Monday 3 September 2018

Dreaming the Bull

Finished August 20
Dreaming the Bull by Manda Scott

This is the second book in a series, but I haven't read the others. It is a story around the Boudica, a woman warrior who led a long war against the Romans who were settling in Britain. She is the Bringer of Victory and her role is now taken by Breaca, a woman of strong resolve. The Boudica is part of the tribe of Eceni, and this book begins in A.D. 47. The main Roman character is a decurion, an officer in the auxiliary cavalry, named Julius Valerius. He was born an Eceni, but an incident in his youth has hardened his heart against his own people. The Romans are trying to disarm their enemy as a measure of defence, and this means destroying weapons that have been handed down through generations. As the man in charge of this action, Julius is hated by the Eceni. The Governor of Britannia is Scapula, and he is also hated by the tribes.
As the book begins, Julius meets the Roman Longinus Sdapeze, and grows close to him.
The Eceni are based on the holy island of Mona. One of the leading warriors is Caradoc, lover of Breaca, and father to the young boy Cunomar, son of Breaca. Caradoc is also the father of Cygfa, a young woman who is taking her first battle as a warrior. Her mother is Cwmfen, another strong female warrior. Breaca is heavily pregnant as the battle begins, and so is unable to join in. She sends her son Cunomar under the protection of Dubornos and her beloved hound Hail.
The Emperor Claudius is nearing the end of his reign, and is highly superstitious. When the battle goes wrong, and some of the leading warriors become prisoners of Rome, it is this superstitious nature, and the intercession of the royal physician Xenophon, that help to keep them alive.
I enjoyed this tale, and am now interested in reading other books in the series.

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