This sweeping saga of Great Britain, known then, as the ancient Albion, chronicles the lives of several outstanding defenders of freedom. First is Caradoc, the son of a Celtic king, who tries to unite the people of his country against the invasions of Rome. It is also about his sister Gladys who stays behind to fight the Romans, in an already lost battle, while her brother escapes to fight them again. She falls in love with a Roman depsite her strong Celtic ties. Finally, it is about Boudicca (everyone spells it differently) and her devotion to carry on the work of Caradoc. This book was one of the best I have ever read. I couldn't put it down at times (even though I had to force myself to so I could go to sleep at night). You are brought back into time and feel as though you are with these people, silently watching and cheering on the Celts, while at the same time, cursing the Romans and their greedy, grasping ways. It is a long book but it doesn't seem so as the pages fly through your fingers as you become enveloped in the Celt's cause against Rome. The book is wonderfully detailed with ancient pre-medievalism descriptions of people, places, etc. You just have to buy this book, and read it, to believe just how incredible it really is. The characters are so three dimensional and emotional that you feel their pain and their triumphs with unbelievable passion... If you enjoyed this book I think you would also enjoy "Warrior Queen" by James Sinclair (also out-of-print but an excellent read), and "Ashes of Britannia" Warrior Queen Series by Haley Elizabeth Garwood. These titles delve deeper into Boudicca's fight against Rome.
How marvellous for three readers from three different continents to share their thoughts on and their love for a particular book.
The book's sense of time and place is wonderful and the reader is swept along by the ancient Britons' desperate, but ultimately futile fight for freedom against Roman domination. I felt as if I was right there, in the dense green Catuvellaun forests, the wind-swept hills of Brigantia, or the majestic but barren mountains of the west, sharing the freedom fighters' hardships and feeling their pain. The battle scenes, though mercifully infrequent, don't leave much to the imagination and describe the clashes between the tribes and the Romans in all their noisy, violent detail; I could almost hear the Britons' war cries and ringing of swords and smell the air heavy with the metallic scent of blood, the passages propelling me along and leaving me virtually breathless and exhausted. After the nearly 700 pages it felt like I had lost some good friends and it was strange not to pick up the book again the following night after all the time I had spent with my nose between its pages.
This book deserves to be more widely read, an absolute must for anyone with an interest in historical fiction covering this particular time in history.
This is a really empathetic book that really puts you back in time with the characters who lived in Albion (Britain) at the time of the Roman invasion. The author wanted initially to write about the conflict that the Iceni found themselves surrounded by during their revolt but found when researching the time that there was and even bigger individual who resisted Rome; Caradoc (Caratacus).
It is he who the majority of the book concentrates on and his tribe as they fight their former 'allies' as Claudius attacks their home and Caradoc is forced to retreat fighting for many years along with the tribes of the west. If you like the genre, I would highly recommend this book if you can find a copy, you'll be pleased you did.
I am so delighted to see others feel exactly the same way about this book as i have done for so many years. My copy is aged and tattered but I treasure it and it has been read and re-read. Let it take you back in time to a people and culture long dead that Pauline Gedge brings wonderfully back to life. This book is definetly a must read.
I read this book some years ago and have re-read it since. To this day it remains one of my favourite renditions of the tale of the invasion of Albion or Britain as it became under the rule of the Romans. It's one of my all time favourite books in general. The fight of the Celtic tribes such as Catuvellauni, Trinovantes and Iceni etc, of Britain to keep out the invading Romans was very moving and the characters of this era came to life in a way I've never found in any other of the same genre. My heart literally ached for them, and in the last chapters I felt a deep sense of loss. Well written and lingers in the mind with it's beauty and saddness.
Ordered this book for a friend of mine who told me he read it years ago but since then couldn't find it anywhere. Now he has it again and is delighted to have it again. The book itself was swiftly posted and recieved.
A wonderful story with drama, romance and high adventure. Not to mention heroism and betrayal. The story of the roman conquest of Britain. The characters come alive. There is real scholarship here as well.
i loved this book it was very readable sometimes in these sort of books its hard to read fluently when the names/placenames are different to what we are used too. I liked the fact that it was about real people that we don't know much about, it made them very real and i have found myself looking for books around the same era. i am passing the book on to my husband then my son in law as i think they will both enjoy this book as much as i did.
The third time I have read this book. It gives the feel of the period so well. The clash between the Roman world and the tribes of Iron Age Britain clinging to their culture and way of life with guile and organisation is well told. You can smell the mud and but attend the banquet at the same time. Boudicca, Caradoc, Cartimandua are all there!!