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The Eagle and the Raven

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4.14  ·  Rating details ·  1,100 Ratings  ·  97 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 grou ...more
Paperback, 704 pages
Published October 28th 2007 by Chicago Review Press (first published 1978)
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Amalia Gavea
"All we wanted was to be left alone".

This is a book that needs to be read slowly. Come to it with a clear mind. Yes, it is full of difficult names and different tribes. Leaders of both sides come and go, all realistic characters that tell stories of a far-away time but carry a message that never becomes old. The desire of everyone of us to be free, free in every way, regardless of religion, ethnicity, financial status etc. Yes, we all live together sharing our Earth but this doesn't mean that
...more
Kate Quinn
May 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Carlo
Sep 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
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
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
Sotiris Karaiskos
Δεν ζητάω πολλά από ένα ιστορικό μυθιστόρημα, μόνο να τηρούνται κάποιες βασικές προϋποθέσεις. Βασικό καταρχάς είναι να έχει κάποια ιστορική ακρίβεια, να ακολουθεί την ιστορία και να μην πετάγονται εδώ και εκεί ανακρίβειες και αναχρονισμοί. Το δεύτερο φυσικά είναι η ιστορία που δημιουργείται από τον συνδυασμό των ιστορικών δεδομένων και της φαντασίας του συγγραφέα να είναι ενδιαφέρουσα και συναρπαστική. Τέλος ιδιαίτερα σημαντικό είναι η γραφή του να είναι όμορφη και συγκινητική για να μπορέσει ν ...more
Nancy
Apr 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Beg2Differ  ✎
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
Gretchen
Feb 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Emelia
Jun 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mikos-rec
"Do you think that when the time comes they will let us be burned on some funeral pyre taken from the sweet Catuvellaunian forests?" she whispered. "All we wanted was to be left alone," he said quietly. "such a little word, freedom, such a small request, and yet it has consumed the soul of a people." Far away, in the swirling autumn mists of Albion, the light of freedom flickered.

If I could give this book more than 5 stars, I would do so gladly. The Eagle and the Raven is a magnificent book. Wel
...more
Chris
Oct 23, 2008 rated it liked it
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
Laurentiu Lazar
Aug 21, 2012 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
Zena Ryder
Apr 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
Carrie Slager
Feb 14, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: books-i-bought
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
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
Tomás Sendarrubias garcía
La verdad es que a lo tonto me ha costado un mes terminar el libro, y no porque se haga pesado o porque no me enganchara, sino porque parece que me ha costado encontrar el pulso que me enganchara. La verdad es que lo tiene todo para molar: romanos y britanos en guerra. Y es que Águilas y Cuervos se centra en la guerra de conquista por Britania por parte de los romanos en los tiempos del emperador Claudio, en un momento en el que las Galias ya eran una posesión romana y las fronteras continentale ...more
Veronica
Dec 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Victor Bruneski
Apr 02, 2014 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
Linda
Jun 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Robyn
Mar 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reread
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.
Melissa
Apr 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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.
Kristen
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
What were they thinking? The editor, designer, and/or marketing assistant who came up with the description and cover of this book. No, it isn't really the story of Boudicca. Rather, it's an all-encompassing telling of the multifaceted, piecemeal, battle-by-battle, treaty-by-treaty diminishment, erosion, and eventual elimination of Albion--the multi-tribe-dominated island we now call Britain.

Once I stopped waiting for Boudicca to show up, I was able to slow down and really appreciate the many th
...more
Dayani Cabrera
Esta es una historia de lucha por la libertad y por el honor. Al principio me costaba avanzar, pero le di una oportunidad y continue, y cuánto me alegro de haberlo hecho! Porque ha sido extraordinario! He llorado, he vivido la lucha, y el honor, la desolación y desesperanza... Pauline Gedge no es historiadora certificada pero ha contado magistralmente una parte de la historia del mundo como un expectador ausente que conoce lo bueno y lo malo de cada bando. Su narración fluye como el agua, y te t ...more
Lyn Stapleton
Mar 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book tells the story of the Roman invasion of Britain in the first century A.D. and the tribes who opposed and fought against it. It is primarily the story of Caradoc (who is probably better known as Caratacus),and his subsequent capture by the Romans through the treachery of Aricia (Cartimandua). It also deals with Boudicca's uprising. It has been well researched and extremely well told. It held my interest from start to finish. If you are interested in well written historical fiction then ...more
Michelle MAB
Didn't get very far in it... not my cup o' tea which is sad since I enjoy most of Gedge's novels!
Francis
May 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Outstanding
Gwendolyn Mcafee
Mar 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2017, dnf
DNF 187 pg
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Dreaming the Eagle (Boudica, #1)
  • The Light Bearer
  • Bard: The Odyssey of the Irish (Celtic World of Morgan Llywelyn)
  • The Raven Queen
  • Warrior Queen: The Story of Boudica: Celtic Queen
  • Eagle in the Snow
  • Circle of Stones (Circle, #1)
  • Rome: The Eagle of the Twelfth (Rome, #3)
  • The White Raven
  • Confessions of a Pagan Nun
  • The Book of Kells
  • The Winter Mantle
  • A Bloody Field by Shrewsbury
  • Island of Ghosts
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
More about Pauline Gedge...
“... 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.” 4 likes
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