Dreaming the Eagle
By Manda Scott
(Dell, Hardcover, 9780385336703, 480pp.)
Publication Date: May 27, 2003
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Dreaming the Eagle is the first part of the gloriously imagined epic trilogy of the life of Boudica.
Boudica means Bringer of Victory (from the early Celtic word “boudeg”). She is the last defender of the Celtic culture in Britain; the only woman openly to lead her warriors into battle and to stand successfully against the might of Imperial Rome -- and triumph.
It is 33 AD and eleven-year-old Breaca (later named Boudica), the red-haired daughter of one of the leaders of the Eceni tribe, is on the cusp between girl and womanhood. She longs to be a Dreamer, a mystical leader who can foretell the future, but having killed the man who has attacked and killed her mother, she has proven herself a warrior. Dreaming the Eagle is also the story of the two men Boudica loves most: Caradoc, outstanding warrior and inspirational leader; and Bàn, her half-brother, who longs to be a warrior, though he is manifestly a Dreamer, possibly the finest in his tribe’s history. Bàn becomes the Druid whose eventual return to the Celts is Boudica’s salvation.
Dreaming the Eagle is full of brilliantly realised, luminous scenes as the narrative sweeps effortlessly from the epic -- where battle scenes are huge, bloody, and action-packed -- to the intimate. Manda Scott plunges us into the unforgettable world of tribal Britain in the years before the Roman invasion: a world of druids and dreamers and the magic of the gods where the natural world is as much a character as any of the people who live within it, a world of warriors who fight for honour as much as victory, a world of passion, courage and spectacular heroism pitched against overwhelming odds.
Dreaming the Eagle stunningly recreates the roots of a story so powerful its impact has lasted through the ages.
“What’s amazing to me about this tale of Boudica, Britain’s legendary female warrior, is the pitch-perfect fluency with which Manda Scott brings it forth . . . like an eyewitness recounting real events that she saw and participated in. Her reimagining of this age, when the tribes of Britain clashed with the legions of Rome, includes interior monologues, multiple points of view, dreams, visions, ecstasies, and interlocutions with the dead, all of it utterly convincing and compelling. . . . A stunning feat of the imagination and an absolute must-read for lovers of historical fiction.”
-- Steven Pressfield, author of Tides of War and Gates of Fire
"A masterpiece of historical fiction, Scott's richly detailed novel brilliantly captures the driven, passionate soul of the Celts. The lyric prose captivates, the characters ensnare. In Scott's talented hands, the legendary Celtic queen Boudica breathes, lives, and absolutely rivets."
--Karen Marie Moning, author of The Dark Highlander
"Manda Scott has created a book to stir the hearts & souls."
--Leslie Forbes, bestselling author of Fish, Blood & Bone
"Hailed as the new Mary Renault...A truly remarkable story full of wonderful atmosphere...Intensely exciting, a tale of passion, courage and heroism against huge odds, which is intensely moving."
“Dreaming the Eagle is a powerful novel about Boudica, one of the most intriguing and mysterious women in history. Scott as done her research, and the mix of real images and her imagination has created a completely believable world. Her characters are so true to life that they all but jump off the page, and the story is alive with the love, deceit, wisdom and heroics of humanity. Read it and enjoy!”
--Jean M. Auel, nationally bestselling author of The Shelters of Stone