Recommended For: lovers of everything Roman, battles, adventure and loyalty.
Easy/ Hard Reading Rating: Medium
Over All Rating: 4/5
Rosemary Sutcliffe absolutely astonished me with her play with words. She is best at her visual description, it really is breathtaking. It one of those books that I have to start reading it aloud to feel the words just lift me off and take me away.
Marcus is a young Roman, the son of one of the men who was a part of the ninth legion that marched into Britain and was never found again. Marcus sets off with a native of Britain, Esca, and the two loyal friends search high and low, to retrieve the eagle (the ninth legions icon), and find out what happened to Marcus father.
Certainly, I loved the book. The only thing that I really found annoying was, of course, Marcus followed after Thor, the thunder god, and, seriously, this book would have immediately escalated to my favourite of favourites list if he had but been a Christian.
The other thing is just a pet thing, the girl he marries in the end, well, I wasn’t convinced that they really loved each other. He never outright said to her ‘I love you, will you marry me?’ it’s a whole lot of second guessing. You get the idea that they married, though.
He lifted it from its place, realizing as he did that the last Roman hand to touch the stained and battered shaft had been his father’s. An odd, potent link across the years , and he held to it as to a talisman, as he set about freeing the Eagle from its staff. – Chapter 15: The Feast of New Spears.
Marcus did not answer, but settled down to ride as he had never ridden before. The dark heather streaked backward under his pony’s thudding hooves, the long harsh hairs of its mane sprayed back over his wrists, and the wind sung past his ears. For one flashing instant there rose in him the exultancy of speed, the surge and the splendour that he had once thought never to know again. The I instant past, swift as a darting flight of a kingfisher. He was riding for his life with the dark hunt in full cry behind him, putting out all his skill to keep clear of hidden pitfalls, the hummocks and snags and snarls among the heather that might bring disaster… – Chapter 17: The Wild Hunt
Suggested Age for Enjoyable Reading: 12 for reading alone and aloud; Just to warn you, in Chapter 15: The Feast of New Spears there is a scene of some idol worshipping, which I personally did not read on the advice of Mrs. BB. The book made perfect sense even though I didn’t read that part. If you want to know exactly were I stopped reading and then started again in that chapter, let me know via a comment, but defiantly, read the chapter, don’t just skip it!
If you enjoyed, you will also enjoy: Pearl Maiden by H. Rider Haggard and anything by G. A. Henty. (And this book has just been brought out as a movie, The Eagle.)