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The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff

The Eagle of the Ninth (1954)

by Rosemary Sutcliff

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,094514,749 (4.07)162

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English (49)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  All languages (51)
Showing 1-5 of 49 (next | show all)
Great to read this classic again after many years. The story of Marcus Aquila and his quest to resurrect the lost 9th Legion Hispana is beautifully written, thoughtful and sympathetic, with honest depictions of both Roman and Briton. As a classicist I might quibble with a few minor points of the author's depictions of the legions, but it doesn't in any way distract from what is a great escapist read. The scene where the recovered eagle is laid to rest is beautifully done and brings a tear to the eye. Simply a lovely book, I hope that modern generations can embrace it as much as I did. ( )
1 vote drmaf | May 22, 2019 |
Ten years or so ago I was sitting in the waiting area for the Indiana branch of Immigration and Citizenship. The room is always a fertile ground for imagining people's stories and I found my attentions drifting between my book and the cast of characters surrounding me. A man walked in the room, looked puzzled and walked to the reception desk, only a few feet away from my distracted digressions. He introduced himself in our local way and began to tell the story of his son, one Private Jones who was stationed in Baghdad and one who had fallen in love with a local and was soon to be married. Because of the precarious security situation, this was 2004, just before the Civil War, he thought it prudent to have his soon to be daughter--in-law stateside immediately. The receptionist explained that the immigration process would have to begin there. "But, its Iraq," the man stated, loud enough for everyone in the waiting area to hear. The manager was summoned and the same process was explained again. The man thanked them and left. I have often wondered about Private Jones and his family.

Such thoughts lingered as I struggled through The Eagle of the Ninth. I first became aware of the author and work years ago when Will Self stated that he was reading her trilogy to his children. The standard oppositions of slave/master, colonial/native, and hero/coward are all explored -- though through a YA lens, to be honest. The thrust of the plot was reminiscent of Stevenson's ,[b:Kidnapped|325128|Kidnapped (David Balfour, #1)|Robert Louis Stevenson|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1328869457s/325128.jpg|963266] so much historical fiction is, as we know. It was refreshing that the native Britains are not represented as barbarians and the Romans aren't effete bureaucrats abhoring the locals.

This may have been the best written two star book I've read. My response may be the result of fatigue and nagging sinuses, though I won't challenge that assertion with a further reading of Sutcliff any time soon.
( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |

It's really a three point seven five, but who's counting?

The main characters and encountered characters are fun to meet and follow. ( )
  nkmunn | Nov 17, 2018 |
Young centurion Marcus Flavius Aquila's father disappeared with the doomed Ninth Legion in northern Britain. When Marcus takes a post in Britain, he hopes to hear or discover something of the lost Ninth, but a wound taken in battle cuts his military career short. After he recovers, he embarks on a dangerous mission to discover what happened to the Ninth, and to retrieve their bronze Eagle, the symbol of Roman power and victory, which may be in the hands of the northern tribes.

This story of high adventure in the long past is one that I probably would have enjoyed as a child, but I never crossed paths with it at the time. The writing is lovely and the pacing is strong. It's a quick read (the audiobook I listened to was under five hours), full of goodness with nothing extraneous. For all that, I'd say I liked it but didn't love it. If historical fiction set in the days of the Roman Empire appeals to you, I'd say give this a try, no matter your age. ( )
1 vote foggidawn | Aug 20, 2018 |
Set in Roman Britain this story is of a young Roman officer who sets out to discover the truth behind the mysterious disappearance of the Ninth Legion, who marched into the mists of Northern Britain and never returned.
  MBacon | Nov 19, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 49 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (24 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rosemary Sutcliffprimary authorall editionscalculated
Crossley-Holland, KevinIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Diekmann, MiepTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hodges, C.WalterIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mikolaycak, CharlesCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Taylor, GeoffCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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From the Fosseway westward to Isca Dumnoniorum the road was simply a British trackway, broadened and roughly metalled, strengthened by corduroys of logs in the softest places, but otherwise unchanged from its old estate, as it wound among the hills, thrusting further and further into the wilderness.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374419302, Paperback)

In a.d. 125, a young Roman centurion must recover the infamous Ninth Legion's missing symbol of honor, the eagle standard.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:01 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

A young centurion ventures among the hostile tribes beyond the Roman Wall to recover the eagle standard of the Ninth, a legion which mysteriously disappeared under his father's command.

» see all 4 descriptions

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