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Águilas y cuervos

4.14  ·  Rating Details ·  994 Ratings  ·  83 Reviews
Spanning three generations, this historical novel tells the tale of Boudicca, the most famous warrior of ancient Britain, and Caradoc, the son of a Celtic king, who sets out to unite the people of the Raven and lead them against Rome.Caradoc's objective is not easily accomplished as the Roman army advances into Britain, raping Celtic women and burning villages to the groun ...more
Hardcover, 672 pages
Published May 1994 by Publicaciones y Ediciones Salamandra (first published 1978)
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Kate Quinn
Sep 14, 2016 Kate Quinn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I normally avoid historicals if they contain the words "sweeping" or "three generations" - but this book deserves both without irony. It tells the story of the Roman invasion of Britain, first opposed by the less well-known Caradoc whose guerilla tactics might have been successful if he'd had better luck, and followed by the revolt of the better-known Boudicca. The characters are complex and moving, the battle scenes wrenching, and the history meticulous. Caradoc is a moving hero, a man determin ...more
Alicja
rating: 2/5

Finally finished. *sigh of relief* My take on this novel is... complicated, outweighed by the negative.

Maybe I came in with too many expectations knowing it would be about Caradoc and Boudicca. I was expecting guerilla resistance, battles, struggles of a people against a domineering, invading empire, all the stuff that usually gets my literary blood pumping. It did provide that in some form but it just didn't work for me.

Overall, it was long and over-descriptive (except when portrayin
...more
Carlo
Sep 21, 2010 Carlo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my managers at the bookstore recommended this book to me, I had no idea who Pauline Gedge was and when I did my research I just found a mediocre wikipedia entry; normally I wouldn't go for a complete unknown author but a book about Celtic Historical Fiction is sort of hard to disregard.

Well, to my delight the Eagle and the Raven turned out to be extraordinary, Pauline Gedge may not be a certified historian but she's got her facts straight. Moreover, the way she writes this book is so incr
...more
Kiwi
DNF at ~500pages.
My edition of this book has a striking profile of a fierce woman on a cover and the book blurb promises “Spanning three generations, this historical novel tells the tale of Boudicca, the most famous warrior of ancient Britain, and Caradoc, the son of a Celtic king, who sets out to unite the people of the Raven and lead them against Rome”.
Well, Caradoc is here, but where is Boudica? I have read and passed the half way mark and did the unthinkable … skimmed a few more chapters a
...more
Chris
I love my Pauline Gedge, but of her novels, this has to be my least favorite. Note that it is not a bad novel.

Part of the problem with me is the blurb, there really isn't much Boudicca in it. Additionally the characterization isn't as good as her later novels.

But mostly, I think it would be a much better novel if told from Aricia's pov. Yes, yes I know. But everyone is bad mouthing her and all, but still. I think it would more interesting. In fact, the book is most lively with Aricia and Galdy
...more
Gretchen
Mar 26, 2014 Gretchen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If 4.5 stars were an option, I would give this book 4.5 stars. I cannot do things that way so this book is only getting four stars. The first fifty or so pages were slow going. I am not very familiar with this particular time period or the Britannic tribes of this era. I had to focus on some of the names and places before I could continue on with the story. Once I familiarized myself with the different names and places the book moved along rather quickly. (view spoiler) ...more
Laurentiu Lazar
Apr 12, 2014 Laurentiu Lazar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rome, my-favorites, 2014
What pique’s your interest in reading a book? I know mine is aroused by the cover picture and blurbs. Oh, and reviews, which I often avoid since they seem to always leak crucial information, so lethal that kills the mood from the get-go. Recommendations are another source. Long story short, we all have our own criteria of selecting books and more or less those are mine. Therefore, judging The Eagle and the Raven just by the cover and blurbs will mislead you to believe that this novel is about Bo ...more
Jane
The theme of the book was freedom of the Britons, in the face of Roman invasion and occupation of Britain. I liked that the Roman invasion of Britain was presented from the British tribes' points of view for a change. I saw how they possibly would have interacted, got a feel for some of their culture and sympathized completely with them. After many years, Caradoc asks Plautius--the two have become friends: "How would you feel if this country [Rome] lay under the rule of the tribes who had taken ...more
Zena Ryder
Jun 13, 2015 Zena Ryder rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I loved this book. The characters are complex and well drawn, and ancient Britain under the Romans is very well described. Without turning the Romans into evil caricatures, Gedge does a brilliant job of motivating the urge for rebellion. Personal relationships, even of some of the relatively minor characters, are completely believable and very moving. She also handles the magical beliefs of the Britons very well. You can get into their skin and see it as they see it, without the author injecting ...more
mixal
Got through 15% of this book and I am giving up. It is the worst HF book I have read in a long time. This book is very long and the 15% is like one third of a book of average length. Yet I do not feel any closer to the culture or to any of the characters. The book is about some jumble of relationship of some indistinct characters, but the actual details about the culture that I would be interested in are missing. It has a feel of some theatre play, whose plot could be set into just any era, it i ...more
Lisa
What an amazing, amazing book.

