'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 The Eagle of the Ninth reading notes (PDF). The Eagle of the Ninth is a historical adventure novel for children written by Rosemary Sutcliff . Reading Museum PDF on the Silchester Eagle · Eagle of the Ninth, 6-part BBC Scotland TV series produced by Pharic MacLaren. Original. Editorial Reviews. Review. “Sutcliff has a genius for the re-creation of an historical period. Book 1 of 3 in The Eagle of the Ninth Trilogy (3 Book Series).
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Rosemary Sutcliff - The Eagle Of The Ninth · Read more · The Ninth Of Av. Read more · Empire of the Eagle · Read more. The Eagle of the Ninth. Rosemary Sutcliff. Introduction. The story. The story is set nearly two thousand years ago in. Roman Britain. Some years before the. The eagle of the Ninth. byRosemary Sutcliff. Publication date For print- disabled users. Borrow this book to access EPUB and PDF files.
And as I did so, I was suddenly hit with the realization that the connection, parallels, and similarities between Marcus, me, and our journeys were far greater than I had previously supposed. View all 6 comments. Jan 27, Victoria Lynn rated it really liked it. Accompanied by Esca, the two venture into the wilds north of Hadrian's Wall, an untamed land haunted by rumors swirling around the ghostly disappearance of the Ninth's four thousand-plus men. Like me, he was deeply afraid - afraid for his health and afraid for his future, though he did a good job of hiding it from others.
Someday several years from now, when I reach the goals that are so close to my heart, I will re-read The Eagle of the Ninth again, and identify with Marcus yet more, because I'll be in the place he was in at the very end of the book, when all his most precious dreams come to fruition. I know I'll get there just as he did. And as it was for him, it will be a sweet and joyful day.
It is a phenomenal book in every way, and there are so many reasons why. Here are just a few of many other things I appreciate about this book: Each character is described in just enough detail to bring him or her vividly to life, and each one feels like a real person the reader is acquainted with.
The settings are achingly gorgeous - the high, mist-crowned mountain crags, the rushing breeze and golden sunshine on the green of the garden, the shimmering ripples of the highland lochs, the foam-white sprays of blossoms on branches, the deep gold of the lamplight on the walls, and the scarlet and purple sunset shining on the hills.
Each place is so immediate and real that I feel as if I can smell, feel, see, and taste each living detail, and the beauty fills my heart to the point of bursting. He's such a wonderful character, and though I love so many of the others in this book, he's my favorite. Marcus kind, compassionate, caring, sympathetic, and understanding.
He is full of character, wisdom, maturity, skill, valiance, and keen instinct, yet he's young and doubts his own abilities — and he's not perfect by any means. He has such strength of character and leadership that his soldiers and his friends would follow him anywhere - and they prove it by doing so. I find it endearing that he becomes stiffly proud and arrogant when he feels vulnerable and uncomfortable - yet is truly humble underneath and in reality.
He's a stickler for honor, but he cares far more about the honor of his empire and especially his father than about his own honor.
He's not aware of his own humility, and the story is from his perspective, so it's never stated in the narrative; rather, his deep, unassuming humility shows in his words and actions.
He is stubborn, determined, and immovable, pursuing his cause and what's right no matter what, refusing to give up no matter the odds. And it pays off when he overcomes the worst odds, going to great lengths for the eagle and refusing to settle for life as an invalid.
He is unflinchingly, selflessly, coolly, recklessly, purposefully, and sacrificially brave. Even and especially when he's terrified, he is still strong and courageous, even when it means facing down and enduring death or excruciating pain. But I shall be brief. I love Cottia's queenlike poise and grace and the fierce and fiery spirit that matches her flaming hair and causes Marcus to call her, "You little vixen!
I love Esca's loyalty to Marcus, his courage that is every bit as great as Marcus's own, his slow, grave smile, his fighting spirit, and the wildness about him that can never be fully tamed.
I love Uncle Aquila and the way he cares about and advocates for Marcus and the others while pretending to be grumpy - while all the while his big heart shines through from beneath. I love Cub's refusal to be parted from Marcus, his wild, exuberant joy each time he is reunited with his young master, and the way he comforts and stands by Marcus when he needs it most. And I love how even the minor characters are interesting, complex, and often endearing. I appreciate Centurion Drusillus, Guern the Hunter, and Marcus's father, who are wonderful even though they have less time on the page.
