Learn more Download now Browse your favorite restaurants Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn more Shop now Shop now Learn more Learn more Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
189
The Eagle and the Wolves (Eagles of the Empire 4)
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:£8.46+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


TOP 100 REVIEWERon 15 April 2016
This is book 4 of Simon Scarrow’s “Eagle of the Empire” series. The first phase of the conquest of Britain has ended but Caradoc, the chief of the Catuvellani and heart of the resistance against Rome has escaped capture and retreated to the North-West (to what is now Wales) with the remnants of his army. The bulk of the Roman forces with Aulus Plautius have advanced to confront him while Vespasian (and Macro and Cato) with the Second Legion have “pacified” the South-West and taken dozens of hill-top forts and towns in the process. The problem is that the Roman supply lines have become extended and the territory behind the lines is far from being totally subdued.

The story begins as Cato and Macro are recovering (especially Cato, grievously wounded in the previous episode) at Calleva, the Roman rear base and supply depot. The King of the Atrebates – Verica (a historical character) is pro-Roman but not all of the Atrebates are and many fought against the Romans. Because the Romans cannot spare enough soldiers to garrison Calleva, Cato and Macro are tasked with forming and training two cohorts of auxiliaries out of the Attrebate warriors, cohorts which will fight hard and give their best against the common enemy.

This is probably one my favourites titles in the whole series. It includes the usual themes developed by Simon Scarrow, such as the rough bantering and friendship of the comrade-in-arms Cato and Macro and the usual desperate fighting. One valuable element with this is to make the story more plausible and to show that the conquest of Britain was no “walk in the park”. Resistance was fierce and Romans suffered setbacks, as shown in the book. It also helps to explain why it took so long (about a decade) to subdue only the southern part of Britain.

This volume, however, also introduces somewhat different themes. One is the fact that Rome was in fact supported by a number of chieftains and at least part if not all of their respective tribes. Rather skilfully, Rome exploited old rivalries, hatreds and the settling of old scores against the Catuvallani which had previously been dominant and seem to have caused the exile of Verica King of the Atrebates. The point here is that such support certainly helped the Romans although, as shown in the book, it may not have been wholehearted. No levy and formation of auxiliary cohorts of Britons to fight against Britons from other tribes are recorded although, given the circumstances described in the book, this could have taken place since the fall of Calleva to Caredoc would in fact have cut-off the Roman forces from their supplies and any reinforcements.

Another more moving theme is that of loyalty, trust and the warrior ethos as the Wolves develop a sense of a new common identity and pride under the harsh training of their Roman centurions. The way the author presents their faithfulness and their fate is rather moving and not exactly to the credit of the Roman command, although the latter’s behaviour is perhaps understandable given the dramatic circumstances.

The battles, both outside and within Calleva, are simply griping. An interesting feature used by the author in a number of his novels is to show that the noble warrior elite were “professionals”, probably just as well armed as the Romans and just as dangerous, as shown for instance in the last battle. The intrigues and plots within the ruling caste and families of the Atrebates, with the divide between pro and anti-Roman matching rivalries for leadership, is also well done.

Easily worth five stars.
2 people found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 4 May 2017
I am trying to read all the books in order one after the other, so this book is another piece of the Jigsaw. Cato is coming into his own and the book explores his thoughts and views set against having to carry out orders with out question. So again a good read, but would always suggest you read the prequels first and therefore not in isolation.
One person found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 10 August 2011
BRIEF STORY DETAILS - SLIGHT SPOILERS

44 AD, and in south-west Britain Vespasian, commander of the Second Legion, Centurion Macro and newly appointed centurion Cato in the thick of the fighting. Verica and his Atrebatans align with Rome but revolt against the invasion spreads. Macro and Cato fight for their lives as a Rome itself is threatened by political plot

SAFE READING _ NO SPOILERS

I have read all the "Eagle" series in order, followed the careers of Cato and Macro with great interest and eagerly await the already pre-ordered "Praetorian".
Not the heights of Literature (nor pretending to be), but well-written nevertheless, the series is filled with his great depth of knowledge, enthusiasm for and interest in the Romans.
Cunningly peopled with all the names from our history lessons - Vespasian, Cladius, Caratacus, Boudica - and the Roman campaigns to extend the Empire but centred on two Roman soldiers who become unlikely close friends, Macro and Cato, their careers and friendship carries the stories along. Following them closely allows the intimate details of human life to be in the forefront while the everyday lives of Roman soldiers and the political intrigues of the Roman Empire provide the backdrop.

PS I found it helpful to have a one-page list of Roman army ranks, which I used as a bookmark, and I had the odd glance at ancient maps (not mine I hasten to add!).
One person found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 16 June 2017
A fabulous writer, thoroughly enjoyed the book, plenty of action and historical facts, the bbok arrived in perfect condition, and a pleasure to read, at the moment I am reading the complete series. DAVE BOWEN.
One person found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 4 February 2014
I'm a fan of Macro and Cato and this is well up to their usual standard. Well written and nicely woven around real historical characters and events. I like the style in that the conversation is readable and modern rather than attempting cod Roman. Mr Scarrow doesn't go overboard on vivid gut spilling, a pleasant change that other writers could learn from.
One person found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 8 February 2013
My husband bought me The Eagles Prophecy for Christmas. I started reading it on Christmas day and I really loved it. You can imagine my delight when I found out this was a long series of books. Having a Kindle I began at book 1 and am now half way through book 9, The Centurion. They have all been excellent but, if I have favourites, the Eagle and the Wolves and When the Eagle hunts, are the ones. These adventures of Macro and Cato, the main protaganists of this series of books, are set in Britain and trace the attempts by Rome to conquer the British tribes. Every book has been exciting and the auhtor's research and knowledge about the Roman Legions is extensive and adds to that excitement. I can't rate this series of books highly enough and know I am going to be very disappointed when I have read the last one!
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 13 January 2016
Extremely well written, fast paced, excellent characterisation and absorbing. Has rekindled an interest in Roman History especially as the action in the series takes place in areas which you can still visit today.
Thoroughly recommended
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 26 April 2018
Superb product and delivered really fast, thank you very much.
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 14 February 2018
bought it read it loved it arrived on time
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 7 October 2017
fantastic books in this series, very hard to put the book down once I started nice to be able to get lost in these books deco 10\10
|0Comment|Report abuse