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Hachette Book Group (AU)
This price was set by the publisher.
The Eagle's Conquest (Eagles of the Empire 2): Cato & Macro: Book 2 Kindle Edition
|Length: 322 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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"Scarrow manages to summon up in this exhilarating tale all the glory and the gore that characterized life in the Roman legions. Outstanding military history from a relatively new master of the genre." --Booklist
"Good, clean, intelligent fun." --Kirkus Reviews
..".nonstop action." --Publishers Weekly--This text refers to the paperback edition.
- ASIN : B002TZ3FIS
- Publisher : Headline; paperback / softback edition (4 September 2008)
- Language : English
- File size : 5199 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 322 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 113,770 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from other countries
A Cato and Macro novel, and our 2 heroes are with the second legion as they attempt to push North their goal Camulodunum ( Colchester) Blocking their path is tribal chief Caratacus, his fanatical followers, all bound together by their hate of the Romans……”Vespasian felt a grudging respect for the Britons’ leader, Caratacus, chief of the Catuvellauni. That man had more tricks up his sleeve yet, and the Roman army of General Aulus Plautius had better treat the enemy with more respect than had been the case so far”......Yet amongst all this carnage and bloodshed Scarrow introduces at intervals some light descriptive humour…….”One particular warrior had proved extremely aggravating for the Roman artillery crews. He was a huge man, with a winged helmet over his blond hair and he stood naked at the water’s edge, shouting abuse at the Roman warships as he defiantly waved a double-headed axe. Every so often he would turn round and thrust his backside towards the enemy, defying them to do their worst”......
We cannot help but applaud at times the ingenuity of the invaders, their masterful fighting skills and in particular the “testudo” in literal translation, the tortoise…the best chance of Legionaries surviving a frontal assault was by quickly forming a wall and roof of protecting shields. As the campaign proceeds Emperor Claudius departs Rome to lead the final assault against Caratacus. Claudius is splendidly portrayed as a weak narcissist, his stammer only adding to his pitiful image. What better way for such an important leader to make a spectacular entrance atop a mighty elephant….”The elephant driver halted the Emperor’s beast and urged it down with a set sequence of kicks and orders. The front knees gracefully buckled and the Emperor, still waving nonchalantly to his cheering troops, was almost pitched out of his throne and only avoided the indignity by throwing himself backward and grabbing the arms. Even so the imperial wreath was dislodged. It bounced down the flank of the elephant and would have landed on the ground had not Narcissus leaped forward and fielded with a neat one-handed catch. The beast lowered its rear and the Emperor pulled a hidden lever to release the side of the throne, which folded out to provide a nicely angled series of steps down to the ground”......
This is wonderful storytelling with treachery and death a constant companion. The limited known facts of the period are woven into the narrative expertly complimented with some intuitive historical observations…..”They are just men, Cato. Ordinary men with all their vices and virtues. But where other men live their lives with death as a side issue, we live ours with death as a constant companion. We have to accept death”.......”To fighting men on campaign, any opportunity to rest represented a luxury to be savoured, and the men of the Second Legion dozed happily in the sunlight”........”.....Julius Caesar, Hannibal, Alexander, Xerxes or any of them...It’s men like that who make wars not the rest of us. We’re too busy worrying about the next crop, how to guarantee the town’s water supplies, whether our wives are being faithful, whether our children will survive into adulthood. That’s what concerns the small people all over the empire. War does not serve our ends. We’re forced into it”......
Insightful, thrilling, well written, and oh so highly recommended!
This series of books is based around the adventures of two men - Macro and Cato. Macro is a soldier through and through; he has spent his life in the army and is a centurion when we first meet him in the first book. In that book we also meet Cato who joins the legion as a new recruit, although he seems an unlikely candidate for a soldier. The series goes on to relate their many adventures and the relationship between them. Most of the stories are based - sometimes loosely - on real events and people, with a healthy dose of artistic license.
As far as I can tell the historical detail and facts are accurate, and the writing is generally engaging. There are criticisms in other reviews about the authors use of 'modern' slang; I know what they mean, but would we identify with 'roman' slang? For me, it is not a problem, I am not a fan of trying to invent historical language, it is too easy to fall into the 'ye olde shoppe' trap!
Overall, the series is very readable, and rolls along at a good pace. Like some other historical series, it doesn't do to try and fit the events into a timeline, as it soon becomes clear that the two men could not have done everything they do in one lifetime, but that doesn't detract from a fun series. Two niggles:the formatting annoys me in that the gaps between paragraphs are too long, particularly where there are long conversations, and they are a little over-priced.
Review of this book:
Our two heroes are now in Briton, fighting to complete the conquest. They are outnumbered and dealing with a varying range of allies and enemies. They also find themselves faced with treachery within their own ranks. The relationship between the two main characters continues to develop, and one or two other characters emerge who will feature in future stories. My only concern is the portrayal of the emperor Claudius; I know there are conflicting historical portraits of him, but I think the version here is far too over the top. He may well have had physical disabilities, but by all accounts he was not the fool he appears here.
In this story the intrepid Romans venture to our fair shores where they get a bit more than they bargained for. It's an excellent read and one, like the first that inspired me to hunt out all Mr Scarrows others other books. I hope he covers the Boudican revolt, albeit a later period in time (but it's a book)!
The time taken to create the characters has been well spent. Cato and Macro's professional and off duty friendship prevails throughout a series of intrigues, battles and everyday legionary life. Long may it continue.