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Review: Eagle of the Ninth–Rosemary Sutcliff



A tale of adventure in ancient Britain. A young centurion arrives in Roman Britain to take his first command at a small Roman fort in Britain. During an uprising he's badly injured.  As he's trying to regain his health he hears rumors of a missing Roman Eagle.  His father had led the missing legion whose Eagle it was. He determines to go off above Hadrian's wall and bring back the Eagle and hopefully clear his father's name. And, with luck, bring honor to the Ninth Legion once again.

A good adventure with very likeable characters. And a wolf! 

Fairly slow start, as the circumstances are set up by the author, but once the quest is on, very exciting and enjoyable.

FWIW: I have no idea why this is tagged so often 'children' or 'young adult'. I nearly didn’t read it because of that.  It is not a coming of age story and all the characters are adults.



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Comments

I think that Sutcliffe's books were designated for children back when they were first written, in the 1950s and 1960s. I pay very little attention to those kinds of labels, and I adore historical fiction, so I read them anyway. (The rest of the series about Roman Britain is also really good.)
Oh, btw, if you're curious --

Eagle of the Ninth series in chronological order (novels linked by the Aquila family dolphin ring)

The Eagle of the Ninth (1954) illustrated by C. Walter Hodges.
The Silver Branch (1957) illustrated by Charles Keeping.
Frontier Wolf (1980)
The Lantern Bearers (1959) illustrated by Charles Keeping.
Sword at Sunset (1963)
Dawn Wind (1961) illustrated by Charles Keeping.
Sword Song (1997) published posthumously.
The Shield Ring (1956) illustrated by C. Walter Hodges.
Three Legions (1980) is an omnibus edition containing the original Eagle of the Ninth trilogy: Eagle of the Ninth, Silver Branch and Lantern Bearers (reissued in 2010 as Eagle of the Ninth Chronicles).

Frontier Wolf is as good as Eagle, maybe better, and Sword at Sunset is her adult Arthurian novel. I've read them all except for Dawn Wind and Sword Song.

[edit] Arthurian novels
Thanks! I plan on reading at least the next two. We'll see. Of course the TBR pile is so high it reaches the moon, so no idea when I'll get to them!