Eagle in the Snow
By Wallace Breem
Why this book?
A Roman general makes his last stand against invading barbarians on the Rhine frontier. A classic in every sense of the word, Eagle in the Snow is in some ways a model for much of the serious historical fiction that followed its publication in 1970: deeply researched yet light-of-touch with arcane detail, action-packed yet always allowing character and emotion to take the foreground and guide the action. Paulinus Gaius Maximus has more than just the Germans to battle against: a pagan in a time of ascendant Christianity, a man of duty in a time of cowardice and self-dealing, thoughtful and deliberate when all around him act mindlessly. The book also excels in its clear-eyed depiction of military tactics, the hardships of winter campaigning, and the loneliness of the soldier far from home.
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