The Eagle’s Prophecy
The first US edition of the sixth novel in Scarrow’s epic series of the Roman army begins in Rome, in the year AD 45. Centurions Macro and Cato are back from Britain, waiting for the results of an official investigation in the death of a fellow officer. Living in the slums, with no money and no prospects, the two friends have no choice but to accept the dangerous mission that Imperial Secretary Narcissus forces upon them. Macro and Cato are to rescue an imperial agent captured by Illyrian pirates, and the prophetic scrolls the agent was carrying when seized. No less than the future of Rome depends on their success.
Structurally, the novel is divided into short, fast-paced chapters with a good mixture of dialogue and action. Scarrow is clearly in familiar territory, perhaps too familiar. Though this new installment yields a major character insight, Scarrow seems to be in a hurry, neglecting foreshadowed plot lines. Much is made, for example, of Macro’s dislike of Marines at the onset of their mission, but the reader doesn’t learn whether he changes his mind or is proven right.
An easy read, written with gusto, but somewhat predictable.