Top positive review
Maybe the best historical novel ever?
on 18 October 2013
OK, exaggerated praise but I really can't think of one that betters the Eagle, and I've read a lot. Like many others I read it as a child - its one that I still remember and probably started my interest in all things historical. Also remember the radio adaptation (60's?) and can even recall the theme tune marching song. Reading it again after 50 years, its still a really good yarn but I was struck by the quality of the writing in defining the characters, major and minor, and the beautifully descriptions of the countryside. It may have been written for children, but there a lot in it for an adult.
The Silver Branch, which I vaguely remember, is nearly as good. I was minded of Kiplings story of two Romans who defended the Wall about the same time, and the level of detail of the days when Rome was failing but still a power was fascinating. Treachery and friendship as power corrupts, always a good theme.
Finally the Lantern Bearers, later still when Rome has finally abandoned Britain and the enemy is the invading Saxons. Again, a brilliant picture of a resistance movement and the gathering of the Celtic Britons under Ambrosius and how Arthur may have come onto the scene)
It would have been helpful to include a list of modern v ancient place names - the maps are too small to be helpful and though some places are familiar others are very obscure. This applies to all three books.
One of my best buys on Kindle, got it very cheap but its well worth the full price and more.