Dreaming the Eagle is the first part of the gloriously imagined epic trilogy of the life of Boudica.
Boudica means Bringer of Victory (from the early Celtic word “boudeg”). She is the last defender of the Celtic culture in Britain; the only woman openly to lead her warriors into battle and to stand successfully against the might of Imperial Rome -- and triumph.
It is 33 AD and eleven-year-old Breaca (later named Boudica), the red-haired daughter of one of the leaders of the Eceni tribe, is on the cusp between girl and womanhood. She longs to be a Dreamer, a mystical leader who can foretell the future, but having killed the man who has attacked and killed her mother, she has proven herself a warrior. Dreaming the Eagle is also the story of the two men Boudica loves most: Caradoc, outstanding warrior and inspirational leader; and Bàn, her half-brother, who longs to be a warrior, though he is manifestly a Dreamer, possibly the finest in his tribe’s history. Bàn becomes the Druid whose eventual return to the Celts is Boudica’s salvation.
Dreaming the Eagle is full of brilliantly realised, luminous scenes as the narrative sweeps effortlessly from the epic -- where battle scenes are huge, bloody, and action-packed -- to the intimate. Manda Scott plunges us into the unforgettable world of tribal Britain in the years before the Roman invasion: a world of druids and dreamers and the magic of the gods where the natural world is as much a character as any of the people who live within it, a world of warriors who fight for honour as much as victory, a world of passion, courage and spectacular heroism pitched against overwhelming odds.
Dreaming the Eagle stunningly recreates the roots of a story so powerful its impact has lasted through the ages.
Novelist, columnist, blogger, podcaster, broadcaster and red-green activist, Manda Scott's novels have been shortlisted for an Orange Prize, nominated for an Edgar and dived into the endless iterations of TV adaptations. She's currently host of the THRUTOPIA MASTERCLASS which is helping a whole generation of writers to craft plausible, generative, thriving, near-term futures we'd be proud to leave to our children - and map the routes to get there. Her latest novel, A Treachery of Spies weaves a contemporary crime thriller with the courage and heroism of the Special Operations Executive in WW2.
She's written a Thrutopian TV series and is working on a Thrutopian novel. Because we have the answers to a flourishing future, we just haven't created the visions that will draw people towards them.
When not writing, she is host of the Accidental Gods podcast, and runs a horticultural smallholding, which one day will feed the local community.
Utterly immersive historical fiction with a superb cast of characters that brings every element of storytelling together to craft what felt like the perfect story. From joy to sorrow, hope to despair, this book encompasses such a rollercoaster of emotions. Manda Scott had me hooked right away, and she exploited that. She made me beam with happiness, and also filled me with rage (in a good way... if that makes sense).
*If you want a book that gets you to love and adore characters and then make you cry when tragedies are visited upon them... then this is the book for you.*
One of my favorite series. Based on Boudica, the Warrior Queen of the Celts, a historical figure dating to the first century. She united the scattered tribes of Britian and fought to drive back the Roman invaders who threatened their way of life and their very existence. Not much is known about her life and this is a novel examining how her life may have been. Filled with historical figures as well as fictional characters, it is an entralling read. I love Celtic themes and have found Boudica an intriguing and interesting personage. The writing was spectacular. It was a rare experience where I actually felt like I was witnessing the events of 2000 years ago, having it all unfold before me. I was captured as well as captivated by the 4 novels of this series. The Boudica series is highly recommended. Top notch.
Well, I loved it. Don't at all get some of the negative reviews (feminist? huh? ...paedophilia???)
I was surprised, actually - I have had so many duds recently and now I can luxuriously look forward to 3 more volumes :)
The story is followed, as far as it is known, in terms of history - the known facts are scant. And, oh joy! - there is an actual Bibliography!
Manda Scott is a storyteller, indeed. A Singer, perhaps?
December 2016 A re-read. More delighted than before. The damage to Bán's psyche by the slavery and torture received is more out and clear to me. Again, I am bemused by reviews that see the mild bisexuality of the book's themes as problematic. Basically, as far as I can see, people, like dolphins, are basically bisexual. That has nothing to do with having sex but with who they love. Sexuality is the biggest misnomen that exists. We are a few generations of prudists.
