Review of ROME: THE EAGLE OF THE TWELFTH by Manda Scott

This is the first of a series of reviews I’ll be putting up here. They will tend to be books by friends, and an exercise in log-rolling. They are the books I want to read, rather than those which I am given to review.

I hope you enjoy them!

Anyway, there are times when you pick up a book with extreme reluctance when you are an author. Because you already know and admire the writer.

My friend Ruth Dudley Edwards has an easy answer to the dilemma of a friend giving her a book. With gentle politeness she will refuse, because she wouldn’t want to mislead her readers with a review that is not genuinely her opinion, and likewise wouldn’t want to offend a friend by giving an honestly sharp critique. It is a good principle to stick to. However, I want to help friends whose work I admire.

And anyway, with Manda Scott’s books, I never have to worry.

This, the latest in her ROME series, is, basically, about as good as it can get. If you like historical adventure, and you’re interested in the Roman period, you have to get into her series.

Apologies for the dirty keyboard. You try taking a photo in a hurry when the dog nudges you!

So far her leading character Pantera has spied for Rome all over the known world, from Britain to Jerusalem. In this book, he is less of a key character, because the main portion of the book is devoted to the story of Demalion, son of a horse trader, who joins the Twelfth Legion as a young, unproven trooper. It is not a unit to inspire. Dogged by bad luck and poor leadership, the men have much to prove. But here they prove their value to each other and to their commanders.

But a campaign in Judea shatters the Legion. Not only are almost all their men killed in a short but ferocious series of battles, the ultimate humiliation is inflicted: they lose their eagle.

I believe that there is a genuine story about the loss of the 12th’s eagle – because I overheard Ben Kane talking to Manda. Personally, I don’t care. This story grips like superglue. I couldn’t put it down.

In fact it held me spellbound even though I should have been working on my own next book – which is always a proof of good quality writing and storytelling.

Manda has produced a superb story that really deserves its place on the bestseller lists.

Beats the hell out of 50 Shades of whatever, for my money!

2 Responses to “Review of ROME: THE EAGLE OF THE TWELFTH by Manda Scott”
  1. RichieP says:

    Yes, XII Fulminata did lose its Eagle in the Jewish war, after an ambush.


  2. Jack Eason says:

    Her approach to the Roman period reminds me of another novelist – Christian Jacq, a man who’s books are based on ancient Egypt which I read over and over. I particularly like his series on Ramses II. :D


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