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Ratings and Book Reviews (3 29 star ratings
3 reviews
)

Overall rating

4.2 out of 5
29
5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star
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  • 5 person found this review helpful

    5 people found this review helpful

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    Gorgeous, gutting, and a little gruesome

    If you've ever harbored the suspicion or opinion that historical fiction is a genre just of corsets, heaving bodies, and royal bedhopping, this book will change your opinion. If you know how rich, violent, and disturbing historical fiction can be, this book will make you cackle with delight. Set in 60 AD, this episodic novel follows the rebellion of Boudica and the native peoples of the UK against the Romans. Despite the fact that this book is penned by seven authors -- each chapter follows a different point of view -- this book has a cohesive feel, and the absolutely gutting story of Boudica, her daughters, and the Romans fighting against her are presented in raw, hard, and unapologetic prose. I loved this book for all the reasons I adore historical fiction: it illuminated a foreign era for me and each author created a vibrant human I couldn't help but relate to (even if I didn't want to!). The arc of the story is chronological, but the story is pushed along by each new character. Previous characters aren't forgotten, but each -- whether Briton or Roman -- are articulated so well, I actually found my loyalties waffling! (And I say this as an unabashed Boudica fangirl!) The participating authors are fabulous, and the writing here is top notch. There's enormous emotion, cinematic battles, and darkly hilarious moments to punctuate the gut-punching sorrow. The characters are deliciously wide ranging -- from queens to servant girl, Druid priest to lowly Roman soldier -- and I loved that I found myself viewing this conflict from 360 degrees. The brutality of this campaign is presented unapologetic detail, which meant I was gasping, wincing, and squinting my eyes closed more than once. It very nearly verged on too gruesome for me but I appreciated that -- there's nothing whitewashed about war in this era. As I said, the characters are so fully realized that each time I thought -- oh, I'm for the Britons -- I'd find myself melting in sympathy toward the Romans. (Well, maybe not sympathy, but you know...) This is a fav read for 2015!
  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    Compelling story.

    I found it so good that I couldn't put this book down. I just had to know what was coming in the next chapter. It gave me a view of Roman conquest of Britain & the fight of the celts led by Boudica that I had never considered.
  • 0 person found this review helpful

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    Could have been better

    Probably a 3.5 out of 5. The first half, more than half, was simply too long; a lot of good in it, but dragged out so that it felt like work rather than pleasure. Most of the second half was pretty good. The stand outs were probably the Part Six (The Warrior) by Kate Quinn and Part Five (The Son), by S.J.A. Turney. I think the story was surprisingly well structured and told. The parts were well chosen to progress the story, and the characters, both real and imagined were interesting and well portrayed. It was good, it just could have been better if it was a tighter.
29

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