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Boudica: Dreaming The Bull


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About the Author

is a veterinary surgeon, writer and climber. Born and educated in Scotland, she now lives in Suffolk with two lurchers and too many cats. Known primarily as a crime writer, her first novel, Hen's Teeth was shortlisted for the Orange Prize. Her subsequent novels are Night Mares, Stronger than Death and No Good Deed, for which she was hailed by the Times as 'one of Britain's most important crime writers'. Dreaming the Eagle, the first book in the Boudica series, is also available in Bantam paperback


The second book in Scott's compelling, four-part Boudica series (following Dreaming the Eagle) continues the story of the legendary Celtic warrior queen. Roman forces under Tribune Scapula will commit any atrocity to quell the uprising of the native Britons; in the thick of the action is fierce cavalryman Julius Valerius, once known as B n and brother of Breaca. (Boudica, which means "bringer of victory," is Breaca's warrior name.) Valerius has now dedicated himself to the Roman deity Mithras, but ghosts from his past continually drown out the voice of the invaders' warrior god. Meanwhile, Breaca fights the dreaded Roman invaders alongside her beloved Caradoc. Their young son, Cunomar, dreams of the day when he might kill his first Roman soldier as events threaten to destroy their family. Scott thankfully avoids the trap of a weak middle book by continuing to interlace various character-driven storylines and build dramatic tension. Her denouement closes some plot elements while leaving others achingly unresolved. As with the first book, this is highly recommended for all public libraries.-Laurel Bliss, Princeton Univ. Lib., NJ Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Scott continues her saga of the Celtic warrior queen Boudica (whose true name is Breaca) in this second installment of a planned four-part series. Emperor Claudius is in the midst of his brutal attempt to master Britain and has added to his legions Breaca's half-brother Ban, who believes his sister and all his family are dead, killed by the treacherous brother of Breaca's lover, Caradoc. Ban, now called Julius Valerius, attempts to forget his past and his gods in the service of Rome and the bull-slaying god, Mithras, but fails to quite complete the process, though he believes he is totally bound to his new lords. Meanwhile, Breaca and Caradoc continue to harry the Roman invaders, and the level of savagery rises dramatically. Will Ban be saved from his own mistakes or will he remain faithful to his new allegiances and lose his true self forever? Scott gives a matter-of-fact account of the lifestyle, religion and politics of the ancient Britons, successfully creating an involving and involved world. But finely and lyrically written as it is, the novel doesn't stand alone well; this won't be a problem for those who read the first book (Dreaming the Eagle), but newcomers may be disappointed to learn that Boudica is a secondary character here. Despite its unevenness, this is a deeply emotional and affecting work that should help build Scott's audience. Agent, Jane Judd. (Apr. 27) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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