Neither thumbs up nor thumbs down for Under the Eagle by Simon Scarrow. Historical fiction.
Straightforward Roman military adventure, with about as much depth as a made-for-TV-movie. Not very good, but not inept either – a first novel by an author whom I suspect has probably got better with time.
‘My cause? That humiliation you just witnessed wasn’t for me. I did it for the Emperor and Rome. One day you’ll learn, Vespasian,’ Narcissus continued bitterly. ‘One day you’ll realise that the only thing that keeps any state running is the number of bureaucrats who are prepared to eat shit to keep it going. That’s the measure of their commitment. And the fact that they are never mentioned by historians is the measure of their success. You’ll do well to remember that.’
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