Pauline Gedge manages to recreate a pre-Roman England (Albion) that feels so alive and so real, which is a skill that few historical fiction writers have, particularly in a setting so far removed from us today. The story she creates is fast moving, keeping me glued to the pages, but she still has a way of packing an emotional punch – I was in tears by the last pages.

I was expecting the story to be more focused on Boudicca, based on the book cover, but I don't neces
...more
Aitziber Madinabeitia
Me ha gustado, pero con pequeñas pegas. La primera parte me parece redonda, a pesar de tener un exceso de Aricia... La historia de Caradoc esta bien construida. Pero la explicación de su vida romana sobra... a pesar de ser históricamente bastante correcta. Por mi el libro podría acabar aquí, pero claro... con esta temática todos queríamos leer sobre Boadiccea... sobre todo cuando la introducen al principio. Pero entre lo bueno de Caradoc y las últimas 100 paginas sublimes sobre ella hay un buen ...more
Victor Bruneski
Apr 21, 2014 Victor Bruneski rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't sure if I should give this a 4 star or a 5 star. Let me start off with one problem that a lot of people have with the book, which is really unfair.

I rate the book 5 stars but the book jacket (the one I have anyway) -5 stars. The cover picture looks like you are reading a romance novel, but that's not the worse part. The blurb on the back have some vague thing about Boudicca. People going into this book think it is about her, when it's not. She is a minor character until about the last h
...more
Carrie Slager
When I read this book I was, of course, expecting it to be about Boudicca. The blurb and the cover made me expect it to be an epic saga about the warrior queen who led the doomed rebellion against Rome. Yet out of the 892 pages of my edition of The Eagle and the Raven, I would say that less than 200 of them are actually about Boudicca. Most of the novel is about Caradoc (usually called Caratacus), the man who led a failed rebellion before she did. Boudicca’s actual rebellion doesn’t start until ...more
Veronica
Dec 17, 2013 Veronica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
A long-out-of-print book picked up in 2004 via Abebooks. It has a lurid Celtic-style cover and the jacket copy raves on about Boudicca: "Warrior Queen ... She defied the brutal might and seductive corruption of Imperial Rome ... She was the flame-haired Boudicca, Queen of the Britons" etc. etc. Actually the book is not about Boudicca at all -- she only plays a really significant role in the last hundred pages or so. The story starts in AD 32, just before the Romans' second invasion of Britain, a ...more
Linda
Jun 15, 2009 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great novel if you like historical fiction. The author really makes the past come alive, and the story seems to be carefully researched. This is a must-read for anyone wanting to learn about Britain in Roman times, a subject not really covered in American schools. In fact, I've read extensively on the history of the Roman Empire, and believe that it should receive much more attention in World History classes. The novel format makes the historical information "go down easy." This book has adult ...more
Nancy
Jun 26, 2013 Nancy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
HIghly recommended to all anglophiles and those who enjoy historical novels. I couldn't put it down. First century Celtic Britain comes alive in this account of the struggle of the freedom-loving, passionate, and barbaric Celts to throw off the yoke of Rome. The Romans were pretty barbaric in their own way as well. Love them or hate them, the players on this stage are so fully realized that you feel you have known them for years. Graphic violence, love, honor, military strategy, religion and cul ...more
Melissa
Apr 20, 2016 Melissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I read this eons ago and it is one of my favorite historical novels. I don't think you can go wrong with the Roman Invasion of Britain and Celtic resistance.
Sameeksha Joshi
This book is 'historical fiction' about the Roman conquest of Britain, seen through the eyes of various chieftains, and ending with Boudicca, the Queen of the Iceni.
I will try not to spoil the ending, but the last climactic battle is worth the 700 pages of story. Makes me want to go beat some RomansThe author creates a magical setting of dark, fearsome forests, sweeping plains and of misty villages hidden in wild mountain valleys. It is a time of superstition and fear of the unknown. But the st
...more
Robyn
Feb 27, 2015 Robyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I finished reading this book last month and gave it a four star rating. But I realize now that it was definitely an awesome 5 star read for me. At least once a day something will happen or I will read something that reminds me of the characters and I miss them! I want to read it again.
Lara
Dec 28, 2015 Lara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's epic -- 700 pages. I don't remember it being that long when I read it twenty years ago (it was first published in 1978). Queen Boudica is just one of many characters brought vibrantly to life.
Paul Burnette
Nov 30, 2015 Paul Burnette rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Freedom my not be the highest value . . . but it is the central theme of this saga of the ancient Celtic tribes of Britain as they discover that the ‘peace’ of Rome is not what should replace, for them, the inter-tribal warfare and honor their tribes have known as Iceni, Catuvellauni, Trinovantes, Brigantians, and Druithin of the first century. The Roman law ( a.k.a. greed and power) takes the place of every man’s honor price, removes respect for the land and their own gods, takes the swords out ...more
Scott
Feb 09, 2015 Scott rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, what did I just read? I normally have a high tolerance for books, but I’m seriously not sure what that was. This is billed as a fictional account of Boudicca, though she doesn’t play any major part in the story until way past the 3/4 mark; which, with the book being close to the 700-page mark, is quite an accomplishment. Instead, we chill out with the family of Caradoc, a prince and later chieftain of one of the southern Celtic tribes.

