DREAMING THE BULL: A Novel of Boudica, the Warrior Queen

Manda Scott, Author . Delacorte $25 (368p) ISBN 978-0-385-33671-0

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 Bán, who believes his sister and all his family are dead, killed by the treacherous brother of Breaca's lover, Caradoc. Bán, 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 Bán 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)

Reviewed on: 03/29/2004
Release date: 04/01/2004
Genre: Fiction
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