Book Review: Hunting the Eagles by Ben Kane

Hunting the Eagles by Ben Kane

Author: Ben Kane

Title: Hunting the Eagles

Publisher: Arrow Books

Date: 2016


AD 14: Five long years have passed since the annihilation of three legions in the wilds of Germania. Although the bones of 15,000 soldiers now moulder in the Teutoburg Forest, not all the Romans were slain in the bloody ambush.


Demoted, battle-scarred and hell-bent on revenge, Centurion Tullus and his legionaries begin their fightback. Ranged against them is the charismatic chieftan Arminius, who is gathering thousands of hostile tribesmen, and determined to crush the Romans for a second time.


The eagle belonging to Tullus’ old legion is still in enemy hands, but as the Romans’ reprisals take their army deep into German tribal lands, he remains convinced that it is within reach. But Arminius and his warriors are perilously close. As battle begins, Tullus and his comrades know they must fight as never before – just to stay alive… 

Book review: Hunting the Eagles by Ben Kane

Eagles at War

Having adored Eagles at War, I didn’t wait long before starting the next book. Hunting the Eagles has the steadier pace you often see in middle-of-the-trilogy books, but that didn’t diminish the tension or action. Like the first one, the characterisations drew me in and the nail-biting battles kept me hooked.

Time has passed since the catastrophic events of the first book and you can tell in the way the characters have changed. Still reeling from the defeat, the treatment of the soldiers after the battle and burning with revenge, Tullus has a bitter streak not present before. The subtle undertones of character development are clever: he never goes against the grain, but you can see his loss of respect for superiors and how they have to earn it back this time.

He’s still my favourite. His troops love him, will die for him, and know he will do the same for them. He’s got a reputation, one that allows him to be heard when others would be ignored and he’s fiercely loyal to a regime that ultimately betrayed him after the forest ambush.

Conscious that every soldier within fifty paces was hanging off his words, he’d stopped digging – a risky move, with Tullus still about. Yet Saxa had made a calculated judgement. Piso spied their centurion close by, hands on hips. A broad and unusual grin was splitting his face – clear permission for Saxa to finish.

Piso comes into himself this time. He’s not a new recruit in over his head, but a veteran loyal to his centurion and determined to do what is right, even if that places him in danger. You really get the sense of how he has grown and his bravery and determination shine through. A fierce contender for the favourite spot.

I still don’t like Arminius. But as the deception isn’t as strong in this book, I did warm to him: he’s determined, brave and will do whatever it takes, even shelving his pride, to unite the clans. You see a more vulnerable side to him this time, which makes him more relatable.

There are two parts of the plot this time; the Romans falling apart by themselves, and the Germans helping tear them apart. It was engaging to see more of a camp life this time – it allowed for Tullus and Piso to show how things had changed. It also shows what kind of leader Tullus is that he can keep his men from mutiny even while the rest of the army falls apart. He commands such loyalty from those who follow him!

Naturally, a large-scale battle took place in the second half. Would this be a Ben Kane book if not? But while it still had the same tension as the previous book, you didn’t get the overwhelming helplessness this time around. Tullus and co have survived this once: they refuse to be beaten a second time and their determination is stronger this time.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t causalities though, and there was one death in particular that I felt – mainly because you know how the characters are going to react.

A strong second book that has kept me gripped and engrossed in the characters and the struggles they are facing. I’m looking forward to the third one and hope for a satisfying ending.

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A Rambling Reviewer

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27 thoughts on “Book Review: Hunting the Eagles by Ben Kane

  1. I’ve never heard of this before but I like the sound of this! Always good when the second book in a trilogy can live up to your expectations which sounds like it did for you, glad you enjoyed it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve never heard of this before but I like the sound of this! Always good when the second book in a trilogy can live up to your expectations which sounds like it did for you, glad you enjoyed it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. sounds pretty good, i really like to read, battles and historical fiction events are super cool jejeje. I don´t read often in english, my mother tongue is spanish, but i want to do it more, 😀 maybe i can learn grammar, and there are plenty good writers that don´t translate in my language.

    have a nice day! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sounds like such an interesting and rich book! Although I haven’t read historical fiction which focuses on war and battles that much, this one sounds like it has characters that you can really root for so I’ll definitely be adding it to my TBR

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s great when a book can keep you totally gripped until the end and already has you eager to read the next one. Not quite my genre, but sounds like a great read! Hope you love the third one just as much! x


    Liked by 1 person

  6. I haven’t read ‘Eagles at War’ – I have always been fascinated with the Teutoburg Forest incident since I was a student – thank you for introducing me to this series – they sound great! xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have to admit that I didn’t know about the real event until I read the books. It’s a gripping read – and I imagine even more so if you’re already interested. Definitely a recommendation!


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