Even Marcus's enemies are almost likeable, and even Aunt Valeria is bursting with personality. Marcus is lonely, desolate, and friendless for part of the book, but in a sequence of providential events, he gains three close and loyal friends who are each totally devoted to him in their own way.
With Esca, Marcus shares a deep and brotherly bond that motivates Esca to let down his guard, care for Marcus, and walk into unimaginable danger and threat of death alongside his friend.
Instead of the bondage of a slave following his master, Esca follows Marcus as a devoted friend, even when he's free to do otherwise. As for Cottia, I love her friendship with Marcus as well, more than I can put into words. I love how Marcus understands her, fights for her, laughs with her, and takes care of her - and how Cottia supports him, brightens his dim world, and waits many months for his return, among so much else.
Then, there's Cub - as faithful a canine friend as any man could wish for, with devotion and loyalty equal to Esca's. The four of them bring light and laughter to each other's worlds. Marcus reaches out to each of them in turn and earns each of their loyalty. He helps them when they need it most, and in return, they help him when he himself is most in need.
What I love most about each friendship is how each of the three chooses Marcus when they could leave and be parted from him — and none of the three can imagine or bear the thought of parting.
They each separately choose to follow him, be united with him, and remain devoted to him when they have a choice between that and the alternative, and that's beautiful to me. Marcus's narration is often sarcastic, ironic, or hilariously biting, especially his mental commentary on other people - and he laughs at himself as well.
The banter and clever dialogue the characters exchange is humorous and delightful, and even in the midst of danger, the characters exchange light or grim jokes. And the comical portrayal of Marcus's alias, Demetrius of Alexandria, had me laughing throughout one funny scene. Among the deep themes are sacrifice, loyalty, leadership, hope, healing; honor and shame; courage and fear; freedom and bondage; and life and death.
Even each Marcus's enemies were also friends first. And a few of the good characters aren't totally good. But as each of us must in the real world, the main characters still pursue what they believe is right, and I love that. Sutcliff also truthfully portrays warring cultures as neither good nor evil — even though they may technically be enemies, there are friendships across the barriers of culture.
I love that Marcus learns to see other characters as people, not on the basis of nationality or other difference between them — and that he's willing to learn it.
Even though his allegiance is to Rome, he grows to understand the British culture — and he eventually transfers his home and allegiance to Roman Britain. It will always remain one of the best books I've ever read, and it only grows more wonderful to me as time goes on. It's also stood the test of time through many decades with readers who have gone before me, and I know it will always remain a classic by way of its great quality. You're missing out if you haven't read it, so go read it if you haven't!
It's a wonderful read for anyone who loves young adult adventure or historical fiction — and is just as good if you don't. And if you have read it before or are a fan, I hope you'll appreciate it more or be motivated to read it again. As for me, I look forward to re-reading The Eagle of the Ninth again and again and seeing it even more deeply each time — along with my own life and self as a result.
As I've dug deeper into the book this time, I know I've by no means exhausted the truth, heart, and meaning it contains for me personally and in general, and I look forward to discovering yet more when I read it yet again someday. View all 18 comments. Jun 04, Nikki rated it it was amazing Shelves: This book is fully as good as I remember.
That's a lot to say for a book that I adored from the age of eight until about fourteen, reread at seventeen-ish, and then haven't read for a few years In my head, it was always one of the most amazing books of my childhood, and my memory didn't overstate it.
It is written for children, so it's very easy to read and perhaps a little less than subtle, in places -- particularly with foreshadowing. But Marcus and Esca are still the bright, real characters I remember. I always loved the parts that show the bond between them, the friendship, that transcends the initial fact of Esca's slavery.
In fact, reading it again, it kind of amazed me how strong their friendship was -- realistic, yes, and with boundaries, but strong. I can picture both of them as characters, down to the way they move, can almost hear their voices. Part of that is years of imagination as a child, but I wouldn't have bothered if I didn't have good material to work on.
It's been a while since I did Classics, and longer since I learnt anything about the Roman occupation of Britain, but I think the historical details are reasonably accurate, too. I like the development of the two mysteries -- the entombed Roman Eagle, and the disappearance of the Hispana.