Manda Scott writes beautifully. She creates a fantasy reality so convincing that it can't possibly be fantasy. Sadly, it is. There IS a reality above and beyond what we experience and maybe back then they were more in tune. I would have liked to be there. I would like people to be some of those heroes. And some are. I am sure Manda Scott read The Eagle and the Raven; without a doubt.
Boudica: Dreaming the Eagle by Manda Scott is the first of four books on the life of Boudica of the Eceni tribe, the female Celtic warrior who defended Britain against the invading Roman army beginning in the year 43 C.E.
At the ripe old age of eleven, Breaca, later named Boudica, (“Bringer of Victory”) kills the man who attacked and killed her mother. We follow Breaca as she matures into a heroic warrior who slowly but surely assumes the mantle of leadership in her community.
Manda Scott combines the available research on tribal Britain and the historical figure of Boudica with a creative imagination that is both convincing and compelling. She serves a tale of epic proportions. Scott plunges us into the world of 1st Century Britain with its tribal conflicts and alignments, its Dreamers who predict the future through their dreaming, its animals perceived as emissaries from the gods, and its spirits of the dead who frequently appear to the living to warn them of impending disasters and to guide them forward.
Painted in vivid detail, this is a world simultaneously brutal and sensitive, a world in which battle scenes are littered with bloodied corpses and mangled limbs, a world of horrific torture and desecration of the dead. But it is also a world in which warriors value honor, loyalty, and oaths that bind; in which cultural rules are adhered to and respected even at the cost of personal sacrifice; in which the elderly are honored; and in which the spirit of community and sisterhood is in full display as the women rally around Breaca after the death of her mother and celebrate with her at the onset of her menarche.
Love connections weave their way throughout this tapestry, including illustrations of parental love, sibling love, heterosexual love, and homosexual love. Love of animals is also in full display, including a boy’s love for his hound and his horse.
Manda Scott has packed a great deal into this novel. And perhaps that is its biggest downfall. She has packed too much. The novel is long and unnecessarily drawn out. At times it was difficult to follow the complex technicalities of the battle scenes and to keep track of which tribe was situated where in the battle lines. In addition, transitions from the natural world to the world of the spirit weren’t clearly delineated. This required re-reading whole passages to distinguish the real from the visionary. But these shortcomings diminish in significance when one considers the work as a whole.
Manda Scott has written an exciting novel immersing us in her fictional re-imagining of the life and times of Celtic Britain and the remarkable woman credited with challenging the Roman Empire. This is an extraordinary feat of the imagination that will captivate its readers, especially lovers of historical fiction.
I really liked this book. In fact, I think I may have even hugged it for a while after finishing it. Actually, that sounds weird, so forget I just said that.
Manda Scott is a very talented historical fiction writer. She does it well and should do it often.
There are only two things that I didn't like about this book and the other books in this series (although I have only read 2 and a half of them so far). One thing I don't like is Scott's excessively lateral way of thinking when it comes to spirituality and reality blending with the unreality. Half the time the book is in dreamland and it is hard for me to get into that spiritual element of the book and it did frustrate me, as did the second issue I have with Scott's story. Everyone is a bed hopping. Hey, each to their own, I don't begrudge people's right to bed hop, whatever floats your boat, but I struggled with it in these Boudica books. Everyone seems to sleep with everyone at one stage or another and none of the characters seem to care if it's a man or woman. I am okay with gay or bisexual relationships playing a part in the books I read, it isn't that, but the to and fro bed hopping between male and male, female and female, male and female partners was a bit full on and it felt unrealistic. More for the author than the reader. It was open slather in Iceni land.
These issues aside, I liked this book and gave it 4 stars.
