And yet, amid all of the violence and savagery of his life as a legionary, he realises he has discovered a vocation - as a soldier and a leader of men. He has come to love the Twelth and all the bloody-minded, dark-hearted soldiers he calls his brothers. But all that he cares about is ripped from him when, during the brutal Judaean campaign, the Hebrew army inflict a catastrophic defeat upon the legion - not only decimating their ranks, but taking away their soul - the eagle. There is one final chance to save the legion's honour - to steal back the eagle. To do that, Demalion and his legionnaries must go undercover into the city of Jerusalem, into the very heart of their enemy, where discovery will mean the worst of deaths, if they are to recover their pride.
And that, in itself, is a task worthy only of heroes. Genre: Historical. Rome: The Eagle of the Twelfth is the third in M.
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It is set before the previous novels and, tantalisingly, gives us a glimpse of the familiar, central figure of the spy Pantera before his character-defining mission in Britannia which precedes the other two novels. Each man has his own job, such as holding the standard, but their principle task is to look after one another.
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Just as well because The Eagle of the Twelfth shows the legion in the worst of situations — whether training in the freezing, snow-covered mountains, pitted against rival legions for months on end, or fighting a guerilla warfare in the mountains of Syria, across rivers, or pitched battles or sieges in Israel — Demalion and his companions have no choice but to depend on one another. The relationships are tight and any losses are horrible. But this is what it would have been like.
Death would have been sudden and violent, men would have mourned. There are scenes here, especially when the soldiers, apparently casually but in reality with much thought, share out the belongings of a fallen friend, that will tear your heart out. Rome: The Eagle of the Twelfth is a page-turning military history — these are dangerous times. Nero is exerting his pressure on the generals, leaving the legions vulnerable to the worst of leaders, while the good are removed.
Other familiar names from history are on the rise, notably Vespasian.
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And so the story of Demalion plays out against one of the most fascinating times in history. It brings us close to well-known events in Judaea in the 60s AD and my only consolation when I closed the final page was that I knew there would be so much more to come in future novels. Scott writes brilliantly. Her characters are consistently intriguing and are always surprising. There are characters here that we know from other novels but in this book they are different. Perspectives move about, loyalties are different and goals shift. Without doubt, Rome: The Eagle of the Twelfth is among my very favourite works of historical fiction that I have ever read.
But, as any superb, rewarding novel should, it pushes beyond its genre and excels across the board.
Demalion of Macedon is a fascinating character, flawed but heroic and all the more likeable for it. Scott has in store for Demalion and for us. While he is a important character, this book focuses on Demalion, a young and somewhat reluctant legionary conscript. After surviving the perils and intrigues of the Parthian court with Pantera, Demalion is posted to the Twelfth legion.
This is the worst legion in the East and its reputation amongst the other legions is rock bottom. Demalion, along with his centurion Lupus decide that they are going to turn, first their century and then the rest of the legion into the best fighting force they can. They then embark on the brutal training needed to redeem the reputation of the Twelfth and foster a fighting spirit and a love for their eagle.
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They must face snow, wind and rain as they struggle to turn the Twelfth into a fighting force capable of standing up to the Parthian Cataphracts. Along the way they face unbelievable hardships and disasters as they try to turn the Twelfth into a legion they can be proud of. As I stated at the beginning of this review, I loved this book, I have always been a fan of M. C Scott but this is easily her best book so far. The thing that set this book apart from all of the other Roman fiction books on the market is M. She shows how men from different backgrounds and temperaments forge, through hardship and adversity the strength and togetherness to withstand every obstacle thrown at them.
This is a seriously good book and is pushing to be my book of the year so far. If you like fiction Roman or otherwise with real emotions and feelings and a cracking good story then this is the book for you! Apr 14, Glyn rated it it was amazing.
Once again, M. C Scott writes an absolutely superb book on the Roman Empire, following on, eventually, to her two previous books in the series.
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Every part of the book is so believable, as M. Here's a taster from the back cover, "Throughout the Roman Army, the Twelfth Legion is notorious for its ill fortune. And yet, amid the violence and savagery of his life as a legionary, he realises he has discovered a vocation - as a soldier and a leader of men. Jan 21, Diggle30 added it Shelves: historial-novels. I love Manda Scott and this latest Rome series didn't disappoint. I recommend her books to anyone into historical fiction.
May 18, Deborah Pickstone rated it it was amazing Shelves: andstars , all-time-faves , history-of-all-things , roman , lets-be-pacifists , serieses-fictional , favourite-authors. Manda Scott takes writing to an art form, for me at least. Luscious prose. Very emotive, beautiful writing, nothing wasted. Fabulous detail, wonderful action scenes.
And yet Pantera remains an enigma, just as he should. I fall in love with her characters and never want to see them go. And they stay with me in my head. I know I will re-read all 8 volumes of these 2 connected series'. I wish there were more. If I had to n 6 stars I am spinning this series out because once it's over I will be bereft. If I had to nominate an all time favourite, I would consider these books for the impossible choice to make role Sep 10, Ian rated it liked it Shelves: rome , historical-fiction.
Ok, so, way too military for me. First person perspective of these tough as nails legionaries killing other people, with little regard for life, including their own. The backdrop, the eastern Roman Empire in the time of Nero. Jun 12, Joy Ramlogan rated it really liked it.
This is a brilliant book of life in the Roman legions in the Eastern Roman Empire roaming from Armenia and the wars there and the brutal siege of Jerusalem. It is from the perspective of Demalion of Macedonia, a reluctant conscript who longs for his life as a horse trader. We bond with Demalion as the members of this cohort become his family. And the battle frenzy and adrenaline of war is detailed as well as the pain, mud and blood of the battlefield. Scott is a gifted novelist - with great This is a brilliant book of life in the Roman legions in the Eastern Roman Empire roaming from Armenia and the wars there and the brutal siege of Jerusalem.
Scott is a gifted novelist - with great research and a story that moves as Demalion matures and becomes a strategist as well as an active player in the wars of Rome. I can see why Pantera the protagonist in her other Rome books is such a fascinating character - a master spy who serves Rome, the overarching idea of Rome not necessarily the tyrannical mad rule of the Emperor Nero.
Roman historical fiction has a special place in my reading universe from Robert Graves masterpiece I Claudius, to John Williams' Augustus and Conn Iggudden's Emperor series as well as Robert Harris' Cicero series - this is another type of book, the travels of the ordinary soldier who rises in the legion from the ignominy of defeat and dishonour.