One thing I did notice was similarities in description and ideas to The Capricorn Bracelet, which I read for the first time last week. That was a little disappointing. Reread again because I'll be getting the rest of this series for Christmas. Each book stands alone, I gather -- certainly The Eagle of the Ninth does, in any case, with no trailing plotlines left behind -- but I wanted to revisit a childhood favourite, and this made an excellent excuse.
For some reason, the moment that sticks in my mind right now is when Esca tells Marcus he saw the march of the ill-fated Hispana to where they fell, and Marcus replies that his father's crest was the scarlet hackle next after the eagle View all 6 comments.
Nov 22, Lightreads rated it liked it Shelves: Before I picked this book up, I had gathered two points from, respectively, the title and the edges of assorted flailings by my friends: Turns out, not about baseball! Actually about Romans, which makes a certain amount of sense, since a book about Romans is one of the few things with a decent chance of being Before I picked this book up, I had gathered two points from, respectively, the title and the edges of assorted flailings by my friends: Actually about Romans, which makes a certain amount of sense, since a book about Romans is one of the few things with a decent chance of being more homoerotic than a book about baseball.
A lovely, deliberately young sort of adventure about Marcus the newly disabled former centurion and Esca his British tribesman slave and a quest for the lost standard of a lost legion. The whole thing feels like — well, here, have a sentence. But what I actually liked best about this book was how it played its cards like a straight-talking story of nationalism and loyalty. But how actually all the gears underneath were working for something else.
About being who you are wherever the world washes you up, whether that be a Roman deprived of his military life by injury, or tribesman stolen away to slavery and despair and then to something better, or roman soldier left alone in the wilds of tribal Alba with no way home.
About choosing your place by the people around you, and living in it. It won't hold up to too close a scrutiny, but I think it wasn't meant to. I love it when authors take a real life mystery or two and try to provide a plausible explanation.
This one is about the unknown fate of Rome's Ninth Legion that marched to Britain and was never heard of again. So having my curiosity piqued with this mystery and adding to that Sutcliff's easy narrative and absorbing story-line, it's no wonder I was quickly pulled into the book.
I thoroughly enjoyed it and was deeply satisfied with the characters and the adventure! If you're looking for a book to I love it when authors take a real life mystery or two and try to provide a plausible explanation. If you're looking for a book to offer your boys or a great family read-aloud, here you go! And as a side note, I don't remember having ever so seamlessly gone from the first book in a series to the second with so little time in between. It was mere seconds - I just couldn't wait!
Some native men are described as not fully clothed. Mentions the Druids in passing. The Roman gods are referenced and prayed to a few times.
Mentions a woman that committed suicide. I listened to the audio version of this book so this Cleanliness Report is not as thoroughly detailed as other reports are. I also have hundreds of detailed reports that I offer too.
These reports give a complete break-down of everything in the book, so you'll know just how clean it is or isn't. Visit my website: The Book Radar. View 2 comments. Hallie has been bugging me encouraging me to read this for a while, and I put it on the list for the day reading challenge.
I took it as a sign. Marcus, a centurion posted to Britain, is severely injured in a battle that ends his longed-for career in 4. Marcus, a centurion posted to Britain, is severely injured in a battle that ends his longed-for career in the military, following in his father's footsteps. His father achieved a sort of immortality as the leader of the Ninth Hispana, a Roman legion that marched north into the wilds of Britain and never returned.
When Marcus gets the chance to go north in pursuit of what is believed to be the lost legion's Imperial Eagle, he jumps at it. It really is that simple a story. What makes it outstanding, aside from Sutcliff's remarkable ability to make you feel like you're there with Marcus and his friend Esca, a British slave again, as with everything in this book, so much more than that , is how wonderful it is to see the friendship that builds between Marcus and Esca, two young men who ought to be enemies.
Contrast this with Marcus's brief acquaintance with the British charioteer Cradoc; Marcus believed they had the potential to be friends, and yet view spoiler [Cradoc betrays him and the rest of the Roman legion stationed at Isca Dumnoniorum, and is indirectly or directly the cause of Marcus's laming.