I listened to the audio version of this first book of a trilogy, and would certainly choose to read, or listen to, the next two volumes. "Dreaming the Eagle" is highly imaginative, as it has to be, with so few facts available about Boudica, (or Boadicea, as I was taught!). It seems very well researched, and draws upon what is known of the cultural lives of the British tribes at the time of the Roman invasions. I would say that the strength of this book lies wholly in the weaving of the cultural and religious aspects of the young Boudica and her tribe into the battles that defined her for us. This does result in a great deal of repetition, as to the meanings and relevance of symbols, customs and beliefs. I did find that occasionally a bit wearisome, but it was unavoidable and was so well done that my predominant reaction was one of admiration for the author. The horrible chapters were about the Romans. I have always abhorred their cruelty and degeneracy, their enslavement of the peoples under their sway, while grudgingly allowing their achievements (“Look what the Romans did for us . . . .”). I’ve always been amazed, for instance, at their hypocausts, their underfloor heating systems, something that now makes me shudder with revulsion as I listened to how they were built and maintained, reminding me of the Victorian use of small boys as chimney sweeps. When the story reached the first battles Boudica led, the Roman “Testudo”, the turtle formation, made me think of 'The Borg' in “Star Trek”! Horrific! Well, the novel has to be partial, when it comes to the Celtic British tribes, especially the Icenae, of course, which was Boudica’s tribe. But how could you not feel for a people that still held to painting themselves like ghosts, to emerge from the mists of early dawn and frighten their enemies – when those enemies were the Roman Legions, with all their professional training and in all the panoply of war? And ruthless, mocking the deeply spiritual beliefs of the Britons as they slew or enslaved them. I've read enough of Caesar's De Bellico Gallico to get that impression. And here I am at the present moment on holiday near Anglesey, the “Mona” of Druidic tradition, and how can I not visit it and honour the memory of these ancient Celts? “Mona” was the great centre of those in this book called, “The Dreamers”, who prophesied, and whose word was sought in times of war as in peace. I have visited and admired the Roman fort of Vindolanda, at the site of Hadrian’s Wall, and the ruins of ancient Rome may be magnificent beyond compare, but I have no love for them. Give me instead the spirit and the heart. This book took me to the origins of ‘my’ people, those early Celts, and imprinted upon me the beauty, the validity, of their vision and their waking dream, still with us as a people when the Romans are consigned to history.
I'm going to commit what may seem like a cardinal sin here and review the book before having read it all though for good reason.
If you're someone who enjoys historical fiction that gets going within four or five chapters, ramping up either the action, intrigue, character development or such like in that time, avoid this book. So little happens in the first half dozen chapters that it feels like far more like a vacuum than a book that's actually going anywhere.
The opening chunk of this book is so slow, ponderous and sombre that by the time any of the notable characters enter the storyline - such as Caradog more famously known as Caratacus - you've lost the vast majority of your interest let alone your ability to care any more.
This Boudica (or Boadicea or Breaca whichever you prefer) is a world away from previous interpretations I've encountered, with probably the only strongly insinuated lesbian preferences I've come across.
I know it'll smack of impatience on my part and logically as it is a story that is designed to spread over three (with a fourth later added) books, it makes sense that it's a slow burner but it burns so slow and wispily that I found it even harder to care about any of the characters contained within who at the best of times were standard fare rather than anyone that struck you as being particularly human.
There's of course all the obligatory romanticising of how noble, courageous and enigmatic the pre-Roman conquest Britons were. Or "hark, aren't the natives funny!".
I might try again with book 2 but frankly I'm bored beyond endurance right now and I'm barely even a third of the way in.
Read this book in 2012, and its the 1st volume of the amazing "Boudica" quartet of books, from the author, Manda Scott.
It a series that will begin in AD 32 and will end in AD 60, when Boudica, war leader of the Eceni tribe, will lead the final revolt against Roman rule in Britain.
But first we will get to know Breaca, the future Boudica, as a young girl who loves horses and who will kill her first warrior at twelve, and w'll follow her progress towards adulthood.
Her brother Ban is another important figure within the Eceni tribe, who at first having been a slave in roman territory is freed by a Roman friend, and thus able to see the best and worst about Rome.
This same Ban has the gift of dreaming the future, and he sees a future for Britain with Druids and dreamers and the magic of the gods, and not with an occupier like the Romans.
Being warriors who are fighting with honour and victory, they are in a Celtic world that will consist of tribes and their own culture that should be defended right till the end.
What is to follow is an amazing mystical tale about a British society consisting of tribes with their own beliefs, fighting prowess, magical spirits and human sacrifice, and in which Breaca, later Boudica, will play a major part in defending their rights and land.
Highly recommended, for this is a magnificent start of this wonderful series, and that's why I like to call this episode: "An Epic Dreaming The Eagle"!
