Jennifer Freitag's Reviews > The Silver Branch

The Silver Branch by Rosemary Sutcliff
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When Justin, an army surgeon, and his soldier cousin, Flavius, discover a plot against their British emperor Carausius, they are forced to go into hiding. There they spend their time dodging the Saxon agents of the traitor while creating secret communications with the Roman Caesar Constantius on the Continent. All the while they build up a rogue Legion of their own, making for their standard a mysterious, wingless Eagle whose history lies in shadow, a glory of past days to lead them on to future triumph.

As with every piece of Romano-British historical fiction of Sutcliff's which I have read, though definitely with twists of her own added, the author brings the setting to life in such a captivating way as to make that ancient time as real to the reader as the chair in which he sits. While some may be irked to have no more of Marcus and Esca and Cottia from the previous book The Eagle of the Ninth, Justin and Flavius are excellent characters in their own right, two sides of the same coin, living characters against a very lively backdrop.
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