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Eagle of The Ninth [Paperback]

Rosemary Sutcliff
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 26 2004 0192753924 978-0192753922 2004 Edition
The Eagle of the Ninth is heralded as one of the most outstanding children's books of the twentieth century and has sold over a million copies worldwide. This special edition has been produced to celebrate the 50th anniversary of this remarkable book by one of the most highly respected authors of children's literature, Rosemary Sutcliff. Rosemary Sutcliff's books about Roman Britain have won much acclaim. The author writes with such passion and with such attention to detail that the Roman age is instantly brought to life and stays with the reader long after the last page has been turned.

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`Decades later, I can still hear echoes of The Eagle of the Ninth in my head : the chink of mail, the tired beat of the legionaries' feet. ' The Independent

`What a splendid story it is, compulsive reading! ' Junior Bookshelf


“Sutcliff has a genius for the re-creation of an historical period.”—Horn Book Reflections

“An unusual blend of stirring action and poetic symbolism. Authentic in background, skillful in plot, and perceptive in characterization.”—Booklist

“Imaginatively conceived.”—The New Yorker

“Decades later, I can still hear echoes of The Eagle of the Ninth in my head: the chink of mail, the tired beat of the legionaries’ feet.”—The Independent

“What a splendid story it is, compulsive reading!”—Junior Bookshelf

An ALA Notable Book
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
'Eagle of the Ninth' is the first in a bestselling series concerning ancient Rome by Rosemary Sutcliff, the famous and award-winning author of many historial novels and re-tellings of ancient myths.
In the prolouge of this novel Sutcliff tells her inspiration for this novel - the mysterious disappearence of the Ninth Legion who marched north to deal with the Caledonian tribes in 117 AD and were never heard of again, and the remains of a wingless Roman Eagle that was uncovered in modern times at an excavation at Silchester. The Eagles of Roman Legions were of uptmost importance to the soldiers within them, as the eagle symbolised their strength, their union and Rome itself. In the wrong hands it could spell disgrace or loss of moral should it ever be marched against Rome. For this reason Romans went to great lengths to protect the Eagle, even at the cost of their lives, and often an 'eagle-bearer' would march with the troops in order to protect and care for the precious token.
"The hunting ground is a wide one, and who knows into what strange covers the hunt may led us."
So says Centurion Marcus Flavius Aquila and his freed slave Esca at the start of their journey. Marcus's father was the leader of the Ninth Legion, and Marcus takes up the chance to find out exactly what did happen to him and the lost Ninth Legion that he had led, by crossing the safety of the Hadrian Wall and following the rumours of a Celtic tribe said to hold a strange Roman artefact of war. Wounded in battle and so stripped of his dream to become a First Cohort like his father, Marcus applies himself fully to restoring the honour of his father's Legion and prevent the Eagle from becoming a weapon of propaganda.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not Bad but not Great Dec 21 2012
By Lana
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Most of the time the movie cannot do a justice to the book. This time the movie was much better than the original story.
If I did not watch the movie first I would drop that book after the first few pages.

It is not bad but it is boring, to be honest. The book is written in the old-days style:

"They fight but there is no blood. They love but there is no sex. And of course, the major character is a hero without a single fault. He is filled with the love to his motherland, patriotism and bravery."

Something is missing in the character of Marcus to make him realistic, touching and likeable. In parts the story is fast pacing but in parts is so boring and monotonous that I lost my interest completely. The ending is also very predictable and uninspiring.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History Comes Alive July 16 2009
Those who have been brought up on fluff and drivel (aka "junk food for the mind") might find this book a little slow to begin with, but those who persevere will be rewarded with an action-packed piece of history. Set in Roman Britain in the second century, A.D., "The Eagle of the Ninth" chronicles the efforts of Marcus Flavius Aquila in his quest to discover what had happened to a missing Roman legion. The Ninth Legion, led by Marcus's father, had disappeared fifteen years earlier, and the fate of the soldiers and the legion's eagle standard (the symbol of a legion's honour) was unknown. After rescuing a Celtic slave (Esca) from certain death as a gladiator, Marcus and Esca traveled north to Hadrian's wall and beyond into the northern wilds, spurred on by rumours that the legion's eagle was in the hands of one of the outland tribes.

