Thursday top up...
This is about a recent read that took me a while since leisure reading time has been seriously curtailed over the last week.
I can see why this book, written around the 1980s, set a trend for later Roman military history authors. I didn’t find it read as easily as some other Roman legionary battles’ novels that I’ve read recently but the style was similar in that it told the tale via one main protagonist, in this case General Maximus. In parts the tale seemed longer than it needed to be but there was certainly plenty of enjoyable action in other places. Though fiction, I think it’s still a good read for getting a general gist of Roman military life both in settled peaceful times, as in northern Britannia, and in the horrors of engagement on the frontier in Gaul. (I confess to not seeing much in the novel that would have led to the script for a very famous film.)
I'm not sure the addition of his cousin Julian/ friend of his youth was dealt with adequately. I can believe that some jealousy might have occurred between two youths when one got all the family 'rewards' and the other got less but as Julian pops in and out of the plot it seems irrelevant to the main storyline.
Having read yet another piece of fiction set loosely around some factual Ancient Roman military details I'm glad I have personally chosen to write my novels predominantly from the Celtic perspective. That said, something like 'Eagle in the Snow' gives me some ideas for the creation of the roman characters who do appear as minor characters in my Celtic Fervour Series.
I'm sure that this novel will appeal to those who love a good tale that's brimful of Roman military details.