Under the Eagle


Picked up on a deal as I like a good Roman legion story and I’d heard of Scarrow.

This is pretty standard fare — a new starter joins the Second Legion, who looks like he might not be the best fit, but is put under the wing of an experienced centurion.

The characters are pretty stereotyped, the ‘intrigue’ pretty rote and the outcome expected, but it’s a solid, sure-footed story that kept me listening contently throughout.

The pacing felt a little weird, presumably because it was always destined to be part of a series, with a long time being spent building up to the invasion of Britannia only for the events that take place during the initial landing to be over very quickly and far too simply. I even had to check this wasn’t an abridged version.

The McGuffin at the start seemed a bit odd as well, both pointless and obviously too small to be of the significance it supposedly carries.

I wasn’t sure I was going to like David Thorpe’s narration at the start, but I found it fine as it went along, so no complaints.

If you’re a fan of historical fiction of this sort (i.e. more fiction, less history) then it should pass the time with workmanlike efficiency.

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Reviewed: 6th December 2019