Originally pubished in 1954, "The Eagle of the Ninth" continues to entertain anyone interested in Roman history--for in fact, the Ninth Legion did exist and it did disappear without a trace. Recent archaeological discoveries have renewed interest in the disappearance. The book is bound to experience a revival, as it is currently being made into a movie directed by Kevin Macdonald and starring Jamie Bell and Donald Sutherland. Production starts in August 2009 and is supposed to hit movie theatres in 2010. The movie will be shot in Glassgow and the Scottish highlands--including scenes shot around Loch Lomond.

There is a reason this book is still around over half a century after it was first published--it should be on everyone's "must read" list.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rome the triumphant! June 22 2004
Sutcliff has to be one of the most consummately skilled authors in this genre, both for style and characterization. Her sense of time and place is wonderful, and she manages to powerfully evoke our interest in her character's struggles and triumphs. As another reviewer noted, Sutcliff's people are real, not some silly pasteboard stereotypes of modernity, flicked back about 1500 years.
The plot is tight, avoiding unnecessary haste (which helps to give a sense of reality, as well), but not degenerating into a slough of wasted pages devoted to trivialities. Sutcliff's keen sense of location is a delightful aspect of the story--- one feels that she was intimately acquainted with Great Britain's wilds, and loved them for what they are and were: solemn, unfathomable, and full of mystery.
An obvious scholar of Celtic and Roman traditions and culture, Sutcliff manages to subtly impart a great deal of information without lapsing into "textbookishness"--- that alone is no mean feat! Readers will find that there horizons have been broadened after diving into her books.
Sadly, most of her best fiction is out of print, but here are some titles of her most enjoyable stories-you might want to check the libraries:
Mark of the Horse Lord
The Eagle of the Ninth
The Silver Branch
The Lantern Bearers
Sword Song
Warrior Scarlet
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
Set in Later Roman Britain (around 400 AD), this historical novel tells a great adventure of two friends from very different pasts who set out to recover the lost banner of the... Read more
Published on Feb. 26 2010 by Prairie Pride
5.0 out of 5 stars Like one of my oldest friends
I had the good fortune to be introduced to Rosemary Sutcliffe when I was perhaps nine or ten, and consumed her books as rapidly as I could find them. Read more
Published on Oct. 19 2008 by Jack Blatant
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible Historical Fiction
In home room, we chose from a few books. Me and some of my freinds were extremely direct for this book. Our teacher told us what it was about, which got me hooked on this book. Read more
Published on April 20 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books ever!!!
I think Rosemary Suttliff is one of the greatest authors ever and The Eagle of the Ninth is one of my favorites of her books (I love all of them). Read more
Published on Aug. 28 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars A good book with a bad start
This is a great book. It has detailed discriptions of roman provinces, plus an excellent plot. But the start was unbelivably boring. Read more
Published on Aug. 11 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest literary works of our time.
Rosemary Sutcliff has yet again created an astonishingly riveting piece of work. The lively yarn is consistantly tightly woven throughout the book, without a dull moment. Read more
Published on June 2 2002
1.0 out of 5 stars Danger, Keep Clear
I read this book at school many years ago and it took me about ten years to be able to read another book! Not only did it put me off literature but also history. Read more
Published on Nov. 20 2001
4.0 out of 5 stars Timeless Classic
I read this book as a child and have read it aloud to both of my own children. It is still one of my favourite stories. Read more
Published on Aug. 1 2001 by
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent story
I read this book in 2 days. I was enthralled with the characters and how I became involved with the quest. Read more
Published on June 22 2001 by C. Williams
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