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The Eagle of the Ninth

The Eagle of the Ninth

Written by Rosemary Sutcliff

Narrated by Charlie Simpson


The Eagle of the Ninth

Written by Rosemary Sutcliff

Narrated by Charlie Simpson

ratings:
4.5/5 (52 ratings)
Length:
4 hours
Released:
May 1, 2006
ISBN:
9789629544317
Format:
Audiobook

Description

Roman Britain: Marcus Flavius Aquila, a young centurion is forced into retirement after a wound in his first major engagement against a rebel British tribe. It allows him the freedom to embark upon a dangerous mission to find out what happened to the Ninth Legion which, years before, disappeared in the savage lands of the Picts. Will he find out what happened to the men, led by his father, who never returned? And will he recover the Eagle, the symbol of Roman dominance and power? This junior classic has never been out of print since it was first published over fifty years ago. It is now presented in a fresh abridgement read in exciting manner by Charlie Simpson.
Released:
May 1, 2006
ISBN:
9789629544317
Format:
Audiobook

About the author

Rosemary Sutcliff (1920-1992) wrote dozens of books for young readers, including her award-winning Roman Britain trilogy, The Eagle of the Ninth, The Silver Branch, and The Lantern Bearers, which won the Carnegie Medal. The Eagle of the Ninth is now a major motion picture, The Eagle, directed by Kevin MacDonald and starring Channing Tatum. Born in Surrey, Sutcliff spent her childhood in Malta and on various other naval bases where her father was stationed. At a young age, she contracted Still's Disease, which confined her to a wheelchair for most of her life. Shortly before her death, she was named Commander of the British Empire (CBE) one of Britain's most prestigious honors. She died in West Sussex, England, in 1992.



Reviews

What people think about The Eagle of the Ninth

4.3
52 ratings / 37 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    Well enough for a mid-20th century book for boys and those interested in Roman Britain. A young man's quest north of Hadrian's wall with his slave turned companion. The close relationship between ex-centurion Marcus and the ex-captive/gladiator, slave then freed Esca, is a given with no examination beyond Marcus being an all around good guy, who also happens to enjoy the visits of the 13-15 year old girl Cottia.
  • (5/5)
    Great to read this classic again after many years. The story of Marcus Aquila and his quest to resurrect the lost 9th Legion Hispana is beautifully written, thoughtful and sympathetic, with honest depictions of both Roman and Briton. As a classicist I might quibble with a few minor points of the author's depictions of the legions, but it doesn't in any way distract from what is a great escapist read. The scene where the recovered eagle is laid to rest is beautifully done and brings a tear to the eye. Simply a lovely book, I hope that modern generations can embrace it as much as I did.
  • (4/5)
    Young centurion Marcus Flavius Aquila's father disappeared with the doomed Ninth Legion in northern Britain. When Marcus takes a post in Britain, he hopes to hear or discover something of the lost Ninth, but a wound taken in battle cuts his military career short. After he recovers, he embarks on a dangerous mission to discover what happened to the Ninth, and to retrieve their bronze Eagle, the symbol of Roman power and victory, which may be in the hands of the northern tribes.This story of high adventure in the long past is one that I probably would have enjoyed as a child, but I never crossed paths with it at the time. The writing is lovely and the pacing is strong. It's a quick read (the audiobook I listened to was under five hours), full of goodness with nothing extraneous. For all that, I'd say I liked it but didn't love it. If historical fiction set in the days of the Roman Empire appeals to you, I'd say give this a try, no matter your age.
  • (5/5)
    I first read The Eagle of the Ninth when I was about 10, and it still gripped when I re-read it around 30 years later! Former centurion Marcus' journey into the wild country beyond Hadrian's Wall, accompanied by his British slave, Ecsa, in order to redeem the honour of his dead father by recovering the legion's eagle standard will always be a page-turner - there are battles, furious chases, intrigue and jeopardy a-plenty, the growing trust and friendship between Roman and Briton, and even a touch of romance for Marcus and a red-haired Romano-British girl
  • (5/5)
    I was about 12 when we did Roman Britain in history, and I didn't pay it much attention (we had a very boring teacher for Ancient Greece and Rome). Afterwards I never gave much thought to that period, apart from when it cropped up in some of the Didius Falco mysteries, so this story set in Roman-occupied Britain, with a likeable Roman protagonist, opened up new avenues. I admire the way Sutcliff took two incidents - a lost legion up in the mists of Scotland, a found eagle in the south of England - and wove them together to make quite a thrilling quest. Very enjoyable and not too sentimental.
  • (3/5)
    I have owned this since I was a teenager and, judging from the sate of the book, must have read it before. But I have absolutely no recollection of having done so! This is history as fiction, told based on 2 probably entirely unrelated events. 1) the ninth legion marched north and never returned2) an eagle in a museum that had lost its wings.This is a story that uses those two facts as a jumping off point for what amounts to a mixture of adventure story and morality tale. Marcus is the son of a soldiering family from Italy and now has his first command of a roam legion. He arrives at Exeter all full of hope and ends up breaking a chariot charge and his leg all in one moment. From there he is discharged and has to find something else to do. He acquires a slave, a Briton called Esca, from the circus after not wanting to see him die needlessly. He then sets off on a quest to find the Eagle that was lost when his father's legion was lost, 20 years ago north of the wall. They set off and come across a centurion who was part of the missing legion and he sets them on the right track for the eagle. They head towards the western isles and find the missing eagle (a bit beaten up) as a god in a druidic cult. They also find out what heppened to the legion at the end, as the elderly grandfather of the clan chief was involved in the chase and has Marcus' father's ring on a cord around his neck. Marcus and Esca rescue the Eagle, but manage to bring a hunt down on themselves. By a bit of subterfuge and daring they manage to return to the wall, but not without retrieving the ring as well as the Eagle. There's a fair amount of adventurous goings on, some of which relies on a pretty high level of co-incidence and unlikely good luck, but then the best stories often do.There's also quite a bit about how Esca feels being from a subjugated people and how slavery is wrong. Which is it, but at times it meant that this felt a little bit preachy. I wa salso a little surprised at time to see words that are not in comon use, or were not explained. Example, at one point Marcus is described as having changed his dress and is wearing the brocos of the british. Now I'm assuming they are a form of trouser, but that was never main clear. I wonder how much assumed knowledge is in here and how much of that would be actually held. I'm not this book's target audience anymore, so I can't tell how well it works.