Review: “Eagle in the Snow” by Wallace Breem

Thumbs up for Eagle in the Snow by Wallace Breem. Historical fiction.

While I was reading this, by happenstance my uncle (a naval man) began a blog post with a quote: “Amateurs talk tactics; professionals talk logistics.” And that sums up the consummately professional Eagle in the Snow in a nutshell: it is a book about logistics. If you are looking for Hollywood-style speechifying, swordfights and fanfare, look elsewhere. If you want to experience alongside the main character what it’s like to be a Roman general just before the fall of the Empire, trying to raise an army and get them equipped before the German tribes overrun your frontier – which we, as readers, know they eventually will – then this is the book for you. Not for everybody, but if you like realistic military history, delay not: get a copy. I knew what was going to happen at the end, and I still cried. Tragic and perfect. This will be on my best-of-the-year list.

Two days later I rode southwest in the spring sunshine. Behind me I left my youth, my middle age, my wife, and my happiness. I was a general now and I had only defeat or victory to look forward to. There was no middle way any longer, and I did not care.

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