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Eagle of The Ninth Paperback – Oct 26 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 2004 Edition edition (Oct. 26 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192753924
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192753922
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 19.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 281 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #146,681 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By R. M. Fisher on Jan. 27 2003
Format: Paperback
'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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By Lana on Dec 21 2012
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 By Linda Mehus-Barber on July 16 2009
Format: Paperback
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 By S. Lewis on June 22 2004
Format: Paperback
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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