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Author: Joann Smith
Genre: Historical Fiction
Reviewed by Kevin R. Tipple

572This period novel opens in the year 48 A.D. in the Iceni Territory of Southeast Britain. Roman forces that had come in the past ostensibly to help protect the Iceni have become occupiers and as such are having to deal with rebellion from a people whose culture and life they do not understand and fear. For Boudicca, daughter of King Melcut, the knowledge that her beloved Tallas was involved and a key member of the rebellion is quite a shock. The rebellion, a failure before it started has been crushed and now before the entire village, including Boudicca and her father, Tallas is brutally executed.

Beyond killing Tallas, the Roman Governor of Britain, Ostorius Scapula, extracts a heavy price. All weapons will be confiscated, the tributes will be raised, all Iceni will live in the village where they can be watched and controlled, and a new King will be named. Unable to prevent a rebellion that he didn't know about and sure that his daughter betrayed him, King Melcut will be replaced by a new King. The new King will be King in name only and one that Rome finds more suitable. Boudicca is devastated over the loss of Tallas, the fact that she did not know of the rebellion, her father's pain and misguided belief in regards to her actions, and full of anger toward Rome and their ways, which are so contrary to the teachings of her people.

Her anger and depression grow worse as days pass and she is forced to accept a loveless marriage to Prasutagus, the new King. Her father is powerless to prevent the marriage that is insisted on by Rome, which is convinced in her complicity in the rebellion. The marriage, which eventually grows into a loving relationship sets into motion a series of painful events that will ultimately cause Queen Boudicca to do exactly what Rome did not want-lead an organized rebellion against Roman forces with great consequences for both sides.

Based on the author's research in the Celtic history of Great Britain, this novel recounts events from her perspective. Interesting and intriguing with a strong element of the inevitable when clashing with superior forces, this novel provides a well-rounded look at what life was like at the time. In so doing, the author gives a vision of what life must have been like for this resilient, yet tragic, figure in history.


July 11, 2004 in Historical Fiction | Permalink


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