And yet I see now how this book might have influenced Megan Whalen Turner's Thick as Thieves , which also features a strong friendship between two men who ought not to be friends, one of whom is a slave, and a long journey. There's no resemblance otherwise, but I'll probably mentally shelve both as books about friendship. The Eagle of the Ninth falters only in depicting the romantic relationship between Marcus and his neighbor Cottia, which requires a bit of filling in the blanks. But the ending is deeply satisfying, with view spoiler [Marcus realizing he loves Britain, and Esca becoming a Roman citizen in recognition of his efforts in retrieving the Eagle hide spoiler ] , and I'm certain I will read this book again.
View all 4 comments. Jan 27, Victoria Lynn rated it really liked it. That being said, I enjoyed this greatly the first 5 times I read it. This time through felt a bit slow as I wanted to hit the highlights going through, so it did feel like it lagged a bit at times. This was only because I've read it so many times! D If you haven't read this yet, I definitely recommend it!
View all 93 comments. Feb 03, Angela R. Amazing book! I loved Esca best but Marcus was amazing and realistic, also. Their relationship is definitely a fictional favorite for me.
What a great addition! I did see view spoiler [ Cottia and Marcus hide spoiler ] coming and while it felt a smidge rushed to the end, it was nice. View all 28 comments. YA historical fiction.
Numerous authors have exploited our lack of certain knowledge to speculate about what might have happened — from getting transported to alternate worlds Codex Alera series to less fantastical versions The Last Legion , including this novel. Alas, historians are notoriously unromantic at least modern ones and demand annoying things like evidence, and the latest evidence would seem to indicate that the Ninth was destroyed in either Judaea or Parthia in the s and not reconstituted.
If I had read The Eagle of the Ninth when I was 13 years old and still blinded by romantic depictions of the Roman Empire fostered by films watched in history class and TV movies like Masada , I would have really liked this book and given it four stars. And only a moderately enthusiastic three. Sutcliff recreates 2nd century Roman Britain quite well but her prose style left me cold and uninvolved. Marcus is the son of the man who commanded the First Cohort of the IX Hispana; Esca is the son of a Brigantian chieftain who fought that legion.
The recent film adaptation, The Eagle , takes a more realistic perspective on their friendship though not all that much better, but it is — I think — truer , especially in a scene where Marcus berates Esca for withholding information from him. There are also too many fortuitous coincidences to make me entirely happy with the story. PS - Lord, I feel so cynical rereading this before I posted. I want to stress that this is a good story taken just by itself. Don't be put off by my own difficulties with the text - I read too much: Mar 18, Jonfaith rated it it was ok.
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 w Ten years or so ago I was sitting in the waiting area for the Indiana branch of Immigration and Citizenship. 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 , 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. 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 thrust of the plot was reminiscent of Stevenson's , Kidnapped 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.
Nov 10, Bookyurt rated it it was ok. The Eagle of the Ninth is a story that plods its way through a beautifully detailed setting. And so Marcus was created, the son of the leader of The Eagle of the Ninth is a story that plods its way through a beautifully detailed setting.
Honestly, there is no clean line through this story, no overarching plot or theme — it wanders without a larger sense of purpose. From hunts to coming of age rituals, from chariots to weapons, the heart of this book is the vivid way it recreates everyday Roman life on the edge of the Empire.
I can easily understand why this book is called a classic of historical fiction, because it is wonderful to explore this living past Sutcliff has created, and to watch Marcus slowly come to think of Britain as home.
Aside from some nice action sequences at the beginning and end of this story, by and large this book is very slow. The first half is largely Marcus recuperating from an injury, and the second half is mostly Marcus and Esca wandering around Britain and chatting with the various Celts they encounter.
But there is a nice chase sequence at the end. This story further suffers from a lack of character detail. Marcus is a perfectly fine hero, the honorable soldier who always does what he believes is right, the type of guy who willingly places himself in danger to save the men under his command, but he never really manages to get past the stereotype.
There was no individuality to him, and frankly not much emotion at all — even when Marcus was going through major life events, like his career-ending injury, I never got to see the personal side of his trauma, the doubt, the helplessness, the despair.
There was just something impersonal about the character. Similarly Esca, the slave Marcus rescues and who becomes like a brother to Marcus, is another character that never really comes into focus.
View all 3 comments. Dec 12, Carmen rated it it was amazing. The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff In Rosemary Sutcliff's books the history of Britain comes alive through sensuous descriptions of luscious forests and ragged mountains, and characters so deeply imagined that linger in your mind after the book has ended, like childhood friends untouched by time and the drudgery of life.
