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!!