Thursday, 23 January 2014

Steven A McKay Reviews: The Eagle's Vengeance

The Eagle's Vengeance

by Anthony Riches

The barbarian leader Calgus defies both his barbarian captors and Britannia's legions - and Marcus Aquila - once more in the sixth thrilling novel in the Empire sequence, praised by fellow authors Conn Iggulden, Ben Kane and Manda Scott


The Eagle's Vengeance  is the sixth book in the Empire series and, in my opinion, one of the best yet.
I first discovered Mr Riches when I was off work ill a few years ago and spent much of the week in bed reading his d├ębut, Wounds of Honour. That was a fairly straight-forward boys'-own adventure and The Eagle's Vengeance continues in the same vein.
There's lots and lots of violence and earthy language and it reads brilliantly. The characters are familiar, having been developed throughout the series, and they're all different enough from each other that it's quite easy to keep track of who's who.
My personal favourite is young centurion Marcus who fights with a sword in each hand and is basically a Roman superhero type, so I was glad to see he plays a big part in this book, being tasked with heading into Scotland to retrieve the legion's eagle from the painted maniacs that inhabit the north. It's all fast-paced, fighting, being hunted, betrayal, revenge etc. etc. and it's written in such a fine style that you want to keep reading.
The one problem I have with this book, and the others in the series, is the dialogue, which at times doesn't come across as very realistic. The centurions and other officers you might expect to speak in flowery, somewhat melodramatic language, but the lowest-ranking legionary talks in the same manner and it breaks the immersion when you're sitting thinking, “A regular foot soldier wouldn't be delivering an eloquent, long-winded monologue like a senator.” I'm not suggesting regular soldiers are all idiots, but those legionaries wouldn't have had much education and their talent for oration seems out of place.
Still, it's a minor quibble and is more than outweighed by the gripping story, frantic set-pieces and always interesting characters.

I loved Anthony's first few books, but I didn't particularly enjoy the last two in the series so I'm really pleased to have liked The Eagle's Vengeance as much as I have. Thoroughly looking forward to the next one now! For more on Anthony, visit his web page.

Reviewed by Steven A. McKay, author of Amazon's “War” chart number one, Wolf's Head (also available at Amazon UK).

Anthony Riches is kindly giving away a signed copy of this book so if you would like to enter the draw to win a copy, comment on the blog here or on our FACEBOOK PAGE! Good luck!


  1. Wonderful interview. Sounds like a great read!

  2. The Eagle's Vengeance sounds like a good read.

  3. Steven, you have a fab way of bringing out the best in books. This looks soooo good!

  4. Great interview, Steve. Pop me in your hat or would it be medieval hoodie.

  5. Good Review, haven't read any of his books ...yet ... I'd like my name to be popped into your medieval hat too!..sorry Carol for steeling you're quote it was rather good !!!!

  6. Thanks for the review, definitely putting this on my to read list.

  7. Thanks all, give it a read (start with the first in the series though)!