The book “Eagles at War” is the first book in Ben Kane’s new trilogy, in which the author takes us to 9 CE when the disastrous defeat of Varus’ three legions in the Teutoburg Forest took place.
Ben Kane is an appreciated and widely known author of historical novels in which the reader is transported to ancient times. The author is above all a great enthusiast of the history of ancient Rome and Roman legions. The knowledge, passion and commitment of the author is noticeable in every aspect of his titles. It is similar to his next work, which appeared on the Polish market thanks to Wydawnictwo ZNAK.
The main character of the novel is senior centurion Tullus, an experienced military man who, despite his mature age, still supports his troops in direct combat. His knowledge and respect in the legion cause that his advice is used by the highest command; also Varus. In the book, we also meet Arminius, the prince of the Cheruscans, who, after years of staying in Rome as a hostage, learned the style of Roman warfare. He personally participated in several war operations. For his merits, he received the title of equites, and held a high position in the Roman army in Germany. In his opinion, the governor himself was extremely important. In the book we get to know their close relationship, practically friendship. In order to gain the trust of the governor of the province, Arminius takes him hunting and shows himself in the best possible light. We get to know the plan of Arminius, who – not without problems – tries to bind the Germanic tribes into an alliance and prepare an ambush for the marching three Roman legions. Varus remains unmoved by any signals reaching him about the possible betrayal of Arminius. As it turns out, this backfires on him cruelly.
There is no shortage of extremely poignant moments of combat, blood and realism in the plot, which are necessary in such titles. The battle and the background of events have been described with great care. In addition, the author presents us with such curiosities as, for example, a bear tamer or the method of preparing an ambush by Germanic tribes.
Like all books published by the ZNAK publishing house, this item is characterized by a very good graphic and editorial setting. At the beginning of the book, the reader is given a very detailed map of Germany. What’s more, for the reader’s convenience, a glossary of terms has been provided, which makes it easier to understand the terms used in the plot. Of course, the author – as always – tells in the afterword which elements of the content are true, and in which moments he allowed himself to fantasize. It also addresses several issues, including: your motives when choosing names for your characters.
What particularly captivates me about the works of Ben Kane is his very professional approach to the subject. Before starting writing, the author first studies the history of events, and visits places where the action takes place. What’s more, he personally takes part in various types of historical reconstructions, which only adds realism to the battle moments. Writing the plot in accordance with ancient traditions is something necessary, especially when history has written a ready-made script for us.
In summary, I can recommend Ben Kane’s latest book with a clear conscience. For people who have not yet had much knowledge of what the battle in the Teutoburg Forest could have looked like, the position is a must. “Dark Clouds” is really an example of a very well-written historical novel. The author does not waste too much time on unnecessary side and fanciful threads and focuses on the messages of ancient writers. Thinking creates a mood that is truly amazing. Subsequent tragic moments in the Teutoburg forest only “force” us to turn the pages. After reading the position, all we can do is wait for the next two volumes.