5 For my chunky fantasy readers this book was stunning. A fantastic culture to follow, really interesting use of dreams and prophecies, a gay relationship that made me go " Yes ! Finally !!!", Powerful women in a clan that puts woman first and of course the onslaught of colononialism from those dastardly romans. It honestly blew me away, I really didnt know what this was gonna be like going in, but I will now be binging the rest of the series haha I know the final book is gonna break me because I love Breaca so much. and knowing how it ends for her is gonna be a hard read
Pulpy around the edges so that I feel indulgent, but few books lose me in themselves like this, why not five stars? I have been gobbled up by this book. Not the other way around.
Too much action-oriented hf bores me to tears and a Manda Scott is rare, who involves me, who even describes a fight with true excitement, not those tedious literal battles. The likes of Bernard Cornwell never made my heart race but Manda Scott knows how to.
The first thing that jumps out is that there is a world behind these people. When she puts such care into the behaviour of a chicken that’s settled outside the forge (I don’t think it was a chicken. It was a bird. And Manda Scott knows more about the behaviour of these birds than me; it did its own thing and that’s why it’s stuck in my head.) The writing is rich and visual. There wasn’t a word too much for me or a word too slow as she paints us a world.
And no, I didn’t find that world New Agey, though I did fear to from what’s said. I was happy to believe it Ancient Britainy. Shaman-type animal and spirit contact saturates the culture, but I found that real. What’s more I was genuinely interested in the results of Breaca’s vision-quest: I think that’s an achievement of story. There’s an intimacy with animal life without which this style of society wouldn’t be authentic. It’ll help if you’re fond of horses, or dogs.
Maybe Breaca is too splendid, but then heroes are. I can lose Caradoc I’m afraid. I think I am most struck by the side-figures and the general cast, because they can be unusual. The elder grandmother. Airmid, though she remains a mystery. Braint, who doesn’t say much but a girl who I can wish to be. We are in a woman-focused or woman-led society and sexuality is fluid. For me, this helps her get away from convention. You can see this as idealised, or then again you might underestimate the effects of the Judeo-Christian tradition. I don’t always like goddessy or mother-earthy stuff, I go near with caution, but this one laid my suspicions and I simply liked the world.
I thought pulp reared its head when we had a captive in Roman territory: a victimization that tried too hard to tug on the heart. On the other hand I’m not into Rome, I’m into the tribal societies on the frontiers of Rome, and I love a story of a freedom fight. I did enjoy, for instance, the description of a Roman villa with its atrocious ideas of home decor, a mermaid with gilt tits or similar.
I’ve settled in for the series and have the next in the mail.
"—No —Ban miraba sin ver la masa ondulante de azul y gris que había sido su pueblo. El ruido rompió sobre él con olas oceánicas, y deseó haberse ahogado—. No es Caradoc. Él estaba perdido. Están celebrando al guerrero que le rescató —se volvió hacia Vespasiano, que le miraba intrigado—. La carga desde el oeste fue dirigida por una mujer, la Guerrera de Mona. El nombre que le dan es Boudica. La que trae la victoria" (p. 668).
Épica, violenta, conmovedora e increíble.
Una novela espectacular acerca de una de las figuras más interesantes que he tenido el gusto de leer: Boudica, reina de los icenos. Una guerrera legendaria que logró unir muchas de las tribus de los celtas con el objetivo de enfrentarse a uno de los más temibles y poderosos imperios de la historia: el Imperio Romano.
Sirviéndose de dos puntos de vista narrativos principales, ésta primera entrega cuenta la historia de Boudica antes de convertirse en guerrera. La historia de cómo una joven llamada Breaca empieza a forjar su destino al lograr acabar con la vida del asesino de su madre.
Su historia está contada tanto por su propio punto de vista, como por el de su hermano menor Bán, un niño inocente y talentoso, dueño de una de las habilidades soñadoras más poderosas de su tribu.
Es a través de ellos que la vida de la guerrera empieza a tomar forma. Pasando por conflictos internos entre las tribus, hasta la llegada del monstruo de Roma, ésta es una historia que se toma su tiempo en ser contada. Manda Scott no solo hizo un trabajo espectacular con la trama, sino que también logró plasmar un retrato vívido y crudo de lo que significaba pertenecer a una de las tribus celtas en aquella época.
Gran parte de esta primera novela está formada por episodios de la vida cotidiana de la tribu de los icenos, y si bien en algunos puntos pareciera que la historia no avanzara mucho, estos episodios serán cruciales para poder entender y empatizar con las decisiones tomadas por los personajes.
