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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.
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on 30 October 2016
A series of stories about Roman Britain for younger readers which are fondly remembered by older readers today. The first of the series is the best known and was also a series on BBC1 in the 1970s. What happened to the Legio IX Hispana after they marched into the mist? This book sought to unravel the mystery. Modern archaeology tells a different story regarding the Ninth but the original story is an excellent one maintaining the tension right to the end. Excellent story well told, a pity it's not what happened.........
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on 11 September 2013
I saw that there was a DVD Film based on this book. I have reviewed that separately.

Having seen the film I wanted to re-read the book as I had not read it for years and wanted to see how close the film was to the book.

Both are good in their own ways but you really have to treat them as separate entities. The film is loosely based on the book but has many scenes of fighting, gore and bloodshed which do not feature in the book. The film is great but in the book problems are mostly solved with brain rather than brawn.

The book is beautifully written. I was pleased to find this chronicle set with three books in it. I have not read the second and third yet but this was a bargain to get all three and I'm sure I will enjoy them too.

Incidently I paid £2.08 for the trilogy and I see that it is now £7.31. I'm sure it is worth the extra but it is worth pointing out that sometimes you leave a review for an item which cost one price and then find that it is more expensive. This could be misleading. Worth checking back from time to time or even stating the price you paid in the review.
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on 7 April 2013
The one drawback to a kindle book is that one has no idea how long a tale might be. This is actually three stories in one book - therefore very long. The first concerns the 9th division of the Roman army who marched north of the border and were never seen again. Rumours circulated that the heathen Scots had the standard of the lost legion in their possession and would use this to rally the clans to expel the Romans from their shores. One young Roman soldier - whose father had commanded the lost legion and whose fate was unknown - took it upon himself to search for the lost standard and return it to Roman hands. He was accompanied by his loyal slave - whom he freed just before the journey north - and together they journeyed into the unknown, posing as a travelling medicine man and his assistant. The story is well written and fast-paced. The second part of the book is set 100 years later, when the Romans left Britain and the third, later still. Still there is a family link between all three parts which makes it interesting. It was also educational - I had no idea glass was used in windows so early! Altogether a good read.
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VINE VOICETOP 1000 REVIEWERon 30 July 2015
This is a well known novel of Roman Britain, with which I have been broadly familiar since seeing a TV adaptation in the 1970s, though I had not read it before. It concerns the efforts of an invalided Roman soldier to find the lost eagle standard of his father's Ninth Legion in the wild lands beyond Hadrian's Wall. It is extremely well written, with very evocative descriptions of the landscape, and engaging and interesting characters. A good read.

I will add to this review when I read the other two books in the trilogy, The Silver Branch and The Lantern Bearers
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on 19 June 2015
Excellent reading. I first read The Eagle of the Ninth at school, aeons ago. Exciting and interesting, lots of great detail, wonderfully descriptive. The stories are distinctly separate, with only the common thread of the location (with loose reference to our original hero) and Romano/British history. It wasn't until going back to reading quality like this that I realised how poorly written many contemporary books are in comparison. Highly recommended.
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on 21 December 2013
I bought this for my nine year old grandson, he does have a tendency to read above his age so for others it may be more suitable in a year or so. Rosemary Sutcliff is one of my favourite authors of all times. Her books are rich in history, of course, but also in the pains and tribulations of children on the cusp between childhood and adulthood. They are written in a lyrical style and with a power of description and poetry that make them linger in the mind, they have peopled the landscape for years for me and I thoroughly recommend them to another generation of children.
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on 19 January 2013
I love any historical novels but Rosemary Sutcliff is a new name to me and I haven't read any about Roman Britain. I really enjoyed the first story then to my delight I found a second one.This leads on to a third which I have just started.The characters are well described and I could imagine life at that time quite easily.
The best thing for me,however,which I found by accident,is that if you hover over a word then click on it,you get the dictionary definition,really good to explain words of Roman military origin and also the modern names for the towns and cities described in the book.Previously,I would flit from the book to a dictionary page which I found to be a real nuisance.Not sure if this applies to all Kindle books but it is great.
I will definitely look for more from this author
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on 6 May 2015
As with other reviewers, I really liked this and it was great to pick it up again after reading the first book in my childhood; there's certainly more than enough for adults in here too. The only slight downside is that the third book is not as strong as the first two. Somehow the characters are not as easy to engage with and the the world is not as well developed as the story moves from Roman to post-Roman England.
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on 22 August 2013
I read these books when I was kid. And I can honestly say that they are still as wonderful as I remember. Rosemary Sutcliff's portrayal of Britain under the Romans and in the earky Dark Ages are so well researched and strong. The stories gripping. The characters are complex. These are books that adults should read as well as children (I lent them to my husband who loved them).

I read history at Oxford University and all of my fellow students were fans of these books and Rosemary Sutcliff.
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