Under the Eagle

Date finished: 6-12-08
Author: Simon Scarrow
Category: Historical fiction
Published: 2000
Pages: 246
Rating: 5/5

Basic Plot:
It’s 42 A.D. and the Second Legion is defending the borders of the empire in Germany. Former slave Cato joins the legion and learns what life on the front lines is like for the Roman army in clashes with the Germans. But that could never have prepared him for what lay on the other side of the Channel and the political maneuverings that send him and his centurion Macro on a quest that almost costs them their lives.

My assessment:
Where’s the next one? Can’t wait to read more in this series, particularly as the ending left us with the hint of more to come. Fabulous characters, lots of action, great setting – this book had it all. Totally loved it. The fully military setting out on the outskirts of the empire made for a nice change from all the stories set in the full political atmosphere of Rome.

As a character, Cato grows on you at the same time as he’s growing up and into his role as optio. I’m glad the story didn’t turn out to be all about his undeserved promotion, but his youth and inexperience were key facets and a nice contrast to the crusty centurion Macro. This pair was a team you were rooting for all the way.

There was a bit of a mystery in trying to figure out friend and foe, but it wasn’t a mystery story by any means. But the conspiracy added flavor to this military tale. Well worth the read.

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