Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Simon Scarrow – The Eagle in the Sand (Eagles 7)

Title: The Eagle in the Sand
Author: Simon Scarrow

ISBN # 0755327748

Publisher: Headline

First Published: 2006

312 pages

Format: Hardback

Rating: 8/10

Trouble is brewing in
Syria, on the eastern frontier of the Roman Empire. With the troops in a deplorable state, centurions Macro and Cato are despatched to restore the competence of the cohort. But another challenge faces them as, Bannus, a local tribesman, is brewing up trouble and preaching violent opposition to Rome. As the local revolt grows in scale, Macro and Cato must stamp out corruption in the cohort and restore it to fighting fitness to quash Bannus - before the eastern provinces are lost to the Empire forever!

This picks up where the last one finished up and this time takes our heroes to far-off Syria. Very soon, there was a mention of a religious martyr who was the "son of some local craftsman" and went by the name of Jehoshua, who was crucified a few years back (this is now 47AD), which piqued my interest considerably. There are also a few historical figures mentioned whose names I recognised (Herod the Great, for example) as well as a few more biblical characters presented in a realistic and down-to-earth way. I was instantly drawn right into the plot and enjoyed reading this as much as I did the others, from only a few short chapters into the action.

This is exciting stuff - Scarrow has such a way with words that one seemed to experience all the feelings of the legionaries - excitement, fear, anticipation, disgust - it's all there. And even though this is the 7th book in the series, it's every bit as fresh and inventive as the others, yet it all still feels incredibly real.

It's left nicely open for another to follow, but, even if there weren't another book (which I sincerely hope there is), it would still feel like the series had rounded out nicely without any pesky unresolved issues flapping about - very cleverly handled!


Blogger Kailana said...

I read the first book in this series. I am having a very hard time staying off Amazon! I want to read the rest... I likely would have if the bookstores carried him around here, but they suck and don't :( Thanks for the recommedation, though, I had never heard of him before reading your blog.

5:27 pm  
Blogger simon scarrow said...

Blimey, you've been reviewing them almost as fast as I write them!
Many thanks for your kind praise.

9:53 pm  
Blogger The Book Fiend said...

Thanks for leaving your comments, Simon - you've made my day! As you can probably tell, I'm a big fan - I'll continue to review them as long as you're writing them!

6:07 am  
Blogger ROSE said...

Hi there

My husband Brian is reading The Eagle in the Sand by Simon Scarrow, and I could not get him to look up from his reading, he was so engrossed. Unfortunately, with bad luck (that we have never experienced before in a book), he got to page 120, where the last line is "I will not accept a gift...", the book jumped to pae 153, starting with "good as I could expect a cohort to be posted..." Can anyone help without us having to purchase another book, he is left hanging.

6:49 pm  

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