Un comienzo muy prometedor para lo que podría convertirse en una de mis sagas históricas favoritas.
(Y mil veces agradecida con el universo por haberme permitido leer esta maravilla, puesto que era el último ejemplar disponible en la librería).
Wow what an intense and graphically defined journey into the life of a Celtic Queen called Boudica. Her real name is Breaca but later becomes known as Boudica - She who brings Victory. This is the first installment that dives into a moment of life when young Breaca (Boudica)'s tribe (Eceni) is attacked and she makes her first kill by pure luck but at the same time experiences the loss of her mother from the same attack.
The story totally captivated me from beginning to end. The everyday tribal life, their experiences, their rituals of dreaming and becoming a warrior was told in fascinating detail - brilliant writing. I felt as though I was among them experiencing everything they did from hunting, training, doing chores, and becoming a warrior. I totally related to their feelings and emotions.
I loved the historical culture of the tribes, how they worshiped and which gods they prayed to and how they could dream their futures. I loved how sacred they cherished their lands and their teaching ways.
From the author's notes the research for this story is gathered from records from Rome (Boudica's enemy)leading up to the revolt of A.D. 60-61 along with many archaeological findings and theories.
I did take some notes down since the book is pretty big and there were key players through out the book that will continue on into the next one. For instance:
Ban - is Breaca's brother - they have the same father but different mothers. Ban's tale had me almost weeping from all the brutal hardships he goes through - Kidnapped, beaten, enslaved, and raped. He eventually escapes and becomes a Roman soldier given a roman name "Julius Valerius Corvus". (1st name from his emperor, second for his sponsor) Ban and Corvus end up lovers (Male-Male love is mentioned - no erotic scenes) I also loved Ban's horse Crow - that horse rocked and his hound .
The other tribes were very interesting. The sons of the Sun Hound, also known as 3 different tribes. Amminios (traitor)- he was one to hate and he was a back stabber and ruthless, he raped, enslaved young boys, murdered for no reason, and he was for Rome.
Togodubnos - ruler of Trinovantes tribe - I respected how honorable he was
Caradoc - ruler of the tribe Ordovices. I loved Caradoc and kept waiting for him and Breaca to get together but it doesn't happen until the end of the book.
The book was full of lots of action and the war and attacks were brutal and the imagery was so surreal. Some of the tribes could be explained as savages the way they fought. Their killings consisted of be-headings, strung upon trees naked with their manhood cut, their balls stuffed in their mouths, and the tribes sign carved into their chest. Some warriors dressed wearing the skin of their kills, their scalps, or even tied their heads/skulls around their waist.
As far as the Roman's go, you see the build up of greed and how they overtake several tribes just for sport or thinking that if they could take the lands they could civilize the tribes and increase their export trades with full control.
The story was definitely intense. This is not a quick read, the wording is smooth and reads fast but with all the information and action I had to slow down so I wouldn't miss the historical meaning behind the story. I look forward to reading the second installment to learn of Boudica and Caradoc's life and children.
I had such mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, awesome historical fiction. I LOVED how the author dug into Celtic culture and mythology (about which not much is known besides what’s been found by archaeologists and what was recorded by Romans). I could really feel and see and imagine the life of the Celtic tribes. I liked the mystical side, with the dreamers. I liked Breaca, though I felt like we didn’t spend enough time with her.
And here’s my mixed feelings: Bán. His whole side plot was heart-wrenching. And that’s it. Just bad crap happens to him over and over and over and it just got to be too much. It ruined the book for me because it made it so depressing and also slowed the pace of the book. I’m all for building dramatic tension and pushing characters through trials, but you also have to give them some happiness and success. And there was none. I think the author wanted to show what was going on with the Romans at the same time as Breaca was doing things, but it just was painful and sad and... yeah. It ruined the whole feel of the book for me.
Related to Bán: too many animals died. I just really hate it when animals die, and I think that’s what put me off the most.
Also, the prose is beautiful, very poetic, but then also sometimes I wasn’t sure exactly what was going on because it skimmed and danced around things rather than saying them straight out. Sometimes it worked. Others it just really didn’t.
