Marcus Flavius Aquila, a young centurion in Roman Britain, is forced into retirement after receiving a wound in his first major engagement against a rebel British tribe. It allows him the freedom to embark upon a dangerous mission to find out what happened to the Ninth Legion, which, years before, disappeared in the savage lands of the Picts. Will he find out what happened to the men, led by his father, who never returned? And will he recover the Eagle, the symbol of Roman dominance and power?
©1954 Rosemary Sutcliff (P)2006 Naxos AudioBooks Ltd.
"Decades later, I can still hear echoes of The Eagle of the Ninth in my head: the chink of mail, the tired beat of the legionaries' feet." (The Independent)
"What a splendid story it is, compulsive reading!" (Junior Bookshelf)
My rating is 3 stars because this is an abridged version and so Sutcliff's lyrical style is lost. She isn't one for fluff, unnecessary plot twists, excess conversation or needless explanatory narrative so the only thing to remove to shorten things up are her beautiful descriptions. The story and characters are up to her usual 5 star standards but after listening to unabridged versions of "The Silver Branch," "The Lantern Bearers," "The Shining Company," and "The Outcast," I knew something was wrong with this audio almost immediately. I should have looked closer because I never would have purchased an abridged version on purpose. Her books are not long enough to need to be abridged to make people read them.
The abridged version strips out everything except action, and leaves us wondering about setting and interior dialogue. Come on, anyone who isn't familiar with the late Ms. Sutcliffe's uncluttered yet evocative prose, or who came to this story after seeing the (shudder) movie which was VERY loosely based on this book, would have little encouragement to try her other books. They just are not long enough in the original to justify this bowdlerized version. That said, if you don't have access to the print version, try this one anyway. Or another of her unabridged books to discover what you are missing.
The characters are not merely words on a page; they are people, with traits and flaws like any other people. The reader is transported back to Roman Britain more surely than in a time machine.
A must read, and a must love.
A basic understanding of the time period would be helpful to the listener. The first chapter was a bit hard for my 10 year old to grasp. After the 1st chapter the story takes off and never slows down. A great story about Rome's struggle to maintain its sprawling empire and one officer's struggle to find meaning in it all.
As soon as I saw this audiobook listed I snapped it up! I had first read the book over 30 years ago and it had a fond place in my memory, therefore I had always planned to read it again. I was delighted to see it listed on Audible and I was not disappointed.
The story is terrific - a real adventure with likeable characters and a real sense of history. The pace of the story is also very pleasing and the addition of some very pleasant music to punctuate the chapters is a nice touch.
This book was originally written for children/young teenagers and I was 11 when I first read it. Now in my 40s, I still found it a great story. And the narration was excellent too!
My favourite Audible download to date!
Although I read this book many years ago I found the audio version spellbinding. It is a great adventure story for any age but an iconic book of heroism for youngsters. As a teacher I read sections of it to classes over the years to encourage them to seek the book out once I returned it to the school library. I used to get wonderful feedback. With some trepidation I choose the audio verson so that I could enjoy having the book read to me on my long journeys. It was beautifully read with the magic of the times recaptured. I frequently found myself sitting in my car in car parks or even outside my own house unable to move until I heard the end of that chapter. I did find it frustrating not being able to call it up chapter by chapter as it appeared to be saved in large chunks which were difficult to navigate.
"A classic brought to life"
This would not have been a usual choice for me but having enjoyed the new film of this book - 'The Eagle' - I thought I would give this a try. So glad I did! Following the adventures of Marcus Aquila, the young Roman centurion who was injured on his first posting as a garrison commander and who then decided to search for eagle standard of his father's missing legion, I became completely absorbed in his quest. As he travels through the wilds north of Hadrian's Wall with his companion Esca, he comes to terms with his own injury and restores his father's good name. Simply written but with lovely evocative descriptions of the countryside, each chapter is separated by atmospheric music which is unusual but works beautifully. Recommend this as a good family listen.
This was an awesome listen. Very entertaining and exciting. I enjoyed it very much. Highly recommended to everyone.
I really enjoyed the book and when I heard that last sentence, I wondered if it was leaving a door open for a sequel seems as if the story was not over?
"The Ninth Eagle"
Accidentally downloaded but decided to read the book and found it very entertaining I thoroughly enjoyed the story and the narration was fantastic
I still have the hardback copy of this book which I bought with my pocket money in the early sixtys plus a couple of other Rosemary Sutcliffe books about the same period. I have enjoyed listening to the audio of this story and will probably loan it to my Grandsons, I hope more of her books are added to the audio list.
"More of an eaglet"
As with another reviewer I suspect that this is aimed more at children than adults. It had little depth or content. Good for kids - but avoid if you are a bit bigger.
This is just an opion and i'm aware most people loved this book but i found it to be quite childish. The narration was stilted and the music annoying. I may have got this wrong and this is ment to be a childrens book but i don't remember seeing anything about sutible age ranges in the synopsis. Anyway if your between 12 and 15 i think you'd love it any older and i'd recomend you try Bernard Cornwell's Arthur Trillodgy
"The Eagle of the Ninth"
Enjoyable listen kept me interested, but a touch too innocent.
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