The people Rosemary Sutcliff's creates are imbued with the beliefs of their own time. And so it is that Marcus, the young centurion protagonist of The Eagle of the Ninth, pay tribute to Luth, the sun god, while the pagan tribes of Northern Britain worship gods that take animal shape in the night of the horn moon and believe the golden eagle the Roman legions carry in their standard is the Roman god.
At the beginning of The Eagle of the Ninth, Marcus, following in the steps of his father supposed dead when his legion disappeared ten years past in northern Britain has given his oath to Mithras and taken command of his first cohort in the southern part of the island.
Marcus dreams of a legion of his own and of an early retirement to a farm in the Etruscan hills that once belonged to his family. During his long and painful recovery, Marcus hears rumors that the Roman eagle from his father lost legion is being worshipped by one of the pagan tribes up in the north. All through the summer, they crisscross the wild regions beyond the wall that keeps the untamed tribes from the Roman world in search of the eagle. Rosemary Sutcliff's takes her time in creating her characters and their world.
As a result The Eagle of the Ninth is not the fast paced adventure you find in an action movie, but a well crafted and realistic tale that is, at the end, much more satisfying. In my mind, a masterpiece.
Quotes from The Eagle of the Ninth He stood for a while in the bothy doorway, ears stretched for any sound to break the silence of the mountains, but heard only the wet whisper of falling water where the swift stream came tumbling into the loch and a long while later, the belling of a stag. Autumn had come to the mountains almost overnight, he thought. A few days ago, summer had still lingered, though the heather was past its flowering and flaming rowan berries long since gone.
But now it was the Fall of the Leaf; one could smell the wind, and the trees of the glen grew bare and the brawling stream run gold with yellow birch branches.
View all 5 comments. If you're looking for a good novel to get a young person hooked on historical fiction, look no further. This is the first of an 8-book series, each of which can be read as a stand-alone novel. This first one is about a young Roman legionnaire named Marcus Flavius Aquila who leads a unit to Britain, gets injured to the point where he can no longer participate and thus must find his own way forward He embarks on a quest to recover the lo If you're looking for a good novel to get a young person hooked on historical fiction, look no further.
He embarks on a quest to recover the lost eagle standard of the Ninth Roman Legion who, fifteen years before, had marched into northern Britain and disappeared forever. Not coincidentally, that Legion had been commanded by Marcus' own father. The story is not the typical Roman legion war fighting kind of novel but rather a story about a young man who must find a new place in the world for himself.
He must discover who he is outside of the Roman army, where his destiny lies, and how to find his way. It's sort of a coming-of-age novel, even though Marcus is already a grown man, albeit still young for a commander. It's a fully engaging story with nicely rounded characters and a plot that remains interesting throughout.
While young readers will likely enjoy it, I believe adults will like it equally. And if so, there are seven more novels that feature Marcus' descendants in Roman Britain and beyond. Oct 17, Algernon Darth Anyan rated it really liked it Shelves: A good adventure story set in Britain under the Roman domination. Sutcliff is a very talented storyteller and paints a vivid landscape of Roman forts and Celtic moors.
I appreciated the easy flow of the text, a real page turner without excessive descriptions or political infights. For readers searching the modern "gritty" feel, foul language and geysers of blood this is not that kind of story. There is war, and da A good adventure story set in Britain under the Roman domination. There is war, and danger, and high risk, but there is also friendship, honor, duty, romance and hope.
For me it worked better this way. I have not seen the recent movie adaptation, and I'm glad I have started with the book. I am tempted to try more from Rosemary Sutcliff Sep 07, Elizabeth Rose rated it really liked it Shelves: The Eagle of the Ninth is the perfect book for those mizzly days between winter and spring. Sutcliff infuses her story with living description, such that flawlessly transports her readers to the harsh and beautiful Britain under Roman rule.
It took me the first fifty pages or so to get into the swing of the narrative, but now that I've finished it, I want to go back and savor those early chapters. Proud Marcus, fiery Cottia, loyal Esca, and faithful Cub — I loved each in his time, though perhaps The Eagle of the Ninth is the perfect book for those mizzly days between winter and spring.
Proud Marcus, fiery Cottia, loyal Esca, and faithful Cub — I loved each in his time, though perhaps Esca a bit more than the rest.
