Oct 31, 2012

The Roman Britain Trilogy

These books were part of a list I was given in history to read and I found them to be a really worthwhile read! I think I may have found a new favorite author!
These books have been discribed as little known classics originally published in the 50's.
Now I'm not usually big on classics, mostly because the stories don't hold my attention like a modern novel does. Though there are a few classics that hold a high place on my favorites list.

Book 1 - The Eagle of the Ninth
I loved, loved, loved this book! It was absolutely beautiful! I fell in love with the characters from the moment I met them!
Incredible story! The writing was gorgeous! Most of all the relationships in this book is what really stuck with me. Marcus and Esca's friendship was amazing! Their dedication to eachother was very refreshing!
A lot of newer books focus on the possibility of betrayal or always watching your back, but with The Eagle of the Ninth it was about trust and true friendship.
Oh and I can't forget Cottia and Cub! I loved them! They added a very nice touch to the story!
Best of all is the enormous lack of romance! I was overjoyed! All the more to add Sutcliff as a foavorite author!
Title - The Eagle of the Ninth
Author - Rosemary Sutcliff
Pages - 210
Type of Book - Fiction
Website - http://rosemarysutcliff.com/

The Movie - The Eagle
While researching the book (The Eagle of the Ninth) I discovered that it had been made into a movie only last year.
I was super excited when I recieved it from the library, but it actually turned out to be a horrible disappointment.
Almost everything I loved about the book was not included. The entire story was taken out of context and completely messed with!  I am not ridiculously picky with books made into movies, but big changes to the plot do bother me.

Marcus was turned into a heartless murderer, and Esca was made to be a hateful guy that you couldn't stand! Then towards the end they tried to make emends with Esca out of the blue refusing to leave Marcus after he'd treated him like dirt.
I was livid.
The friendship that I'd admired so much between Marcus and Esca never existed, not until the end, and it seemed so spontaneous it was hardly believable.
It was nothing like the book!
I highly recomend the book! The movie... not so much. Maybe if you were looking for a cool Roman style action movie, go for it. Bit if you, like me, enjoyed the book, I'd advise you to steer clear of the movie.
Title - The Eagle

Book 2 - The Silver Branch
I don't think that this book was as good as The Eagle of the Ninth, but it was still a really good book. In the beginning ti moved slowly but as the book continued the action picked up.
The main character, Justin, was very quiet and had a stuttering problem. Because of that, Flavius, his cousin took the leading role most of the time. It was strange how that was all set up. It felt like Flavius was more of the main character than Justin; that in itself seemed to take away from the book.
I loved the last few chapters of the book! They were the best! Justin was just settling into his role as main characterof the book when it ended.
There was absolutely no romance in this book! I was so happy!
Again, Sutcliff did a wonderful job on the friendship shaping. The character were great and I hated to see some of them go.
Title - The Silver Branch
Author - Rosemary Sutcliff
Pages - 175
Type of Book - Fiction

Book 3 - The Lantern Bearers
From the beginning I had completely fallen in love with the characters and their relationships with each other. But this book was very sad compared to the others. When tragedy struck it stretch with a vengeance, and I felt it as if it were my own pain.
About halfway through I has almost decided that I didn't like the book. But Sutcliff created beauty out of the tragedy.
I especially liked this book for the more christian elements that were in this book than in the other 2 books.
Though the relationships in this book were more broken and in pieces than in the previous books, they were still just as loyal and just as beautiful.
Even part of the end was hinged on friendships and loyalty. I loved it!
I wouldn't even say there was any romance in this book either, and if it is considered romance it lasted all of half a page.
Title - The Lantern Bearers
Pages - 219


I loved these books! They were all very very good and well written,  and most of all, clean. I would normally take a science fiction or fantasy book over historical fiction, but these books were excellent! I highly recommend them!


Jake said...

I recently read The Shining Company by Rosemary Sutcliff. She's a master at bittersweet fiction. I loved and hated the book at the same time.

Anonymous said...

I saw your review of the books in the Bibliocommons web site. I noticed that very, very seldom books made into movies have any resemblance with the original. I rather watch the movie first then read the book. I did that with The Eagle and despite the enormous differences, I was still able to enjoy the movie! ;-) (PS: The "gotcha" images are almost impossible to read. If it is just to be sure one is not a compute, why not make numers/letters readable?)