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The Eagle of the Ninth (The Roman Britain Trilogy) Paperback – September 1, 1993


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 15 years
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 1110L (What's this?)
  • Series: The Roman Britain Trilogy (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (September 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374419302
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374419301
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.8 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #287,860 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"An unusual blend of stirring action and poetic symbolism. Authentic in background, skillful in plot, and perceptive in characterization." --Booklist

About the Author

ROSEMARY SUTCLIFF was born in Surrey, England, in 1920, the daughter of a British naval officer. She was the author of four works of nonfiction, an autobiography, four novels for adults, and more than fifty books for children, including the eight volumes of the Eagle of the Ninth series. Sutcliff won many literary awards, including the Carnegie Medal for The Lantern Bearers, and received an OBE and a CBE for her services to children's literature. She died in 1992.

CYRIL WALTER HODGES (1909-2004) was an English book illustrator at the height of a distinguished career in the 1950s and '60s when he illustrated some of Sutcliff's early works. Hodges was a leading scholar of the Elizabethan theater and himself the author of a number of books including Columbus Sails and Shakespeare's Theatre, which he also illustrated. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

Eagle of the Ninth takes place in Britain in 119 A.D. while the Romans where in power.
KitKat359
Since movies tend to change or leave out sections of the original book, I decided to read the book and get the whole story.
sharlee
This is a good and interesting story, which is well written and has moments of tension and excitement.
Janette Skinner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

131 of 132 people found the following review helpful By Plume45 on December 23, 1998
Format: Paperback
Rosemary Sutcliff is expert at recreating ancient civilizations, so this novel comes as no surprise. In her SUN HORSE, MOON HORSE the native tribes are the heroes, pursued by invading Romans. In this novel it is the Romans who are the protagonists, with the tribesmen mostly the enemy. Set in Roman Britain in the early AD's, this book recounts a personal quest by Centurion Marcus Drusillus Aquila, lamed in a fierce battle. He and his faithful former slave, Esca, undertake a perilous mission beyond the safety of Hadrian's Wall--erected to keep the Highland barbarians at bay
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.
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77 of 81 people found the following review helpful By R. M. Fisher TOP 500 REVIEWER on January 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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73 of 77 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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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on August 28, 2003
Format: Paperback
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). It is almost impossible to get good historical fiction and Suttcliff is one of the few great authors in tha genre. I really care about the characters in this book. I can really identify with Marcus's feelings. Esca is extemely interesting, and Cottia is not the typical female back-up. As you read this book you will believe that the characters are real. Suttcliff really understands how human beings think and act. That sounds really stupid but it's true. Suttcliff cannot only do good character development, she can also do good descriptions that create a picture of the scene in your mind without becoming tedious. If you only read one new book, make it this one.
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More About the Author

Rosemary Sutcliff wrote more than 40 historical novels for young adults-including The Eagle of the Ninth, The Silver Branch, The Lantern Bearers, The Sword and the Circle, and Black Ships Before Troy-five adult novels, and several books of nonfiction.