In this book, the seventh book in the "Cato" serious, Young Cato and his friend Macro journeys to the lands of Judea, where they are faced with several challenges. The two friends are deployed by Narcissus, the Emperor's secretary, to listen in on events in the eastern frontier of the Roman Empire. The situation follows as senior officers are corrupt and threaten to undermine the safety of the Roman Empire. Unfortunately, an unforgiving local tribesman, Bannus, is giving the Romans even more of a hard time with his attempts to raise an army against the Roman soldiers posted at Judea. Bannus wants his revenge for the death of Jehoshua and the senior officers threaten to weaken the foundation of the army at Judea. Only Macro and Cato can stop them.
This book is a great book so far, although it is in a boring setting, the desert. I personally think the first book in the series was the best book I have ever read in the series. Nevertheless, Simon Scarrow has kept his good work up. As Cato and Macro get older and the story progresses, there is much less humour and it seems to be a war in the book every five minutes. I do enjoy historical fiction but it seems that the plots have become boring. I am desperate to finish this book and move onto the time when the two characters obtain the power of a Prefect.
However, I still fully recommend this book, only if you've read the predecessors in the series. I don't like this book, but it deserves a read. Three stars.
The eagle in the sand is book number seven , in Simon Scarrow's eagle series.
After the previous events, Macro and Cato have been sent out to judea , on a mission to win hearts and minds between the battling religions and convince the sorrounding area's that rome is a positive ruler. However , this is not simple , the commanders are corrupt and their enemy is growing . Looks like were set for another exciting title.
The thing that separates this from Scarrows previous adventures is actually the lack of staging in battles and the events sorrounding them. The enemy is Bannus , a man who once followed Jehoshua ( jesus ) and after his death decided he wanted revenge , so took the role of leader of Jehoshuas followers and is leading them against rome. So there is quite a religious undercurrent , whilst the history of the different sects aren't dived into, you get the brief outline which is all you need to know.
You also see the growing emotional side of Macro and the freindship between him and Cato is shown to be strong , although in Macro's eyes just part of being in the army. It's intresting to see how the origional image of Macro has been worn down and we see his sensitive side.
The writing stays typical of his book's , exciting and fast paced whilst not giving too much detail . A freind of mine said that Scarrow says a door is a door , others may say its a 6x2ft , 4 inch thick peice of italian wood carved in sicilly etc. Whch is true , and a big reason why his writing flows across the pages.
This wasn't my favorite in the series but still a good book , the only problem was their seemed to be a lot of travelling put in which revealed only one or two bits about the story. The build up of suspense sorrounding parthia ( a neutral , but possibly deadly enemy ) was high , as its on the border of romes empire , and the wariness of the protagonists when walking around the city was very tense.
The book is available on amazon for £2.75