cover image Boudica: Dreaming the Hound

Boudica: Dreaming the Hound

Manda Scott, . . Delacorte Spectra, $23 (415pp) ISBN 978-0-385-33672-7

Scott returns to Roman Britannia for the third of four planned installments in her Boudica saga (Boudica: Dreaming the Eagle ; Boudica: Dreaming the Bull ). The native warrior Breaca of the Eceni tribe—called Boudica, "Bringer of Victory," for her valiant but failed attempt to repel the first century A.D. Roman invasion of Britannia—has fled in defeat with her followers to the west of the country to continue their resistance. After a tribal elder and dreamer who receives visions from the gods unsuccessfully tries to recruit Boudica's half-brother Valerius, who earlier betrayed the Eceni to the Romans, the dreamer challenges her to go east to rally her people against Rome. Breaca agrees, only to fall into the ruthless hands of the emperor's procurator for taxes. He has her flogged and her young daughters raped, and would have crucified them except for the intervention of her Valerius. Scott has teased a few facts from the ancient record to create an absorbing story from history and myth. Readers new to the Boudica saga may find the genealogy complicated and the going slow at first, but they will be rewarded with a heroic story of a rebellious warrior queen. (Jan. 31)