The name they are calling is Boudica. She Who Brings Victory
This was a really awesome book. I expected this to have a lot of action and it does ramp up into that but there is a lot of slice of life and character building. Once I got familiar with the characters this really. Getting the insights of the cultures of these Britainic tribes was so interesting. One other aspect I did not expect was that there was a mystical/fantastic aspect that you can choose to believe as much as you want. Seeing the the looming threat of the Roman Empire that could literally wipe your entire culture off the map added so much tension. We also get a look into the Roman side which was cool. Manda Scott has smooth prose and this book is compulsively readable. Can’t wait to continue. Highly recommend!
I'll preface this review by saying I know little to nothing about the real Boudica, so I can't really comment on the historical accuracy of this story, or Manda Scott's interpretation of it.
What I can say is, this was a wonderful book!
Manda Scott's prose is beautiful and her ability to immerse the reader in the setting and culture is remarkable - one of the best examples of this I've ever read (and I don't say that lightly...)! Each scene is full of tiny details about the animals, the food, the buildings, the weapons (etc.) which all add together to (re)create a world that feels real and dynamic and 'lived-in'.
There are two main characters we follow in this book, Breaca (who will become Boudica) and her half brother Ban. There is also a supporting cast of memorable (if unpronounceable...) characters for the reader to fall in love with, despise, break their heart over and cheer on. Manda Scott writes character very well and there are some that I have met in this book that I am sure will be on my mind for some time to come. If I had to pick a favourite at this stage, I'd go with Ban - he is a wonderful character, flawed, but relatable and had so much thrown at him over the course of this book that you can't help but feel for him.
Are there any negatives?
Remember all that wonderful, immersive detail I mentioned earlier? It comes with a price - this is a large book (700ish pages) and the pacing is fairly slow - especially near the beginning. Personally, I don't see this as a negative, but I can see why some other reviews are complaining about 'nothing happening' in the first half of the book. All I would say is have patience, enjoy the ride and trust the author - a lot is being set up, but it does pay off as the book goes along. This is also only book one of a four part series- I suspect even more will pay off as the series continues.
The book also covers a period of roughly ten years and therefore, inevitably, some events are told in more detail than others. There are some events I would have preferred to have more detail on and others I wouldn't have minded cutting down a bit (hard to be specific without giving spoilers) but I've seen other reviews from people who seem to have particularly loved the parts I didn't and yawned their way through what I thought were the most interesting bits - so clearly that's just personal preference!
Overall, I thought this was excellent and I look forward to continuing with the series! Thanks to the Brothers Gwynne for recommending the series and for hosting the readalong!
Dreaming the Eagle is the first entry in Manda Scott’s Boudica quartet. Set in first century Britannia, it tells the tale of the rise of the mighty warrior queen who united the warring tribes against the invading legions of the Roman Empire. It is a story of family, loyalty, war and dreams, a story that captivated me from the first page to the heart-wrenching words of the final, and has me chomping at the bit for the second book. This is historical fiction at its finest.
This book is a fictional story about the great Iron Age warrior queen who many of us call Boadicea. The research by Manda Scott that supports her tale with amazingly detailed and accurate research about the cognitive reality for Boudica's tribe, the Iceni, whose ceremonial enclosure was at Thetford, Norfolk, at the time that the Romans were slowly taking over the British Isles. A important "pilar" in this page-turner is that shamans (Druids) were still highly revered in those days, and they used their powers to try to protect the tribes. And so we are plunged into a world of magic and spirits as we follow the young Boudica through her shamanic initiatory training on the Isle of Mona (Anglesey) and learn how she developed the courage to stand alone "at the tip of the spear" - a basic requirement for any successful leader. Of course, there is no proof that she had this training in the historical records, but it might explain why she and her warriors managed to cut such a swathe through the Roman-held territory and become a real problem for them. " Dreaming the Eagle" is the first part of a trilogy that goes on in books 2 and 3 to deal with those battles.
Awesome book and awesome series. I'm really surprised that it hasn't gotten more notice particularly for its historical accuracy and its rousing battle scenes and human drama. Boudica, that old Roman-lover's bogie, has been transformed into a real hero reflective of her time and her culture. Making her first kill defending her mother, Breaca (as she is named then) is thrust into the adult world, like many heroes, before she is done growing, but her people's need is great and her destiny is approaching quickly as the Romans intrigue and scout Britain preparing for their coming invasion.
