What our beta readers say about The Eagle and the Dragon.


A sweeping tale of adventure and intrigue, set on a vast stage. Brilliantly blends personal stories of struggle and triumph among his characters, with larger stories of struggle and triumph among the nations they encounter. Rich in historic detail, and vivid in imagery – you won’t want to put it down. I can’t wait to see the movie!
— Jim Watters
 
A gripping read! If you like action and you like history, the book is an exciting trip that will provide hours of adventure as the Roman team sails to China and returns overland to Rome. The mission is more than challenging! The travelers overcome the environment and enemy actions as they deal with danger. You will feel like you have signed on to team by the time you finish.
— Allan Rypka, CDR USN (ret)
Does the name of the Chinese village of Liqian derive from the Latin word “legion”? Are its inhabitants descended from Roman legionaries captured by the Parthians at the battle of Carrhae in 53 BCE? As a scholar, I have to say that this intriguing notion is probably legend rather than history, but no matter: Lewis McIntyre shows that it’s a great starting-point for an epic adventure. From Roman Spain to the Han empire of China, the story ranges over the whole known world of 2000 years ago (and even a bit beyond!), with authentic historical background and best of all plenty of imagination. It’s a real page-turner, packed with exciting action, ingenious twists and turns, and varied and interesting characters whose fate you will really care about—a perfect book for the twenty-hour flight from London to Sydney, as I can personally attest.
— Dr. Nicholas Sims-Williams, PhD, U of London
This book is a great read. It kept my attention from chapter to chapter. I never wanted to put it down. The people, the history, and the impossible trek just kept it so interesting. There was danger, intrigue and romance. My favorite character was Hina the great woman warrior. From ships to caravans the journey was amazing. I can’t wait until it is published so I can read it all over again. I would recommend this book to anyone that loves a good adventure.
— Carolyn Mattingly
 
The “Eagle and the Dragon” is an epic historical novel that paints a detailed and realistic picture of a Roman expedition to the Emperor of China that casts light on how the two ancient power centers interacted. Written only after years of painstaking research, this book weaves the lives of a Roman Senator, his cousin Gaius Lucullus, a senior officer, and Antonius Aristides, his centurion, and others in the entourage as they survive storms, piracy, and a myriad of other obstacles in their quest to visit with the Oriental throne on behalf of the Emperor of Rome. After they choose to remain loyal to one of their group in contravention of Chinese tradition, they are locked in prison only to escape through use of their wits. The last third of the tome finds our erstwhile adventurers on a prolonged and treachery-filled overland sojourn in which battles and kidnaps of the distaff element of the caravan extends their trip and delays their return. This action-packed story is hard to put down.
— Gary Knight, Forgotten Brothers
With The Eagle and the Dragon, Lewis McIntyre takes his readers on an epic journey through the ancient world. When the unknown descendants of a long-lost legion of Roman soldiers arrive at the doors of the Senate in Rome, a diplomatic mission to far-off China is issued by the Emperor Trajan. Spanning three continents, the vast oceans, and numerous trials and obstacles, our characters set out to do the impossible: to venture beyond the end of their world. A story of enterprise, betrayal and unlikely friendships, The Eagle and the Dragon is an immersive and exciting story, a must-read for anyone into history. When I finally finished reading I could not help but feel sad that the journey was over, and that there was nothing left for me to read.
— L.J.H Groenewoud, the Netherlands
The Eagle and the Dragon begins with an intriguing premise. A group of Roman soldiers are taken prisoner by Parthians after the Battle of Carrhae and given to a delegation of Chinese trade envoys who are impressed with the Romans’ behaviour while awaiting execution. The reprieved soldiers are taken to a village in China where they accept their fate, settle and raise children. These men never see Rome again, and Rome doesn’t know what has happened to them. However, decades later, during the rule of the Emperor Trajan two of their descendants appear in Rome …and the main story begins.

Trajan orders a small delegation of Romans to travel to China, to meet the Hanaen emperor and establish trade relations with him—and our characters are on their way. This book is a wonderful mix of information, speculation, personality and local colour. The author has skillfully woven a fictional story around a few known facts—including the Caucasian features exhibited by people who live in Liqian, a modern village in China. During the characters’ journey I learned a great deal about the overland Silk Road and the seagoing trade routes between the Roman Empire in Egypt through the Red Sea, and across the Indian Ocean to the borders of India and China.

This information was presented via some of the most entertaining characters I’ve met in a while, and pushed along by a lively plot that kept me awake several nights running. The author mixes humour, tension, intrigue and diplomacy with a sure hand, and the background details of the settings and customs and different ethnic groups alone make this book worth a read.

The plot is complex, and much of what happens is unexpected and truly exciting, but all the threads are satisfactorily tied together at the end. The author knows enough to introduce his characters a few at a time, let us get to know them well before expanding to include others. The book is easy to follow and entertaining to read, and fun to think about during and after the reading. And I feel I’ve learned something new as well. What more can you ask for in a book?

This is easily the most enjoyable read I’ve had all year.

Fans of the HBO series Rome will especially enjoy this story. The tone is similar, as are the details, the characterisations and the colour.
— Jan Foley (UK)