Title: Eagles at War
Author: Ben Kane
Series: Eagles of Rome #1
Publication: April 23rd 2015 by Preface Digital
Genre: Historical Fiction
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo
Review copy provided in exchange for an honest review.
From the author of The Forgotten Legion, the first in a gripping three-part series based on actual historical events
In the summer of 9 CE, Publius Varus, the Roman governor of Germania, and Lucius Tullus, a centurion garrisoned on the Rhine, march east with three legions. As they prepare to return to their winter quarters, they are lured off the road and ambushed by German warriors. The Germans are led by Arminius, a chieftain who is a trusted ally of Rome—and a man who has been secretly planning to betray the empire since childhood. Trapping Varus’ legionaries between a hillside and a marsh, and thereby preventing them from forming up or using their artillery, Arminius and his warriors wreak a terrible slaughter. The Roman defeat is overwhelming, but it is not until the third day of the massacre that the scale of Arminius’ victory becomes clear. Three legions, upwards of 14,000 men, have been annihilated, and three treasured Eagle standards have been lost. Just a few hundred legionaries, including Tullus, manage to escape. Nor is the survivors’ ordeal over. Pursued to the last Roman fort east of the Rhine, they are besieged by thousands of bloodthirsty tribesmen. Only the gods can save them now.
I requested Eagles at War kind of randomly on NetGalley when I saw it and it was a spur in the moment decision when I decided to start reading it soon after I got approved for it. I love history, especially history of this era but I didn’t know a single thing about the battle of the Teutoburg Forest. And to be honest I didn’t think I would enjoy this book because I didn’t think I’d like a book that focuses on the military espects in history. But guess what? I ended up absolutely loving it and it’s my favorite book that I have read in 2015 so far.
I was intrigued by all of the characters. From the characters that were created by the author to the ones that had once lived.There was just something about the way Ben Kane wrote these characters that made me want to find out what was going to happen to them. I especially liked reading about Roman centurion Tullus, and chieftain Arminius.
The book switched points of view a bit between a couple of characters but I was always glad the most when it returned to Tullus. He was an incredible character.
There was also a certain suspense to the story, knowing a big battle is imminent because Arminius is planning to betray and ambush the Romans. And naturally, the book was very action-packed, gritty and intense.
The book took me almost a week to finish. Generally I finish books way faster because I usually read shorter ones but it was totally worth it. I was pretty much hooked from the moment I read the prologue up to the ending.
And I also have to say that after finishing the book, I actually found myself wanting to read and learn more about the battle of the Teutoburg Forest.
I dived into this book blindly, not knowing what to expect. What I didn’t expect was to be so engrossed with this story, with these characters. You know a book is good when you’re actually sad to have finished it because you wanted to read more. That’s what Eagles at War by Ben Kane did to me. Highly recommended!
Ben Kane is a bestselling Roman author and former veterinarian. He was born in Kenya and grew up in Ireland (where his parents are from). He has traveled widely and is a lifelong student of military history in general, and Roman history in particular. He lives in North Somerset, England, with his family.
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