Breaca's journey to adulthood is fraught with tragedy and strife and with the underlying urgency of a culture threatened with death. The elders of the Iceni have seen and predicted the outcome of Roman conquest and they know that Breaca and her age-group have the only chance of maintaining the Celtic culture and lifestyle. As the series continues we see the threads of narrative begun here twist and weave a believable, dense, and deeply moving story of a people under attack and the woman who is destined to be their "Bringer of Victory."
I absolutely loved this first book in the series. I did a combination of audio and eBook reading, and found that this helped so much with pronunciations of names that I would have badly struggled with on just physically reading. I had heard of Boudica before - but not paid too much attention to the stories, I really should have. The historical aspects of this book where woven so well with the fantasy/magic beliefs of the people of that time that you would swear that it was fact and you had been there. I would like to take the time to thank The Brothers Gwynn - Ed in particular for recommending this on their channel which prompted me to pick it up. 2023 will be a year of much more historical fiction/fantasies. Looking forward to continuing the series, if not possibly finishing it in total in 2023.
Mostly I enjoyed this book. There is very little real history from which to derive a story though. So most of this is imagined. That is unfortunate. Some descriptions were very detailed and not necessary. But many of the battle scenes were very good. The author’s connection through her job as a veterinarian is evident in the descriptions of horses and dogs. The characters are clear and distinct in their appearances and personalities. I’m sure many readers are smitten with Bán and Caradoc. We slowly see Breaca grow and emerge as a fierce leader. Briton is easy to route for here. The Romans are depicted as licentious and cruel land mongers. The “might is right” motto is very fitting. I really enjoyed the relationship between animal and warrior here. I also liked the mystical aspect which was not expected. So this feels like a historical fantasy to me with parts of romantic fantasy also. Once I adjust to this, I think I’ll have a better time reading the next book.
Man patinka istoriniai romanai, bet šitas kažkaip nepaėjo. Pabaigiau, ir paskutinės trys valandos buvo kaip ir nieko, bet per daug man čia meilių, gamtos grožio, sapnų. Rimtai? Visą dieną kapojau romėnus o naktį dar turiu jėgų, įkvėpimo, noro ne tik kad seksui (čia suprasčiau, streso nuėmimas, okei), bet dar ir dramai. Tipo, a tu tikrai manęs nori, ar tu savo dukros mamai neturi jausmų ir t.t. Žodžiu, iškarpius visą dramą ir lyg iš kokio Puipos filmo paimtą ilgą žiūrėjimą į tolį, būtų gavęsis toks neblogas istorinis nuotykinis romanas apie pirmo amžiaus Britanijos genčių kovas su Roma. Čia tik pirma trilogijos dalis, bet man užteks, nebetęsiu
Before "Brave", there was "Boudica". This book might not be for everyone but I quite loved it. I've always enjoy reading Historical fiction and "Boudica" was a great addition focusing on a strong female figure.
It was the winter of 2015. On a long run of only reading non-fiction and listening to YA fantasy, I felt the urge to read something oddly specific: fiction on Europe before the Romans. I dedicated an hour to searching forums and sites that hadn't been updated since 2005, and I found "Dreaming the Eagle." The author was Manda Scott, who I had never heard of before. After reading pages of reviews, I felt like this book was going to complete my life.
Sometimes I have stupid feelings.
I have rarely been more disappointed. Instead of wanting to read, I felt the urge to clean my room, go lift weights, or some other terribly responsible task. Did I dare put the predicted book of my dreams into my "give away to someone I hate" pile?
Last night I finally finished it, and I literally sighed from relief; running a marathon was more difficult than getting to the end of this book.
Why am I writing a drawn-out review dripping in hatred? This story features a strong protagonist, who is destined to be the warrior of her people. She is surrounded by magic, dreams, and loads of hot men.
You are probably thinking: This book sounds like perfection. Where can I buy it?
Wrong. All wrong. This book takes what could have been a fantastical storyline with characters you wanted as your best friend (or greatest enemy), but it all fell flat. The characters were like shapeless ghosts that I never got to know. So maybe Manda Scott just wanted 100% story? No. The story was more formulaic than the bed time stories I used to read to my younger brothers - when they were three.
I am just saving you the trouble. Do not read this book. Just don't.
