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The Eagle of the Ninth

The Eagle of the Ninth - Rosemary Sutcliff 4/24/2011 ** Marcus, a young Centurion in the Roman army around 100 A.D., has been mustered out after severely breaking his leg. After spending time as an invalid at his previously unknown uncle's home, he hears rumors of the emblem of his father's legion - a legion which disappeared in unknown circumstances 30 years previously. Marcus and a friend, cum servant, set out on a perilous journey into the unconquered regions of northern Britain (Scotland)to look for answers about his father's disappearance and in an attempt to prevent the lost Eagle from becoming a focal point for rebellion.

The storytelling in this book is superb. The characters are believable, the descriptions are breathtaking, and the plot moves at just the right pace. I particularly enjoyed reading about the homes and ways of life of both the "wild" tribes of the Scottish highlands and the British-based Romans. This is an era that I'm not particularly familiar with and I enjoyed the glimpse of history (particularly religious and military) with the mystery and romance in Marcus' life.

March 2011 ** I heard a discussion of the movie based on this book on BBC and vaguely recognized the name Rosemary Sutcliff. I used to read historical fiction as a teen, but haven't read much lately, so I decided to request the book.