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on 12 January 2017
Great book
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on 17 April 2017
Not a good read at all!
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on 7 March 2016
This book changed my life. Manda Scott's incredibly vivid style brings history to life in a remarkable, visceral and immediate way. If you like your world-concept to be of a dusty past and an inaccessible future, don't read it. If you want to be brought alive to the gore and grime and greatness of our ancestors, you won't put it down.
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VINE VOICEon 9 April 2007
I would normally run a mile from this type of book, it's about as far from my tastes in fiction as could be imagined. I bought it purely out of curiosity as I had enjoyed Scott's crime novels and thought I'd give this a go, though I feared I would find it a slog, full of (to me) not very interesting historical detail. But I have to say I found it, on the whole, a revelation. It did take quite a while to get going and for a time I feared the worst, but then suddenly, without me even realising when, it had me hooked. I think this is partly due to Scott's exquisite writing: her descriptive powers are thrilling and beautiful. Even the battle scenes, which in books of any genre I would usually find boring and tedious beyond measure, had me enthralled. I couldn't say that every page had me gripped right to the end - as the book went on there were an increasing number of scenes where I was desperate to get away from Ban and back to Breaca, but I do realise that these scenes are necessary to present a full picture, so I don't make this a criticism. So on the whole I was mightily impressed, and yes, I've just bought 'Bull'.
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on 17 August 2004
I enjoyed this book but I would not call it historical fiction, rather, as another reader wrote, fictional history. It can't be any other way, as the scattering of facts an author has to work with need a lot of fleshing-out before a novel can be made of them.
With that in mind, it is a fantastically colourful read. The entire island is lit up and brought to life in a way that historical documentation could never have done, which is why I read this book.
Manda Scott's veterinary background shows, subtly, and the animals in the story have a depth of character and a prominence that I haven't experienced before, which I really enjoyed.
The British culture at the time as protrayed in the book is staggeringly contemporary and idealistic. I would question this: again, it's fiction, but it does excessively villify the Romans with the contrast... if so many people were migrating into Rome rather than out, could it have been that bad?
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on 30 June 2013
As a passionate lover of history I was ashamed to say I knew next to nothing about the life of Boudica. Although this book is fiction, it really allows a window into the kinds of struggles against invasion and keeping the people's culture alive. I thoroughly enjoyed it, I couldn't put it down at one point. Manda Scott writes in a way which makes you feel like the characters are friends and family, I became really emotionally attached to their struggles, loves and twists of fate. I can't wait to read the next book in the series!!
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on 31 January 2007
I got this for Christmas and, having finished it, am out to get the next one. It is really well written, building a world which, although based on limited historical evidence, is totally believable. Did the British tribes have dreamers who could see visions and conjure up mists? Were women equal to men as warriors? Did they have such great affinity to horses and dogs? Were the inhabitants of Mona blood-lusting druids or mystics? We will never know but Scott makes it real.

The closest parallel I can think of is Jean Auel's Earth Children, also extrapolated from scant archaeological evidence but, in my opinion, not as well drawn.

Lets hope the continuations keep up the same standard.
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on 22 January 2016
As a crime writer, Manda Scott‘s ability to describe and give life to her characters is of a calibre that, almost, made me give up writing. Although these days I rarely visit the genre of long-ago historical, I was curious to see how she tackled the world of Boadicea. I found myself transported into another world, rather that just seeing extreme facets of my own, totally absorbing and thoroughly admiring.
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This delightful series of books (I have only read the first but have already purchased the second in anticipation) retells the story of Boudicca (or Boadicea as she was known when I were a lad ... no NOT that long ago!). The book presents a powerful vision of the peoples of that time and their ideas, feelings and lives.

It is on a par with Marion Bradley's "Mists of Avalon" - another book with strong (and believable) female lead characters, as well as Bernard Cornwell's Harlequin saga.
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on 18 June 2013
I wanted to give this book a one star review but as I didn't finish it I thought it was unfair to do so.

I wanted to enjoy this book, I know nothing about Boudica and wanted to learn about her, and I enjoy epic tales of fantasy and historical fiction. So, I'm not sure what went wrong with this book.

I found that she spent too long describing things that we didn't need to know (horses and dogs), and less on what we did (what people looked like other than their eye and hair colour). I think this prevented me from becoming part of the story, I wasn't able to get in between the pages and always felt like an outsider.

For most of the book that I read (the first 50%) not a great deal happened. I learned a lot about horses and dogs but not much about Breaca. I skim read the next 25% of the book hoping to find something that grabbed my attention, but alas not. So, I had to admit defeat.

We're reading this as part of my book club, and a few people are enjoying it, so I would probably suggest it to people that enjoy long series, aimed at historical events. Not so much to fantasy fans as there's a lot more readable series out there for those people.
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