Thursday, March 13, 2008

Under the Eagle by Simon Scarrow

Sweaty men fighting it out in Roman times. Combines some of my favourite things: a) military men b) fighting with swords and c) Romans. What's not to like?

How long has it been since I've blogged about a book? I've been reading lots but haven't got round to posting about this book; I suppose I should update my "what I'm reading" picture before it withers and dies from neglect.

This book was fun. Yes, I have a military fetish. Yes, I love reading about Rome. Hey, even before that Gladiator movie I was already into Lindsey Davis and Steven Saylor. It's a period of history that fascinates me - the complex social structure, the empire, the civilisation that was "lost". Plus, it's history-lite.

The book's two main protagonists are Macro and Cato, who serve in Second Legion. This book is the first in a series and I presume the series will continue with their adventures and some historical background thrown in.

Macro is the experienced battle-hardened illiterate soldier who has made it to Centurion through guts, hard work and a bit of luck. Cato is Macro's young, bookish inexperienced assistant who doesn't know what he's doing and has to prove himself. They are plagued by corrupt superiors, bullies and deceitful women. Sound familiar? Yeah, I know, just like a dozen other cop movies and bad TV shows. Original, no. Entertaining, yes.

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