then this series is without doubt for you.
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on 23 January 2005
I have read literature on military history throughout my life, having a proud military tradition in my family. However in the last year I have found myself fixated with Roman history, from foundation to republic and past empire to byzantine times. Having read such fabulous non-fiction as Rubicon, and Goldworthys 'In the Name of Rome' aswell as many others, I'm starting to understand Rome quite thoroughly and the way it shaped the world.
I have also read many fiction books of late based in the time of Rome. I have just finished 'Eagle in the Snow' by Wallace Breem and I have never before been so awe inspired by a fictional tale. It is wholeheartedly recommended.
I chose to start the Eagles series of books before I attempted The Emperor series, and I must say after reading the first 2 novels in this series I have no complaints.
The books are full of fast flowing action, if you read the books in sequential order the characters are actually well developed, and on whole the series is turning into a slick page turner.
Having studied the history behind the books, their is obviously lots wrong in the sense of as a previous reviewer pointed out, the humour between centurions and what not. But Simon Scarrow is a history teacher in his own right, and has obviously allowed some artistic license.
If you take the series for what it is, a damn good adventure book, you'll enjoy every page you read.
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VINE VOICEon 22 October 2008
Our unlikely heroes Macro and Cato are once again expected to save the day. Not just content with fighting the natives, and watching their backs, now they have Druids to contend with. Will these 2 mismatched friends save the day? Well worth reading to find out! Excellent series of books.... highly recommended
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on 24 July 2015
i am getting right in to these books the pace and action does not stop you feel they pain and sorrow you get the brutal feeling of close battle with swords etc not nice . it is all described well with detail i shall have to read all 13th books i feel there are worth my time to do that
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on 6 July 2009
This is the third book I've read by this author, and it was no disappointment! The characters are likable, there's lots of action and suspense. Historical fiction at its very best. An excellent read.
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on 23 March 2004
What can I say? This is simply the most adventure story that I have ever read. Picked it up in a bookshop in Keswick, took it home and read it in one sitting. Delighted to discover that this author has written two other paperbacks featuring the incomparable Macro and Cato, and I'll be buying the fourth one in hardback as soon as possible.
In short, it's kind of all the delights of Hornblower, Sharpe, Aubrey and Maturin and Falco rolled into a stylish one.
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