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Eagle of The Ninth Paperback – Oct 26 2004
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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
“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
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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
Sutcliffe seems to have an almost intuitve understanding of Roman Britain, and all that I have read of its history has been coloured by my reading of Sutcliffe. Her book has a steady, even pace which suits me, but contemporary young readers might find that this pace, as well as the vocabulary, strains their patience. Still, I have faith that this book will bring as many rewards to new readers as it has to its old friends.
Tortured by harsh rumors that the lost Ninth Legion turned feral and betrayed the Roman principles of Trust and Honor, young Marcus is grimly determined to prove the gossip false and restore the Honor of his father's old legion. No one knows the fate of the men who marched off into the mists of what will be known as Scotland in subsequent centuries. But without the actual Eagle which repreents that legion, there can be no Honor--more sacred to Romans than life itself. Thus Marcus vows to recover the lost eagle for Rome, so that the men of the Ninth may rest easy and that the Painted People may not use it as a psychological weapon against Rome.
This novel is quite long for YA status, but is enjoyable to read. Sutcliff presents a mystery which spans the dim prehistory of Britain and historically documented Latin times. The plot is interesting, while the style captures the flavor and language of the Anglo-Roman era. The reader will pick up some Roman history and clues about their lifestyle just by reading for pleasure. The book is truly worthwhile, though I recommend the stark chiller, SUN HORSE, MOON HORSE, as an introduction to the tribal life. Very good story in setting that is both literary and historically accurate. Based on archaeological findings.
Most recent customer reviews
One of my favourite books, I'm replacing an old, damaged copy. The cover is gorgeous. I just love this book so much.Published 7 months ago by chelsea walton
Has been one of and maybe the favourite book since I first read it as a child. I bought this to replace the battered copy I re-read year after year; I do miss the fascinating... Read morePublished 11 months ago by J. Dowker
Most of the time the movie cannot do a justice to the book. This time the movie was much better than the original story. Read morePublished on Dec 21 2012 by Lana
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 morePublished on Feb. 26 2010 by Prairie Pride
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 morePublished on April 20 2004
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 morePublished on Aug. 28 2003
'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... Read morePublished on Jan. 27 2003 by R. M. Fisher
This is a great book. It has detailed discriptions of roman provinces, plus an excellent plot. But the start was unbelivably boring. Read morePublished on Aug. 11 2002