There is a fierce sort of pride that runs through this book; pride in one's sword-brothers, pride in one's lineage, and pride in one's land. Read in light or read in shade, this is a masterfully written tale worthy of all ages. Feb 10, Margaret rated it it was amazing Shelves: The first half of the book tells of how Marcus Flavius Aquila, a young Roman officer arrived in Britain as a centurion and was injured in a battle and then, unfit for duty, was discharged. Some years earlier, sometime in AD, the Ninth Hispana Legion, led by his father had marched north from its base at Eburacum York into the mists of Northern Britain to deal with a rising among the Caledonian tribes and was never heard of again — their Eagle Standard was also lost.
Marcus then sets out to d The first half of the book tells of how Marcus Flavius Aquila, a young Roman officer arrived in Britain as a centurion and was injured in a battle and then, unfit for duty, was discharged. For an Eagle standard taken in war meant so much: To the Outland tribes it must seem that they have captured the god of the Legion: The rest of the book is about their search through the wild borderlands north of the Wall in what was then the province of Valentia and over the Northern Wall the Antonine Wall , into Caledonia, along the shores of Loch Lomond to the base of Ben Cruachan overlooking Loch Awe.
There is plenty of suspense as they fight their way through mountains and bogs, pursued by the hostile tribes. She based The Eagle of the Ninth on two facts. First, the disappearance of the Ninth Legion. And second, the discovery of a cast bronze figure of an eagle found in the Basilica of the Roman town of Calleva, near Silchester.
Although it was not a legionary eagle, it inspired Rosemary Sutcliff to write her book. I loved all the detail of the mix of peoples living in Britain, their religious beliefs and ceremonies and their social and cultural background. It is quite simply a gem of a book.
Oct 15, Dan Lutts rated it it was amazing Shelves: In AD, the 9th Legion — Spanish marched out of its fortress in Eboracum York in Britain, passed through Hadrian's Wall, disappeared into the wilds of Caledonia Scotland , and was never heard of again. Up to this day, no one knows what happened to the 4,man legion.
Mary Sutcliff provides her theory in The Eagle of the Ninth when Marcus Flavius Aquila, whose father was the senior centurion of the first cohort of the 9th, takes command of a military fort on Britain's frontier. His time there is brief because he is wounded so badly in an uprising that he's discharged and goes to live with his uncle elsewhere in Britain. Later Flavius learns that a tribe beyond Hadrian's wall in Caledonia might have the 9th Legion's eagle standard.
Flavius resolves to travel there and find out what happened to his father. He has another reason, too, for going. He wants to find the 9th Legion's eagle because the 9th can't be reformed without it. Disguised as a travelling eye doctor, Flavius crossed into Caledonia with his friend and former slave, Esca, to find the eagle.
The rest of the novel describes their adventures. I loved this novel and it's the first one I've read by Sutcliff. Although it starts out slowly, the book picks up speed and keeps on going. Sutcliff develops her characters so fully you think they are real people.
She describes the settings and tribal customs vividly. And she knows her history. The novel isn't just an adventure story but focuses on character, love, friendship, and loyalty.
Sutcliff's novels are classified as YA, but are Adult as well. Sutcliff was an incredible woman. She came down with juvenile arthritis when she was 2 years old and spend her early years in bed lying on her back.
During that time, her mother read stories to her, including ones about Greece and Rome. Sutcliff didn't learn to read until she was 9 and dropped out school at 14 to go to art school. Her father, who was in the Royal Navy, moved from one place to another, so Sutcliff never had a permanent home. Sutcliff became an artist but later turned to writing novels whose themes were inspired by the stories and myths her mother read to her as a child. Sutcliff also spent most of her life in a wheelchair.
No-one knows what really happened to the Ninth Legion, the Hispana. All that is known is that it marched north into what is now Scotland to deal with the Painted People, and disappeared into the mists. A battered eagle, shorn of is wings is in the museum at Reading, having been found during the excavations of Silchester, formerly known as Calleva Atrebatum. Out of these two facts, Rosemary Sutcliff has written a wonderfully resonant story about hard choices, bravery and the ways in which that bra No-one knows what really happened to the Ninth Legion, the Hispana.
