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Simon Scarrow is a new author for me. I enjoyed the first volume of his Macro and Cato series even though I felt something was missing but I can't actually put a finger on what. Maybe it was the lack of a conclusion, the ending being a setup for the next book, which is not available on Audible. It doesn't make sense to go on to Book 3 when there would be huge gaps in the major storyline.
That said, Macro the Centurion and Cato the Optimo are an appealing duo. I learned a great deal about the structure of the Roman military and Roman politics. The battle scenes are well orchestrated and are violent without being ghoulish. There are a few too many F-bombs considering the word didn't exist at the time but they don't feel inappropriate for the military setting.
David Thorpe is the wonder narrator. He captures each character perfectly.
I won't continue with this series until Book 2 is available.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful
This historical fiction explores life as a soldier in the Second Legion of the Roman Army stationed in German in 42 A.C.E. It is a familiar theme of an experienced centurion (sergeant) Macro taking a teenaged recruit named Quintus Licinius Cato, an educated freedman, who was appointed by Emperor Claudius to a rank he has no knowledge or experience to hold. Cato must grow up quickly to survive. While the story unfolds Scarrow provides a great deal of information about the Roman Army and its campaigns. This first novel in the series is first set in Germany then the Second Legion is part of the campaign of the conquest of Britain. Scarrow provides the reader with a view of the everyday life of an average Roman soldier.
Scarrow has a good understanding of the genre and of ancient Rome. The characters are interesting and the plot twist and turns with lots of suspense. Scarrow does a decent job with the battle scenes. The book is a fun adventure with some mystery and political intrigue tossed in. David Thorpe does a good job narrating the book.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful
This was a very good story narrated well. Scarrow developed strong characters and I am looking forward to listening to the next installment. Real praise should also be given to David Thorpe whose voices made the story more memorable.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Would you listen to Under the Eagle again? Why?
I was really excited to see that Scarrow's early Macro & Cato books were finally being released as an audio version. The more recent books have had a couple of different but excellent narrators who capture the voices of the leads excellently. It's always difficult when a series has a new reader but David Thorpe handles the gruff voice of Macro and the younger Cato well. My only gripe, which is small but for me really off putting is his pronunciation of Cato. I have always read it, as previous narrators have as Kay to. Thorpe calls him Car to. For someone new to the series this is irrelevant. But after over a dozen books I just can't think of him this way. I wonder how Scarrow pronounces his name?
This aside it's a great first story with humour and fast paced gritty action that follows our two heroes across Britain in search of Caesar's lost treasure. Great fun and worth a listen.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful
excellent story, so well written. brilliant narration. will definately be listening to morebof the adventures of macro and Cato
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
the beginning of a life's tale, as weedy new recruit Cato is mentored (at first unwillingly) by veteran Macro. An adventure tale which also gives a glimpse of a time in history that was marginal to the big events of the day, but turns out to be central to who we are now. (If 'we' is the anglophone world.)