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Publisher's Summary

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.

Critic Reviews

"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)

What listeners say about The Eagle of the Ninth

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Give it to us unabridged!

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.

46 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Give us the Unabridged version, please

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.

30 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Phenomenal!!!

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.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I remember this from my childhood

love it, the only criticism is the music between chapters but a good book nonetheless.

1 person found this helpful

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Mixed

i have lived Rosemary Sutcliffe for many many years and thought the narrator did a good job but what is with the music? Found it totally incongruous with the telling of the,story and very disruptive to the flow.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent Living Book

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.

1 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Specifically this version

I got this audio version for my kids to listen to while also following along in their physical books, but this version skips whole lines and sometimes paragraphs of texts. They only listened to a few chapters so this isn't a review of the book itself, but rather this version of the audio.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Any abridged book sucks

The unabridged book is much better, meanwhile this disappointing pile of random words exists.
it cut two thirds of the book out going from a cozy dream to halfway through a battle. please fix this!

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Story Ruined

The music was distracting and disrupted the flow of the story. It ruined an otherwise good book.



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Well done

Listening to this audio tape has been very nice. having a daughter that lives in the UK and visiting her several times. England has a fascinating history, the Roman time after ad 43 was miraculous in all the things that the Romans accomplished. the tape is very well done and the story was streamlined and very understandable. Market Harborough has a museum of the finest quality that include a lot of the Roman artifacts amazing hoard and discoveries were made there. thank you so much

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • barbara
  • 06-27-11

Revisited

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.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jean
  • 05-03-11

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.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Paula
  • 12-17-06

Totally terrific!

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!

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • subangi+0404conepod
  • 04-14-11

Awesome

This was an awesome listen. Very entertaining and exciting. I enjoyed it very much. Highly recommended to everyone.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • B J Waters
  • 04-02-11

from Brian

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?

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Stephen
  • 04-02-11

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

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 04-01-11

golden oldie

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.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Emma Hill
  • 03-18-21

Brilliant. Excellent Listen

Loved the movie but never got chance to read the book.. loved listening to the story.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Eamon Honan
  • 05-22-19

A classic

A wonderful book and I enjoyed it as a man just as much as I loved it as a boy. The story is pacy, the characters, both protagonists and antagonists, are real breathing people. There are no cartoon villains here. The ancient world sings through every line and I could smell the woodsmoke and see the Roman camps and British villages.

Fantastic.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-07-19

young people's fiction

This is one of the best novels ever written for young people.. The final chapters with escape to safety behind the Wall and return south are full of suspense and 'cliff-hanger' moments. I first read this book soon after it was first published when I was a teacher and have read all Rosemary Sutcliffe's books. She had a great gift for re-creating a world so distant we have lost all connection with it. The only jarring note to me was the music at the chapter endings. Otherwise this was an enthralling and riveting story.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Alison
  • 02-10-20

Brilliant story, wonderfully written and narrated.

Thoroughly recommended. enjoyable, gripping, good use of sound and superb narration. a book for every age group.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sarah
  • 08-09-19

Well read

A great reader for a great story. Much enjoyed by the entire family (2 years to 45)