Out of these two facts, Rosemary Sutcliff has written a wonderfully resonant story about hard choices, bravery and the ways in which that bravery is rewarded.
Or not. Along the way, she creates a protagonist who is a real hero, but does not see himself that way. Marcus Flavius Aquila has only fragmentary memories of a father whom he adored. Because he lost that father at the age of 8, when, in AD, the father marched north with the Ninth Legion and was never heard of again.
Marcus wants to know what happened to his father. And out of that longing, Ms. Sutcliff spins a thread. Five stars. An engrossing adventure that takes the reader from a well-staffed Roman garrison to the wilds of Scotland during the last days of Rome. Roman soldier Marcus Aquila and his British servant Esca are an interesting pair, and I liked seeing the contrast between their two cultures. I also liked the day-to-day details of life in Uncle Aquila's household.
I never felt that the story dragged, and it honestly could have been longer. I did like that there wasn't a lot of traveling around, eating at campfi An engrossing adventure that takes the reader from a well-staffed Roman garrison to the wilds of Scotland during the last days of Rome. I did like that there wasn't a lot of traveling around, eating at campfires, getting up and traveling some more the next day.
The storyline moved forward really well during their journey, and I thought Marcus's plans were all very clever and it was fun to see how they played out. I know I read a few of Sutcliffe's books back in junior high, I'm sure this wasn't one of them, though I can't remember which ones now. I am looking forward to reading more! PS- I really enjoyed the movie. I'm a little astonished that they cut out the romance, though! In the book there's a fair maiden that Marcus must leave behind.
Oh, Cottia! You would have been a great addition to the movie! Jun 07, K. Have always loved early Britain stories. This is my first Sutcliff even though my boy has loved this series forever.
Really decent YA writer. Of course anything touching Arthur's legend is my favorite so I liked 3 best. Good for boy and girl audiences. Good for Have always loved early Britain stories. Good for most any age. Violent, but not too much so. Hardly any romance to speak of, which is nice for younger audiences. Jun 08, katayoun Masoodi rated it it was amazing Shelves: Marcus Flavius Aquila is a young Centurion with a bright and limitless future in the Roman Army before him, sent to the frontier of Britain to command his first Cohort.
Service to Rome and pride in the army is in Marcus's blood, for his father had proudly served with the Ninth Legion.
However, a shadow hangs over that legion's reputation, and the honor of every man who served in her ranks - for ten years prior, they marched north and disappeared. When an uprising threatens Marcus's command, he w Marcus Flavius Aquila is a young Centurion with a bright and limitless future in the Roman Army before him, sent to the frontier of Britain to command his first Cohort.
When an uprising threatens Marcus's command, he wins glory for his Cohort at the expense of his career - critically wounded in the battle, he's honorably discharged and sent to convalesce at his uncle's estate. Bereft of purpose and with no hope of reclaiming the family honor hrough active military service, Marcus flounders until he witnesses the fear-tinged bravery of a slave forced to fight in the local arena. Marcus purchases the slave, called Esca, for his manservant, and the moment of shared understanding in the arena becomes the basis of a most unorthodox friendship.
When rumors of the Ninth's lost Eagle standard begin to circulate, Marcus determines that as the ill-fated commander's son, the Eagle is his to retrieve.
Accompanied by Esca, the two venture into the wilds north of Hadrian's Wall, an untamed land haunted by rumors swirling around the ghostly disappearance of the Ninth's four thousand-plus men. With only each other to rely on, Marcus and Esca find the rigors of their quest will test and refine the bonds of their friendship until their trust and reliance on each other transcends their beginnings as master and slave.
When Marcus learns the truth of the Ninth's disappearance, will comradeship and honor be enough to withstand the blow to Marcus's hopes to be the instrument of the Ninth's restoration? Or will Marcus choose to relinquish his old dreams for a new future, formed on the foundation of friendships with unlikely allies and a bond of honor and loyalty that surpasses the dictates of Roman life? Rosemary Sutcliff's novel is an extraordinary tale of bravery, loyalty, friendship, and honor in Roman Britain.
