Ben Kane : Eagles at War (Review)

Author: Ben Kane

Author Bio

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eagles at war

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AD 9, German frontier: Close to the Rhine, a Roman centurion, Lucius Tullus, prepares to take his soldiers on patrol. On the opposite side of the river, German tribes are resentful of the harsh taxes about to be imposed upon them. Suspicious that there might be unrest, Tullus knows that his men’s survival will be determined not just by their training and discipline, but by his leadership.


What neither Tullus nor his commander, Governor Varus, realise is that ranged against them is the charismatic chieftain and trusted ally of Rome, Arminius, who has long been plotting to drive the Romans from the tribal lands east of the Rhine.


As Varus’ legions prepare to leave their summer encampment, thousands of warriors – directed by Arminius – are massing nearby. Eager to throw off the Roman yoke, the tribesmen prepare a deadly ambush. Only the gods can save the Romans now…


I am somewhat torn by this book, on the one hand the writing is simply brilliant, as ever Ben Kane has impeccable attention to detail and history, driven by his knowledge of marching in roman kit, and having walked the ground in Germany, couple that with his passionate research of the subject and empathy for the subject, all you can expect is brilliant writing.

But: and this is purely personal, i think every person will experience this in their own way; I found that i was being led down an inevitable path and for me it robbed the plot of some of its power and pace. Couple that with the absolute certainty that Arminius was destined to betray the legions it took some of the sinister edge and suspense, you know he isn’t going to get caught. The foil to this is the simply brilliant character of Tullus, who i’m personally convinced is Tony Riches given life in AD9. A man bigger than the room, who you want to follow, who inspires, a man who lifts others with the weight of his personality and presence. (don’t tell him i said so)

This character powers the reader through the lead up to the inevitable ambush, and then at this point the story explodes into life for me. The story can enter the realm of unknowns, allowing the author to finally break the bounds of history and give free reign to his story telling talent. It was the slog through the dark boggy forest, dragging the remnants of his dying legion that made me love this book. The reader bleeds with every mile, suffers the horror of putting friends down to save them from the Germanic tribes, and the shame of leaving behind their pride and their friends, its the hope that kills you with every page.

By the end of the book i was forced to agree that this book is Ben Kane’s best work, (my fav is still Forgotten Legion though).

you must buy this book, and begin this wonderful journey. Because this is a story so powerful it leaves a mark


Forgotten Legion Chronicles

1. The Forgotten Legion (2008)
2. The Silver Eagle (2009)
3. The Road to Rome (2010)
The Forgotten LegionThe Silver EagleThe Road to Rome
1. Enemy of Rome (2011)
2. Fields of Blood (2013)
3. Clouds of War (2014)
The Patrol (2013)
Enemy of RomeFields of BloodClouds of WarThe Patrol
1. The Gladiator (2012)
2. Rebellion (2012)
The GladiatorRebellion
Pompeii (with Stephanie Dray, Sophie Perinot, Kate Quinn and Vicky Alvear Shecter)
A Day of Fire (2014)


Filed under Ben Kane, Historical Fiction

4 responses to “Ben Kane : Eagles at War (Review)

  1. great review Parm and totally agree. Ditto on the inevitability but also on the quality of writing. 2 thumbs up…

  2. Pingback: Parmenion Books my 2015 in Review | parmenionbooks

  3. Pingback: Ben Kane Hunting the Eagles (2016) Review | parmenionbooks

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