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4.8 out of 5 stars
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4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 6 March 2006
You really must read the first 3 books before reading this final one. So many stories and plots and sub-plots were revealed over this whole series. With the seeds of each character's destiny put forward and then resolved with perfect clarity in this final volume.
It is an amazing finale. Yes, the written history of Boudica's demise is fairly well known, but as always it's the way Manda Scott has interpreted history and woven the threads together that makes this book have such tension ans suspense. Knowing that Boudica dies in the end, doesn't stop this book from pulling the reader in and letting them almost see and feel the events that happen.
The battle scenes from the various points of view of different characters are wonderful, and set a real ambience in the reader's mind. And as always the ideas on the "dreaming" culture and how that is portrayed is superlative and fascinating.
The character development has also been brilliant, and you can really feel the changes and growth in such characters like Cunomar and Valerius and Graine. There is a surprising storyline with Valerius and Cygfa towards the end, and the the heartbreaking choices and feelings of Valerius and Corvus, knowing they'll face each other in battle is fantastic writing.
When the end comes, both of the book and of Boudica herself it's hard not to shed a tear or two. It is beautifully written, with characters you can really love(or hate) and it's hard not to feel you have been on a journey with them all, with nearly all the loose ends clearly resolved and still with plenty of room for personal thoughts and theories. Stunning book!! Thank you Manda Scott!!
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This is the fourth book of what was to have been a trilogy, the author obviously had second thoughts and thank goodness she did. I believe that this one is the best of the lot, or maybe it is because it is still the freshest in my mind, no matter, they are all a triumph of historical fiction.

I do not think there is a boring page, never mind a boring chapter in any of them.

Most people who have any interest in history will have some knowledge of the Queen of the Iceni, what befell her and her daughters and the pain and suffering she rained down on the Roman invader in retribution.. . .

The Warrior Queen has burned Colchester to the ground and the Roman's are leaving London. Rome's forces are stretched to the limit and their chain of command is broken. Never in the history of the legions have the Roman forces been in such disarray.

Can Boudica sustain her advance against the might of Rome. Will she ever she her daughter Graine again. The young girl has taken refuge on the island of Mona will her mother succeed where others have failed. Can she unite the land of Britain against its invaders, or will the might of Rome finally impose its iron will on the tribes of Britain.
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on 29 June 2007
I have been unable to put this series down from the start but the fourth book, Dreaming the Serpent Spear makes you feel proud to be British but deeply saddened of the way we now are.

This book over and above the other four thrusts you into a space where you can hear the dreaming, see the dreaming and smell, hear and taste the blood and love. This is a book written in such a way that makes you want to stand up and fight for what is right, fight for the peace and tranquility that is snatched away from us all too often.

You can read this book without the other three but I recommend you don't. I strongly recommend that you read them all back to back and in as short a time as possible. Manda explains at the back of the book the Historical basis for the story and for me it screams a writing skill that few can match. I have always loved the image of Boucidea, Boudica and the tribe of the Eceni but these four books and this one in particular is spellbinding in such a way that you will read it agian and again. I will of that I am sure if not for the honour and the hope of something after death then simply for the superb, sheer brilliance of the book(s).
11 comment| 27 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
This is the fourth book of what was to have been a trilogy, the author obviously had second thoughts and thank goodness she did. I believe that this one is the best of the lot, or maybe it is because it is still the freshest in my mind, no matter, they are all a triumph of historical fiction.

I do not think there is a boring page, never mind a boring chapter in any of them.

Most people who have any interest in history will have some knowledge of the Queen of the Iceni, what befell her and her daughters and the pain and suffering she rained down on the Roman invader in retribution.. . .

The Warrior Queen has burned Colchester to the ground and the Roman's are leaving London. Rome's forces are stretched to the limit and their chain of command is broken. Never in the history of the legions have the Roman forces been in such disarray.

Can Boudica sustain her advance against the might of Rome. Will she ever she her daughter Graine again. The young girl has taken refuge on the island of Mona will her mother succeed where others have failed. Can she unite the land of Britain against its invaders, or will the might of Rome finally impose its iron will on the tribes of Britain.
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on 18 February 2006
After waiting for a year with baited breath for the concluding book of Manda Scott's 'Boudica' series, I found the story being taken to new levels, after experiencing the detail of the tribal rites, and the mind-blowing scene of the final battle... The constant love shown between Valerius and Corvus, despite being on opposing sides, is heart-breaking - especially in the concluding chapters. An appropriate finish to an immensely realistic series. For anyone interested in fictional works (largely refenced on fact) about Boudica, 'Dreaming the Serpent Spear', and it precending counter-parts are must-reads.
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on 14 September 2008
Many writers can make you visualise the scene they are writing about, but Manda Scott has the skills to actually take you there, to make you believe you are there with her characters in person, witnessing the events in all four of her books. I found it un-put-downable from the first chapter of the first book, to the final words of this the fourth.
I recommend anyone to read them all, in order. Follow the Boudica through her life with the warriors, singers and dreamers of the ancient Britons, through the Roman invasion, to her truimph in her uprising, and her brother in his abduction into slavery and long, cruel journey through the Roman Legions, to leadership as a Decurion and eventual return to his kinsmen to fight against the very men he had once fought with, alongside his sister. A compelling and utterly believable story, and remarkably well written.
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on 14 May 2016
The culmination of a wonderful story I recommend that one starts with number one in the series and reads all four books. I really enjoyed all the books and look forward to reading more of Manda Scott's work
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on 26 March 2006
This is the fourth book in what was originally conceived as a triology the most well known part of the Boudica's story but still as captivating and imaginative as the other three in the series. The story interweaves historicle fact with the fictional world of the dreamers so much so that you almost wish that the ending could be different. Although the boudica did not win her final battle i certainly hope that this isn't the last vist to to these times and can only hope that at some point Graine's story will need to told
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on 22 February 2006
This is the fifth and final book in Manda Scott's Boudicca series, and I think it's the best so far.
The preceding books took us up to the Boudicca's flogging by the Romans, and their rape of her daughters, and this book packs in all the remaining story: the tribes' uprising, the defeat of the XIth legion, the burning of St Albans, Bath and London, and the Boudicca's defeat by the XXth and IXth legions.
Those are the bare bones, but the story covers far more - the spirit of the tribes and the dreaming that guides their actions. It's the story of how a defeated people keep on fighting, and the eventual outcome is, surprisingly, one of hope, not of gloom.
It's written with Scott's usual poetic fervour; it's history as our story, rather than as the conquerors'. I recommend it highly.
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on 11 August 2014
One of my all time favourite authors, Manda Scott brings this 4 part book series to a close in this book. It had me hooked form page 1 (well, from page one of book 1!) and I couldn't put it down. I felt bereft when I finished it as I had built up such an emotional connection with the characters in the books. I don't tend to read books twice but with the Boudica series I have done. Can't recommend these books more highly (and of course her Rome series that follows these). Magic.
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