Marcus, the privileged son of Rome, was never meant to be friends with Esca, the enslaved son of a clan chieftain. This is an old-fashioned adventure story in the best sense of that term, a jewel in the genre the likes of which I've not come across in years. Sutcliff's inspiration for The Eagle is based on the legend that the Ninth was essentially wiped out in A. While there is no definitive proof connecting one with the other, they formed the genesis of the idea for Marcus and Esca's adventure, and the resulting novel is a well-researched, fascinating thesis rolled in an adventure yarn that posits a plausible solution to one of history's great mysteries.
Sutcliff's realization of life in Roman Britain is superbly realized. She possesses a masterful grasp of ancient history, skillfully elucidating the customs, mannerisms, and traditions of the time long since lost to memory.
The land itself is perhaps her greatest triumph, as in The Eagle Britain is as much a character as the people who inhabit the settlements and wilderness. When Marcus first arrives, thoughts of assimilating in the frontier are as foreign to him as the people he encounters. But through his friendships with Esca and Cottia, his uncle's neighbor, he soon discovers that this wild land produces people whose love of freedom and honor equal his own passion for Rome.
Sutcliff's richly descriptive prose intoxicate the reader with the pull of the land, even as the heavy mists and wild forests prove as much of a factor in Marcus and Esca's quest for the Eagle as the tribes they encounter. The Eagle is a compelling saga, saturated with the noble qualitites of honor, loyalty, and sacrifice. But perhaps, more than anything, the appeal of this novel can be summed up in the word "choices.
As Marcus admonishes Esca at the conclusion, they each carry pain, and whether physical or psychological, "the only thing we can do about it Sutcliff's ability to recreate and immerse readers in 2nd century Britain is an unparalleled success. This is one of the finest examples of historical fiction that I've ever read, replete with action, first-class world-crafting, and fascinating, true-to-life characters that leap living and breathing from the page, so fully formed you cannot help but become wholly invested in their lives.
View all 11 comments. I have read this book four or five times now, and I like it more and more every time, enough that by now I think I have to give it five stars. It's the story of a young man in Roman Britain, Marcus Flavius Aquila, and his quest for the lost Eagle standard of the Ninth Legion, his father's legion. I have by now entirely stopped snickering at the fact that his name is Aquila, but I think this used to strike me as funny. This is a children's book of the sort that I don't think anyone writes anymor I have read this book four or five times now, and I like it more and more every time, enough that by now I think I have to give it five stars.
This is a children's book of the sort that I don't think anyone writes anymore -- it is a quest story, but an occasionally slow, very richly described one. Descriptions, especially landscape descriptions, are one of Sutcliff's strong points. Disguised as a Greek oculist and travelling beyond Hadrian's Wall with his freed ex-slave, Esca, Marcus finds that a demoralized and mutinous Ninth Legion was annihilated by a great rising of the northern tribes. In part, this disgrace was redeemed through a heroic last stand by a small remnant including Marcus's father around the legion's eagle standard.
Marcus's hope of seeing the lost legion re-established is dashed, but he is able to bring back the bronze eagle so that it can no longer serve as a symbol of Roman defeat — and thus will no longer be a danger to the frontier's security. The Eagle of the Ninth is one of Sutcliff's earlier books, but may be her best-known title. The sequence loosely traces a family, of the Roman Empire and then of Britain, who inherit an emerald seal ring bearing the insignia of a dolphin.
The book has also been published as The Eagle. It has been adapted a few times, most notably as the film The Eagle. Sutcliff wrote in a foreword that she created the story from two elements: The Museum of Reading , which now houses the Silchester eagle , states that it "is not a legionary eagle but has been immortalized as such by Rosemary Sutcliff".
Sutcliff also assumed that the legion's title of " Hispana " meant that it was raised in Hispania now Spain and Portugal , but it was probably awarded this title for victories there.
At the time Sutcliff wrote, it was a plausible theory that the unit had been wiped out in Britain during a period of unrest early in the reign of the Emperor Hadrian AD — This in turn is disputed by other historians, who assert that it was indeed destroyed in northern Britain.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The Eagle of the Ninth First edition. Main article: The Eagle film. A History of Roman Britain Third, extensively revised ed.
The Observer. Works by Rosemary Sutcliff. The Chronicles of Robin Hood Oxford, , illus. Walter Hodges The Armourer's House illus.
Walter Hodges Brother Dusty-Feet , illus. Walter Hodges Simon , illus. Richard Kennedy Outcast , illus. Richard Kennedy Warrior Scarlet , illus.