Review: The Eagle of the Ninth

The Eagle of the Ninth
The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Classic historical fiction

At the age of eight, I read Eagle of the Ninth, my first encounter with historical fiction. I became hooked. Since then, I have been read Nigel Tranter, John Prebble, Conn Igguden, Simon Scarrow, Ruth Downie, and many others.

Forty-four years later, re-reading this classic is no less exciting for me. My view is that it should be compulsory reading in primary school as it really does bring Roman Britain to life. It is an exciting adventure that could possibly have been reality. It is certainly tinged with historic fact.

This book had an amazing positive effect on my life in that it gave me an enormous appetite for books, not just historical fiction. However, it did have a slightly negative effect on my life. I was always in trouble with my history teachers for doubting what they told me. After all, when they were teaching me current affairs, I was guided not to believe everything that the papers say. My challenge was always that the contemporary commentators, or historians, that they expected me to believe were no less than the journalists of their time. Why couldn’t the historical fiction of which I was so fond be nearer to the truth than their history text books?

Eagle of the Ninth is a fantastic read. Whatever your age, if you haven’t read this book already, read it now!

View all my reviews


About Lance Greenfield

Blog: email: I published my debut novel in December 2014: Eleven Miles. My second novel went live in February 2016: Knitting Can Walk!
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5 Responses to Review: The Eagle of the Ninth

  1. scskillman says:

    This is a very interesting point about history/historical fiction. It’s true that we cannot necessarily trust the accounts of those who recorded events at the time, since their accuracy always needs to be tested, if possible from independent sources. The best historical biographies I’ve read (by writers like Eric Ives/Helen Castor/Alison Weir) always take care to state the circumstantial evidence which justifies us in either believing or suspecting contemporary accounts.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Any book that gets a person to examine the information they’re being fed is a good book, in my opinion and any book that can help produce a voracious reader is worth every penny spent! I haven’t run into this book before but I’m going to buy it for myself and then let my 10 year old grandson read it. Getting him to read is like pulling teeth! I’m hoping it will have the same effect on him as it did on you, Lance!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good luck with that. At that age, I liked anything with some humour. So I loved Spike Milligan’s books: Puckoon, Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall, and so on.

      I was a little younger when I lapped up Stig of the Dump by Clive King.

      But a really great book that I more recently discovered was Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore.

      Feed him fun!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. davidprosser says:

    All my kind of books. Conn Iggulden is an especially favourite author.

    Liked by 1 person

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