Five long years have passed since the annihilation of three Roman legions in the wilds of Germania. Varus, the general who led the ill-fated army, is long dead, and the bones of his 15,000 legionaries moulder in the forests. But not all the Romans were slain in the ambush. Centurion Tullus, a seasoned veteran, survived, and now he lives for revenge upon the tribal chieftain Arminius, who masterminded the ambush. Tullus will stop at nothing to kill his bitterest enemy or to recover his legion's lost Eagle.
At first, fortune seems to be with the Romans. Germanicus, the general appointed to lead punitive campaigns against the tribes, is resourceful and courageous. His armies are vast, dwarfing those of the enemy, and the initial clashes are won by the legions. Yet Arminius is far from defeated. Charismatic and determined, he gathers together thousands of warriors for a second time. Their purpose is to visit death and destruction upon Rome's legions, to repeat what was done five years before. Stalking Germanicus' forces day and night, they watch and wait for the perfect moment to strike.
Can Tullus prevent another disaster? And will he ever recover his legion's Eagle?
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A gripping second adventure in a memorable series
The characters spring to life once more, eloquently voiced, from restrained emotions, to the full throated roar of battle. The author's understanding of his time, not pulling the punches of deprivation, depicting the agonies that created sworn enemies for Rome in a sensitive manner that provides an insight for the reader.
Lucius Comminius Tullus (who we met in Eagles at War). Demoted, frustrated, and feeling the pain of separation from his cohort and the guilt of surviving the rout of the legions in Germania. David Rintoul creates this complex personality so authentically, that the reader feels his pain, shares his sorrow and sympathises with his rebellious determination to clear his name. Despite all this, the reader must listen in awe as he stiffens to attention as the battle horns blare, & Tullus must assume command of his battle weary men once more!
As a blind reader I find David Rintoul's rendition of Tullus completely convincing. He is the centurion, mildly rebellious in his determination to find out what has happened to his centuries Eagle, totally devoted to giving proper burial to his men and retrieve the good name of his cohort before clearing his own name. Pure grit, honest anger, yet clarity of command are portrayed with immense skill.
It reduced me to tears, left me feeling I had met an honorable man who had been treated dishonorably, which made me angry on his behalf. I also laughed when Tullus and his optio went to Rome against the ban imposed on them, becane truly anxious when he put his faith in Caesar Germanicus, as well as feeling frustrated when the book ended...
I can't wait for the next book in this wonderful series. I am a dedicated Simon Scarrow fan and didn't think I could find anything to equal his Eagles series, however this is very powerful competition, for which I am very grateful