Is there a way for me to give 1/2 of this book 4 stars and the other 1/2 only 2? I wanted to read about Boudica, Warrior of the Eceni and defender of Britain, who defeated the Roman legions on several occasions. And half the book was about her…but only half.
The rest was about her brother. And, I cannot stress this enough, each chapter about him sucked. I felt it added nothing to the story except for maybe a view from the Roman side of the invasion but even that was minimal. Each of the brother’s chapters dragged on and on.
And then it would shift to Boudica again and summarize a battle she was just in but not have a chapter dedicated to that battle? That, quite literally, is why I picked up the book - why would you not write about the battles Boudica fought in?
Very disappointed about this and most likely will not finish the series. Boudica is still awesome, though, and if you just read her chapters it’s a blast!
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ - I loved the book so much I would reread it again and would recommended to a friend. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ - Thoroughly enjoyed the book, could not do put it add down, would recommending to a friend, but do not need to read again. ⭐️⭐️⭐️ - Probably a good book that I enjoyed but there was something about it I did not love (e.g. The writing style, the POV, etc.). I would only recommend to a friend if it was their "type" of book. ⭐️⭐️ - A book I have below average feelings for and it would not come with a recommendation from me but I would mention it in conversation if related to the book topic at issue. ⭐️ - I finished the book but I hated every second of it.
I enjoyed the historical fiction aspect but sometimes the novel seemed too 'New Age' for my taste. These Britons reminded me of Native Americans, because of their visions, guardian animals or birds, and 'kill feathers.' They also reminded me of Native Americans, in that their country was overwhelmed by a militarily superior force. I have a different conception of Boudica in my mind because of other reading; she was not believable. I enjoyed more the story of her brother, Bán. I'd find myself skimming over her story to concentrate on his. I plan on reading every book in the tetralogy although I know Boudica's fate. The physical descriptions of the characters seemed to consist mainly of hair color [mostly all shades of blond, red, with a couple of black or brown thrown in] and eye color, so I couldn't visualize anyone very well. I thought it logical that the author chose two landing sites for the Roman invasion: two landing sites being one of the theories.
Η ιστορία της Μπούντικα μου έκανε πάντα μεγάλη εντύπωση οπότε μοιραία κατέληξα σε αυτή τη σειρά. Καταλαβαίνω βέβαια πως καθώς πρόκειται για μία ολόκληρη τετραλογία είναι νωρίς γ��α συμπεράσματα, αυτό το πρώτο βιβλίο όμως μπορώ να πω ότι μου αφήνει μάλλον ανάμεικτες εντυπώσεις. Είναι δεδομένο ότι αυτά που γνωρίζουμε για αυτήν είναι ελάχιστα, όπως και όσα γνωρίζουμε για την κοινωνία που ζούσε, οπότε προφανώς υπάρχει ένα μεγάλο κενό που κάθε συγγραφέας πρέπει να καλύψει με τη φαντασία του και με όσα ιστορικά δεδομένα έχει στη διάθεσή του. Το πρόβλημα όμως εδώ είναι ότι η συγγραφέας προτιμάει περισσότερο να μας δείχνει πώς θα ήθελε να είναι η ιστορία, σύμφωνα με τις απόψεις και τις πεποιθήσεις της. Από εκεί και πέρα όμως η ιστορία έχει κά��οιο ενδιαφέρον, στηρίζεται αρκετά στην πραγματικότητα και αποδίδεται αρκετά καλά οπότε θα δείξω λίγη επιείκεια και θα δώσω μία ευκαιρία στη σειρά.
This is a wonderful book-and the foundation for the saga that comes next. It is historically extensive and creatively written. By the time I was finished I couldn't wait to get to the next one, in my case basically because characterization is VERY important in a great series of books. I already cared about the characters-some of them animals-refreshing and new to me. Obviously, Scott's experiences and knowledge as a veterinarian-not to mention extensive research-add a whole new dimension to her writing. Go ahead and get the whole series because you will want to read more, and you will be sad when you are done! Thankfully, she has written another series-I just got the first book yesterday-The Emperor's Spy-I have only read the prologue and I'm already hooked!
2.5 stars. This book just wasn't for me. If I had not been promised Boudica, I probably would have given up after about 150 pages. I don't need non-stop action to keep my interest but I need something. To me, there just wasn't a whole lot going on in this book.