I feel strangely unsatisfied with this book. I liked the attention to detail and atmosphere as well as the historical context and references, especially to 'Artos' and his father 'Utha' - very subtly done. There were some moments of incredible bitter-sweetness, such as when Aquila watches the Romans leave without him at Rutupiae Light.The characters were well-drawn, a few lines of description necessary to give a good impression of each. There's nothing to really criticise; it was a very solid piece of work. However, I certainly wouldn't want to re-read it - I wonder why? I think perhaps the main character, Aquila, just didn't click with me. His bleakness and bitterness was understandable but it meant he never really interacted with any other characters as a friend - deliberately done, but it made for quite monotonous reading. We never saw closely into any other characters; there were brief, well-written encounters with people, but nothing very fulfilling. I find that I enjoy a book most if it has good characterisation, and while Aquila was sufficiently bitter for his role, I found him lifeless (perhaps I was meant to? I certainly didn't enjoy reading about him though...) and the other characters not well fleshed-out enough. Years and events flashed by, and before I knew it Aquila was getting old, and I still didn't really know him, or the people around him, even his wife. Events were sketched over and I never felt caught up in the story entirely because of the jumps forward in time. However, there was a lot of beautful imagery in this book, right down to the last sentence; that's what kept me reading.