Eagle of the East, by L.S. Lawrence

It was a sword. Three hand spans of fine steel. Ardavan half-drew it, and the hilt fitted into his hand as if moulded for it. Credit was earned, for a Roman. And using this sword, he could earn it.

In ancient Parthia the battle of Carrhae has had disastrous results for the Roman army, with over forty thousand soldiers lying dead. Only a group of one thousand men have survived, kept safe by their leader, Pontus. Forced to surrender, Pontus and his men swear allegiance to the Parthians. Now Ardavan, the Parthian son of a Roman slave, has been assigned as a translator, living with the Romans as they march across the country to protect the Eastern boundaries. But it might not be just the Romans who are at risk from the Parthians, and Ardavan is in a unique position to uncover the plot.

Eagle of the East is a historical novel which explores a part of ancient history which most children (and adult readers, too) would be unaware of. This in itself makes it an interesting read – and the story is well told, with the insights of the viewpoint character, Ardavan, adding a very human perspective of events.

With battles, murder and plenty of intrigue, this is an offering most likely to appeal to male readers, especially those with an interest in history.

Eagle of the East, by L. S. Lawrence
Omnibus, 2007