This is fine; Caradoc’s story is fun and engaging, tho
...more
Hannah
Jul 24, 2010 Hannah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very little is written about the Roman takeover of Albion. I don't know a lot about this angle of Roman history at all, so The Eagle and The Raven started off slowly for me. During the first several chapters, I found myself looking up people and places with every turn of the page; there is a lot to keep track of. And Gedge has a tendency to overwrite. Much can get lost in her beautiful yet dense descriptions so one must read slowly and pay close attention--it's not a book you can just breeze thr ...more
Feathzzz
The most beautiful book I've read in a long time. Magically in it's scope, a real tour-de-force. The writing is full of dark, beautiful, whispering lyric and completely original. The style of prose is some of the best I've ever read. The history is just amazingly potent. Damn! This story made me feel and I was thoroughly immerged. It's really for the greater part about Caratacus the Boudicca unlike blurb says, but she finishes off the book with her specular death, and I felt a kindredness with h ...more
Rachael Pruitt
Aug 16, 2013 Rachael Pruitt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This novel is one of those rare books that literally changed my life. I read it when it first came out in the seventies & was enthralled. I had heard of Boudicca when I was a child & knew a little bit about Caradoc & the Roman conquest of Britain, but it was this novel that opened my eyes to the power of the ancient Celtic world and the haunting, true story of an entire culture's struggle for freedom. Gedge's portrayal of the ancient Druids (and the Druid's island sanctuary of Mona, ...more
Julie
Mar 28, 2015 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had no prior knowledge of any of this history, so I loved learning new things. I was profoundly impressed with how much Roman culture has transformed society, even to the way we think. I know, that's what my history teachers have been telling me for years, but this book made me see it.

The writing was clear and intense in many parts. Not every character was fully developed, but I felt sympathy and connection with those that were. It is a long book, but I never felt bored by it.
Amy
Jul 09, 2008 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
after reading some good reviews and then reading some SCATHING reviews of this, I gave it a shot anyway. it was -eh-. (random: I always judge a book by its cover, and this is one of the few times I have been misled. the thrust of this book is not on Boudicca, but on Caradoc, er, a man.)

so, the women were deadly awful. despite showing promise in the beginning. their characters are not developed AT ALL, and they are completely one-dimensional, up until the point at which they DRAMATICALLY transfor
...more
Raiveran Rabbit
Jul 17, 2010 Raiveran Rabbit rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Hardcore historians and fans of UK cultural history. No one else.
Pauline Gedge is a wonderfully rich author. The historical details and backgrounds she provides are breathtaking. It only stands to reason, then, that when she writes of pure tragedy, it is also terribly vivid. Unfortunately, when she does tragedy, it's awful. This book started out interesting, but from the beginning has a steep and dark descent. By about 2/3 of the way through this book, you will heartily wish you had never picked it up and clapped eyes on the first line. While there are intere ...more
Lynda
Apr 17, 2012 Lynda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those interested in Celtic/Roman England
Recommended to Lynda by: A special friend who also read historical fiction
Shelves: literature
It's years since I read this book, but it's unforgetable. The vividness of the prose has stayed with me all these years. I still recall details of the peaceful life prior to the Roman wars; especially the storytelling traditions of the peoples, festivals they celebrated, travelling through the forests when hunting. The relationships of the principal characters as they developed and matured were memorable too; believable for the times in which they lived yet timeless in that it was so easy to und ...more
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171184
I was born in Auckland, New Zealand, on December 11, 1945, the first of three girls. Six years later my family emigrated to England where my father, an ex-policeman, wanted to study for the Anglican ministry. We lived in an ancient and very dilapidated cottage in the heart of the English Buckinghamshire woodland, and later in a small village in Oxfordshire called Great Haseley. I grew up surrounde ...more
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“... but now men who could work preferred to beg, and the artists forgot that their calling was noble and became imitators instead of creators, charging exorbitant sums for the rubbish they churned out with one eye closed.” 3 likes
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