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The Eagle (The Dolphin Ring Cycle #1)

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  6,728 Ratings  ·  585 Reviews
The Ninth Legion marched into the mists of Northern Britain—and they were never seen again. Thousands of men disappeared and their eagle standard was lost. It's a mystery that's never been solved, until now . . .
Marcus has to find out what happened to his father, who led the legion. So he sets out into the unknown, on a quest so dangerous that nobody expects him to return
Paperback, 240 pages
Published January 4th 2011 by Square Fish (first published 1954)
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Leah Good My mom read these books aloud to my brother and I when we were around those ages (maybe a little older). I remember begging her to keep going, so it…moreMy mom read these books aloud to my brother and I when we were around those ages (maybe a little older). I remember begging her to keep going, so it must have worked pretty well as a read-aloud.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Lance Greenfield
Oct 09, 2009 Lance Greenfield rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone!
Classic historical fiction

At the age of eight, I read Eagle of the Ninth, my first encounter with historical fiction. I became hooked. Since then, I have been read Nigel Tranter, John Prebble, Conn Igguden, Simon Scarrow, Ruth Downie, and many others.

Forty-four years later, re-reading this classic is no less exciting for me. My view is that it should be compulsory reading in primary school as it really does bring Roman Britain to life. It is an exciting adventure that could possibly have been r
Oct 04, 2011 Hannah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rating Clarification: 4.5 Stars

My first Rosemary Sutcliff book, but it will not be my last. This tale of Roman Britain and the lost Ninth Legion brings the reader into a fully imagined yet realistic world in which honor and duty are sacrosanct and the meeting of two cultures can be either a time of mutual respect or bloody conflict and distrust. Sutcliff is one darn brilliant writer of characters and settings. I could fully picture the time period, the people and the atmosphere. It rang true, an
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. "Little did he know how important this piece of informat ...more
Before I picked this book up, I had gathered two points from, respectively, the title and the edges of assorted flailings by my friends: (1) that it was about baseball or something, and (2) that it was about a couple of boys who love each other very, very, very much and who have talks about their innermost feelings and so on.

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
Jan 03, 2011 Terence rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: YA historical fiction
Recommended to Terence by: GR Swap
Around AD 120, the Legio IX Hispana (or Hispania) “disappeared.” Its last known posting was on Hadrian’s Wall in northern Britain, and a legend has grown up that it was ordered on a punitive expedition against the Picti beyond the Wall and was lost campaigning against them. 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), inc ...more
Dec 12, 2008 Carmen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.

Her books are not popcorn historical fiction novels with anachronistic characters dressed in the costumes of the time but keeping the ideas and sensibilities of their XX/
Mar 18, 2014 Jonfaith rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Elizabeth Rose
Sep 07, 2012 Elizabeth Rose rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, personal
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 ...more
Nov 10, 2010 Bookyurt rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The Eagle of the Ninth is a story that plods its way through a beautifully detailed setting.

Rosemary Sutcliff found her inspiration for The Eagle of the Ninth in two real stories of Roman Britain – one, the legendary (and somewhat historically disputed) disappearance of the Ninth Legion after it was sent north of Hadrian’s Wall to battle the Picts in 117 AD; and two, the discovery of a wingless Roman Eagle at an archaelogical dig in Silchester. And so Marcus was created, the son of the leader of
Jan 30, 2017 Margaret rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 117 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
Cynthia Haggard
Apr 29, 2012 Cynthia Haggard rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 17, 2011 Algernon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
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 a certain YA vibe, of an epic in the style of Karl May or Alexandre Dumas. There is war, and da
Jun 07, 2016 K. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Have always loved early Britain stories. This is my first Sutcliff even though my boy has loved this series forever.

Really decent YA writer. The three in this series "Eagle of the Ninth," "The Silver Branch," and "The Lantern Bearers," are very well done. #1 is almost pre-Christianity, #2 Rome is crumbling, #3 Rome is vanquished, Hengest is invading Britain, Arthur is rising. Of course anything touching Arthur's legend is my favorite so I liked #3 best.

Good for boy and girl audiences. Good for
Feb 15, 2011 Ruth rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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 ...more
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
Ana Rînceanu
One of my friends keeps reading slash fanfiction about the protagonists and I was socked to discover that this was written in the 50s and intended for children. So you understand why I was dying to read this book as soon as possible.

Discharged because of a battle wound, a Roman officer Marcus moves in with his uncle and saves a gladiator from death. It's all great and wholesome, the battle was awful and dramatic, so I assumed that I would like the adventure aspect more than a hypothetical pairi
Marie R.
Normaly I read a book before I watch the movie based on it. But when I watched "The Eagle" I didn't know there was a book out there. I loved the movie so when I heard about the book I was pretty sure I would like it, too.

And I loved it! I know I did a lot of 5 star reviews lately, but this one really deserved it!

"The Eagle of the ninth" is set in Roman Britain. 12 years ago the ninth legion marched into the mists of Caledonia to battle an uprising. No one ever heard anything from them. Now Mar
Sep 15, 2011 Jessica rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Oct 03, 2010 Brian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
First published in 1954, The Eagle Of The Ninth was once to be found in every children's library in the UK. For the last fifteen or twenty years, however, Rosemary Sutcliff' has been somewhat forgotten as the solid, carefully written style of her books has given way to fiction that thrusts itself more brazenly upon its readers.

