Hunting the Eagles (2016)
(The second book in the Eagles of Rome series)
A novel by Ben Kane
AN ARMY DEFEATED
AD 14: Five long years have passed since the annihilation of three legions in the wilds of Germania. Although the bones of 15,000 soldiers now moulder in the Teutoburg Forest, not all the Romans were slain in the bloody ambush.
A CENTURION OUT FOR VENGEANCE
Demoted, battle-scarred and hell-bent on revenge, Centurion Tullus and his legionaries begin their fightback. Ranged against them is the charismatic chieftan Arminius, who is gathering thousands of hostile tribesmen, and determined to crush the Romans for a second time.
AN EAGLE RECOVERED
The eagle belonging to Tullus’ old legion is still in enemy hands, but as the Romans’ reprisals take their army deep into German tribal lands, he remains convinced that it is within reach. But Arminius and his warriors are perilously close. As battle begins, Tullus and his comrades know they must fight as never before – just to stay alive…
Reading a Ben Kane book is always a different experience from all the other Roman books i normally read. There seem to be so many types and styles since Rome became the bedrock of Historical Fiction, from the cut and thrust of the bloody swords and sandals to devious machinations of roman politics and criminal nefarious enterprise and rooting it out with only the tools and minds of the time. But with Ben i always feel you get something totally different. You get undiluted history, told in such an honest personal emotive way that you cannot help but be pulled into the legion, to share the toil and travails of his characters, and hope that you survive to the end.
Once again we Journey with Centurion Tullus, and his surviving men of the 18th. Its 6 years since the disaster that befell Varus in https://parmenionbooks.wordpress.com/2015/04/17/ben-kane-eagles-at-war-review/, the enmity and disgrace burns differently in each man, but in no one stronger than Tullus. The menace that is Arminius has not gone away, Rome has collected its-self and under the generalship of Germanicus is set to exact a terrible revenge. As usual the biggest obstacle in Romes way is its self. Underpaid, under appreciated, and disaffected the legions have had enough, the men want to be heard, they want to fight for Rome, but they want to be appreciated for their pains and for their lives.
Ben Kane gives us a very intimate view from multiple perspectives of the personal opinions and emotions of those involved on all sides of this story. We experience Tullus and his driving need to discard his demons, to make amends for those men he left behind, we feel the raw emotion and love of his men like Piso who cannot truly thank a superior who saved them from a horrific end, but are determined to live up to everything he needs from them. We spend time from the German perspective with Arminius and feel the burning hatred for the Roman interloper, and his constant battle to keep the disparate tribes together to combat the united force that is Rome. We get all this, down to the wet socks, aching legs, rumbling bellies and inner fear, right up to the political maneuvers and crushing of rebellion, this literally is the blood sweat and tears or Roman Fiction.
All this Ben manages and more, and kept me riveted to the page for every word. You will honestly struggle to find any more real characters in any Roman book.
I highly recommend this and all Ben Kane’s books, if you have not read his work… why?? please go do so, all his titles are listed below.
1. The Forgotten Legion (2008)
2. The Silver Eagle (2009)
3. The Road to Rome (2010)
Forgotten Legion Chronicles Collection (omnibus) (2012)
1. Enemy of Rome (2011)
2. Fields of Blood (2013)
3. Clouds of War (2014)
The Patrol (2013)
1. The Gladiator (2012)
2. Rebellion (2012)
A Day of Fire (2014)
The Shrine (2015)
1. Eagles at War (2015)
2. Hunting the Eagles (2016)