Ancient Britain was home to the oldest, meanest, girl-with-an-attitude of all time--the Iceni warrior Queen Boudicca and it is into this world that the author has woven her story so well and with such dramatic effect.
Victoria is a 16-year-old girl with big identity problems. Born to a mother from one of Britain's indigenous tribes, but living under the roof of her Roman stepfather and among the trappings of Roman civilisation and occupation, Victoria does not find life easy. Instinctively tough, and handy with a sword, her life nosedives for the first time when she is promised in marriage to an ugly and cruel Roman merchant of her step dad's choosing--mainly for profit and not love, of course. Rescued from this fate by her Iceni uncle, she moves far away to begin another kind of life in the flat wilds of Eastern Britain.
Sadly, Victoria soon discovers that she has swapped one kind of confusion for another and her new existence is no less arduous. Caught up in Boudicca's revolt against Roman oppression, she must fight alongside her new compatriots as they fight for independence from effective slavery. Unfortunately, her loyalty is tested to the limits when she is torn between saving her family in London or fighting alongside her new friends.
Hendry's contemporary style gives this historical action story a great degree of readability and authorial panache. Her central character is strong and resolute, facing real hardships and authentic questions of faith in her own ability and will to survive. Sometimes brutal and bloody, the narrative is nevertheless enthralling and exciting to read. Suitable for readers aged 12 and over. --John McLay
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