Hearing that there was a film coming out in 2011, I thought I would renew my acquaintance and I am very glad that I did. Based upon the mystery of the fate of the Ninth Le
Danny Maro
Mar 02, 2012 Danny Maro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the Eagle of the Ninth, the main charecter is a brave, cautious, young Roman officer named Marcus Flavius Aquila and it takes place in the 2nd Century AD in Roman Britian. Marcus's father and his father's army went missing when he was a baby. He finally decides that he wants to go and find what happened to his father and his men. So, he brings his sly, scared, ex-slave and they travel to many places and meet many people who give them a little more information about Marcus's father. This book ...more
I’ve just finished ‘The Eagle of the Ninth’, and I’m actually in tears.

I can see how so many authors were inspired by this book.

It’s… nothing like I expected it to be.
It’s funny and exciting and very subtle, but above all else, it’s extremely human.

Sure, there’s the big story, but it almost gets overshadowed by the little personal, human things, like farming and love and chosen family and peace.

We never even get POVs of other characters than Marcus, and yet his chosen brother Esca, and Uncle
Apr 30, 2015 stephenie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. I had seen the movie The Eagle first and enjoyed that film (the beginning was slow but the second half was excellent) so I really wanted to read the book. The book and the movie differ quite a lot and both are very good. This book was very sweet. It had moments of excitement and the character development was very well done. I had a big grin on my face when I finished reading it.
Feb 04, 2014 TW rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I admit, I was NOT excited to start reading The Eagle of the Ninth when my mom handed to me to read for school.

But I read it. I couldn't pay attention to it, my mind can wander, until Cottia was introduced, then I was clinging to the story, all of it. Even when Cottia wasn't there.

Over all it was a great story! I loved Marcus, Esca, Cottia, Cub, and Marcus's uncle--fantastic characters!

Just like my review with The Book of the King, Keep. On. Reading. It gets better
This book is so great, I can't put into words how much I loved it. I loved the characters, the plot was great, and the writing was fantastic. Everyone should read this book at some point.
May 16, 2011 Lois rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I announced that I was picking this up again, my father reminded me that he had read it to me as a child. While I'm sure that this is true, I have to confess that most of the memories of this book were hazy, and most of the info I had on it, was either picked up in the ether, or from Dad speaking about it at a later point in my life.

He did make one telling point about the book though, and this was what I found to be true: it's a boy's hero/action story.

Now, my bookshelves comprise mainly of
I really wonder about my reading habits sometimes; specifically, I wonder how I keep ending up reading books with absolutely no idea how I came across them. Such is the case with Eagle of the Ninth, a work of historical fiction that apparently is relatively well known, as is the author. In any case, I had not heard of her until recently, nor do I remember how or where I heard of her. But however it happened, I'm glad I dug her up.

Centurion Marcus Flavius Aquila is the son of one of the members o
Julia Hughes
Aug 18, 2011 Julia Hughes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Based on The Ninth Legion who disappeared behind Hadrain's Wall into the mists of Scotland never to be seen again.
A young Roman officer, Marcus Flavius Aquila, is unimpressed when he's first posted to the remotest part of the Roman Empire: Britain. He is a professional though, & does his best to get on with the native Celtic tribes. He's even making friends when without warning there is an uprising and Marcus is left with a life changing injury to his leg, resulting in him being discharged.
Dec 26, 2011 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was published in 1954 and, as a result, is written in an older and less accessible style than most readers are used to. Marcus Flavius has a promising career as a Roman Centurion. Posted to a British outpost he puts down a rebellion from the natives but receives a grave injury in the process. Taken to his uncle's home to recover he acquires a British slave, Esca. Marcus and Esca become like brothers and decide to risk a foray north of Hadrian's Wall to retrieve the golden eagle lost by ...more
Alexa Ayana
Impian Senturion Marcus Flavius Aquila untuk mengikuti jejak karir ayahnya, hancur setelah kecelakaan menimpanya dalam penyerbuan benteng Isca Dumnoniorum yang berhasil di gagalkannya. Ironisnya itu adalah penugasannya pertamanya di perbatasan Inggris. Storyline buku ini mayoritas diisi dengan fiksi biasa tentang proses penyembuhan luka lama Marcus pasca kecelakaan itu dan perjalanan untuk menyelidiki misteri hilangnya Legiun ayah Marcus. Sedangkan sisi history Romawinya hanya muncul sebagai ins ...more
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Rosemary Sutcliff was a British novelist, best known as a writer of highly acclaimed historical fiction. Although primarily a children's author, the quality and depth of her writing also appeals to adults, she herself once commenting that she wrote "for children of all ages from nine to ninety."

Born in West Clandon, Surrey, Sutcliff spent her early youth in Malta and other naval bases where her fa
More about Rosemary Sutcliff...

Other Books in the Series

The Dolphin Ring Cycle (8 books)
  • The Silver Branch
  • Frontier Wolf
  • The Lantern Bearers
  • Sword at Sunset
  • Dawn Wind
  • Sword Song
  • The Shield Ring

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“You cannot expect the man who made this shield to live easily under the rule of man who worked the sheath of this dagger . . . You are the builders of coursed stone walls, the makers of straight roads and ordered justice and disciplined troops. We know that, we know it all too well. We know that your justice is more sure than ours, and when we rise against you, we see our hosts break against the discipline of your troops, as the sea breaks against a rock. And we do not understand, because all these things are the ordered pattern, and only the free curves of the shield-boss are real to us. We do not understand. And when the time comes that we begin to understand your world, too often we lose the understanding of our own.” 28 likes
“Esca tossed the slender papyrus roll onto the cot, and set his own hands over Marcus's. "I have not served the Centurion because I was his slave," he said, dropping unconsciously into the speech of his own people. "I have served Marcus, and it was not stomach will be glad when we start on this hunting trail.” 21 likes
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