In this new story of Roman Britain, the mutilated standard is found again by Flavius, a descendant of Marcus, and his cousin Justin, a young surgeon in the Roman army. It is found at a time when conflicting loyalties, violence, and intrigue are undermining Roman rule in Britain.
Justin and Flavius are accidentally caught up in this power struggle when they discover a plot to overthrow the Emperor. A series of adventures carries them across England and down again to the South, where they become secret agents of Rome. But when the time comes for open revolt, they are ready with a band of loyalists to carry the Eagle of the Ninth into the thick of battle to win new honor for the Eagle and for Rome.
©1957 Rosemary Sutcliff; (P)2000 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Marcus Flavius and Justinius are two of my favorite Sutcliff characters. Both are incredibly likeable and this story of their efforts to protect the Emperor Carausius from a plot to overthrow Roman Britain is an interesting story about the opposing forces that shaped what would eventually become Anglo Saxon Britain. The Silver Branch is set about a hundred years before the fall of the Roman Empire and is one of the best examples of her ability to take what little is known for sure about Ancient Britain and weave it into a realistic story line. Johanna Ward has the perfect voice for narrating Sutcliff's lyrical writing style. Sometimes I hit the rewind just to hear a particularly lovely descriptive passage again. I have also read this book in print and the audio is great because you don't have to figure out how to pronounce some of the ancient words or places like Asklepiodotus or Rutupiae.
This is the second book in Sutcliff's Roman Trilogy - it was OK although a little difficult to follow. I listen as I comute to and from work and that didnt seem to be an optimal way to listen to this one - it might be better on a long drive. The lantern bearers is a much better book. The narration was solid
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