Dreaming the Serpent-Spear

Manda Scott, Author . Delta $14 (464p) ISBN 978-0-385-33835-6

Scott concludes her popular Boudica series with a haunting tale of healing and war set in the summer of A.D. 60 in Roman-occupied Britannia, where the native tribes have raised a 5,000-strong war party for a "war of liberation." But their leader, Breaca of the Eceni—also known as Boudica, the Warrior Queen—is still recovering from a savage flogging she received from the Romans, and from her daughter Graine's gang rape by legionaries that she faults herself for not preventing. Breaca laments that she's "lost her taste for war," but agrees to lead the rebellion. When the Roman governor sends two legions to assault the Eceni bastion of Mona, Breaca ambushes and destroys the legion left behind before burning Camulodunum, Rome's capital in Britannia. With the east in rebellion, the Romans abandon the assault on Mona and march east for a decisive showdown that will determine Britannia's future. There's less suspense than might be imagined since history records the outcome of the Boudica's rebellion, but the Boudica legend—as opposed to the historical record—allows Scott enough poetic license to keep readers intrigued to the sanguinary end. Boudica fans will be heartened to know that Scott is considering a prequel. (May)

Reviewed on: 02/19/2007
Release date: 05/01/2007
Genre: Fiction
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