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Under the Eagle

Eagles of the Empire, Book 1
Written by: Simon Scarrow
Narrated by: David Thorpe
Series: Eagles of the Empire, Book 1
Length: 12 hrs and 5 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (26 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

If you don't know Simon Scarrow, you don't know Rome!

Under the Eagle is the gripping first novel in Simon Scarrow's best-selling Eagles of the Empire series. A must-read for fans of Bernard Cornwell and Conn Iggulden.

AD 42, Germany. Tough, brutal and unforgiving. That's how new recruit Cato is finding life in the Roman Second Legion. He may have contacts in high places, but he could really use a friend amongst his fellow soldiers right now. Cato has been promoted above his comrades at the order of the Emperor and is deeply resented by the other men. But he quickly earns the respect of his Centurion, Macro, a battle-hardened veteran as rough and ready as Cato is quick-witted and well-educated. They are poles apart, but soon realise they have a lot to learn from one another.

On a campaign to Britannia - a land of utter barbarity - an enduring friendship begins. But as they undertake a special mission to thwart a conspiracy against the Emperor they rapidly find themselves in a desperate fight to survive....

©2001 Simon Scarrow (P)2013 Headline Publishing Group Ltd.

What the critics say

"I don't need this sort of competition." (Bernard Cornwell)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Pleasing story, lopsided reading

This is a pleasing Boy's Own kind of historical adventure. Lacks a little detail and the plot a bit too obvious, but enjoyable nonetheless. The reading unfortunately doesn't do it full justice. the narrator does a superb job of characters' voices -- distinct, dramatic, and memorable. However the routine description and general narration is oddly matter of fact and dull, with a curious flatness not unlike a reading to children. The poor quality here is hard to not notice.

2 people found this helpful

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great book and great narrator

Must read for those you love Conn Iggulden's works!

The narrator brings this story to life! great voice acting and easy to follow.
well written story too. Glad there's a lot of books in this series as I really enjoyed this.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Marie
  • 2013-10-25

Enjoyable Roman Military Mystery

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.

23 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Jean
  • 2016-01-31

Enthralling Historical Drama

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.

8 people found this helpful

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  • A. Birtcher
  • 2016-10-13

I've got a new series

If you enjoy Bernard Cornwell or Patrick O'Brian you'll enjoy Simon Scarrow. Good story that pulls you along with the main characters. Some of the narrators choice of voices aren't what i'd have chosen, but fit the British background of the narrator (and auther).

3 people found this helpful

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  • Wolfpacker
  • 2014-06-14

Story Develops Nicely

Though it took a few chapters to draw me in, I ended up enjoying this story. The setting in a Roman legion is interesting, but this would work equally well in almost any army of any period. The reader did a great job with varying his voices so that you can recognize each character immediately. Very entertaining.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Karen
  • 2014-01-10

Roman Army? Where?

What disappointed you about Under the Eagle?

It was very generic. There are long stretches where you'd be hard pressed to remember its about the Roman Army.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry. He never disappoints.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of David Thorpe?

I have a well documented audio crush on Ray Porter, so I'd go with him.

What character would you cut from Under the Eagle?

None of them. It was an adequate story. Poorly narrated--- his Roman soldiers were overdone caracitures of English thugs. So bad they became almost comical.

Any additional comments?

I was looking for something more authentic and more about the army, and the esprit de corps. This was a tedious "mystery" with such poorly fleshed out characters there wasn't anyone to like.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Erik
  • 2013-12-08

Enjoyable historical fiction.

I always enjoy having historical charters recast into plausible yet obviously fictitious stories. Add on to that a couple of likable main characters as the centre piece for this book, and you have the start of an enjoyable franchise.

There was nothing earth-shattering in this story, but it does give good solid entertainment value for your money. The performance seemed well suited for the story and characters, and certainly added to the overall enjoyment of the experience.

To sum up, if you like historical fiction, and in particular the Roman period, then give this story a try. You shouldn't be disappointed!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2016-05-04

I'm Not Sure Who Made The Decision...

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Who is the overpaid moron that decided it was a good idea to introduce a series, but not get the licenses for ALL of the books in the series?
I listened to book one, Under The Eagle and thoroughly enjoyed it, but when I went to get book 2, I got a notice that Audible does not have the license rights to sell that book in the US.
I will not listen to anymore until I can listen to ALL of them.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Ben
  • 2013-10-30

GOOD READ

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes i Would recommend this book to a friend it was a good read and well worth it.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Under the Eagle?

The most memorable moment from the book was the battle at the German village at the beginning of the book. It sets the stage for the type of people the characters are.

Which character – as performed by David Thorpe – was your favorite?

Both Cato and Macro were were my favorite characters.

Any additional comments?

This is a good book that was well worth listening to. The only problem I had with it was that there are scenes and twists in the story that don't have anything else to do with anything. Like the part where Cato gets caught in the tent with the thief, why did he need to be there when he couldn't identify the thief in the dark? It was pointless and 15 minutes worth of listening that didn't add any significance to the book. I did like the story line though and would like to see the second book "Conquest" get put on Audible in English rather than Latin (I think its in Latin at least).

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Michael Adams
  • 2019-07-17

Marching up and down the square???

Really love the book but the narrator is pretty bad. Bestia is apparently Michael Palin...

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  • K. Creamer
  • 2019-04-02

Very original storytelling good characters

I like the characters and dialogue between them it is very authentic for the kind of people being portrayed.
too many books aspire their main characters to be superheros. thank you for a great story.

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  • Client d'Amazon
  • 2018-06-04

Génial pour apprendre l'anglais !

histoire captivante et facile à lire malgré un niveau faible en anglais, j'avais le texte sous les yeux + audible