It may be set in a time of war, but that is not what this story is about.


The Eagle of the Ninth takes place in Britain during the time of the Roman Empire. Marcus is a Roman centurion on a mission to find out what happened to the Ninth, a legion of men who mysteriously disappeared. His father commanded the Ninth, and Marcus is intent on recovering the golden eagle, the symbol of the Ninth. Because he was wounded in battle, has ben dismissed from the army. With his discharge, his ability to continue his quest is limited. So he pretends to be an eye doctor so he can travel through the empire and get access to military men. Marcus travels with Esca, his freed man, staro to Caledonia, modern-day Scotland. While traveling, Marcus meets Guern the Hunter, who tells him about the battle and where the eagle is being held. They are going to have to steal the eagle once they find it ... is it worth the risk?

BTSYA / Teen Reader (14):
The book was a very intriguing, well-written read that kept me hooked all the way through. The story is wll paced and every scene has a purpose. I never felt bored. I especially liked the retreat at the end. The author describes each and every detail carefully, giving me a vivid image for each scene. However, some sentences were unnecessarily long, and this sometimes made it hard to understand what was going on.

This is a book that is great to read on your own time. I feel like it would be an enjoyable read for a road trip or whenever you have the time. It would be a great book to give as a gift. I think that this book would be good for kids 12 years old or older. Most kids under that age wouldn’t understand what the author was saying.

Parent Perspective:
We read this with our rising sixth grader and found it a compelling, enjoyable story. Marcus and Esca are well-developed, realistic characters who push readers to think about relationships. We learned a lot and even did some extra research after realizing that the story was built around what were believed to be historical facts.

Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Excellent pacing, vivid detail, and plenty of suspense keep readers turning the pages in this historical fiction novel set in the 2nd Century.

Content Awareness Factors:

None, though this is about the military and war.

Type of Book:
This is the first in an historical fiction trilogy set in the 2nd Century during the time of the Ancient Roman Empire
Educational Themes:

The story presents a piece of history not well known in the US. Since being published in 1954, researchers have learned a lot more about the Ninth Legion and the gold eagle. Readers may be intrigued to see how the author created the story (from two separate historical events) and how her work prompted archaeologists to study more to prove/disprove her therories.

Reading Level:
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
12 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
10 and Up
Age of child:
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer age: 14
Purchase Recommendation:
Borrow. The story is fascinating, but unless your readers are into military history, this isn't a book you'll re-read.

Title Eagle of the Ninth

The Roman Britain Trilogy, Book 1

Author Rosemary Sutcliff
Publisher Square Fish Books, Imprint Macmillan Children's Publishing Group © 2010
ISBN 9780312644291
Material Paperback
Cost $10.99
Genres Adventure, Historical Fiction
be the star you are
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