The Roman province of Britannia, 292 AD Justin is an introverted, awkward young military surgeon. Justin is immediately befriended by a red-headed soldier named Flaviuswho turns out to be his cousin, Marcellus Flavius Aquila, direct descendant of Marcus from The Eagle of the Ninth. Its up to these two, their dignified great-aunt Honoria, Evicatos, a Hibernian jester, an idealistic Centurion, a fussy little man and the boy he rescued from slavery, a washed-up former gladiator, and a small group of elderly farmhands to restore order in Britannia Content Advisory Violence: The penultimate chapters are consumed by battle. A character who witnessed his adopted father figure die says that the mans enemies cut him down like a badger. This book is less adventurous and more warlike than its predecessor, The Eagle of the Ninth, but its characters are just as lovable, its familial relationships and friendships are just as strong, its mysteries are just as alluring, and its inner sense of moral integrity cannot be argued with.
IT WAS A DANG GOOD BOOK. IT WAS A DANG GOOD BOOK. The characters: - Justin. Oh, Justin. Smol and anxious, low of self-esteem; and let me tell you, I RELATE HARDCORE. (Roman salute, obviously, 'cause this is a Roman book. Justin, so slow and diffident, but with courage like a roaring lion's when its cubs are threatened--and the Flower Girl, pale and delicate and yet strong, a blossoming branch that will bend but will not break.
It's very noticeable, after reading a few of Rosemary Sutcliff's books in close succession, how her protagonists are never the 'strong' ones. In The Eagle Of The Ninth, the protagonist is lame in one leg because of an injury, and therefore struggles with chronic pain despite the fact it is almost healed. And here, the protagonist is an anxious, sickly surgeon (he wasn't healthy enough to be a soldier) with a stutter that gets worse when he's nervous. And it also makes sense, reading the author bio of Sutcliff at the end of the novel which highlights the fact she was in a wheelchair for most of her life, affected by Still's disease.
Flavius and Justin, especially, but also each of their friends - from strange little Cullen to tall and fabulous Evicatos of the Spear, from the great little Emperor to the inimitable Aunt Honoria. I love Flavius and Justin's character qualities - their incredible strength, goodness, commitment, loyalty, sense of duty, kindness, leadership, and courage. I love this book's depiction of courage throughout, and it's one of my many favorite things about the characters and themes of The Silver Branch. Paulinus likes comfort and is timid and not at all adventurous, yet he risks mortal danger daily to fight for what he believes is right and save countless lives. Justin and Flavius know the danger, like Paulinus, and they at first do not want to join him in this task, but they can't help it in the end - their goodness and sense of justice win over their fear. They risk their lives to twice warn the emperor, to do Paulinus's work, and to fight in desperate battle to save the townspeople, the province, and countless individuals. Then, after seeing the horrific danger first-hand, he makes the same courageous choice as Justin and Flavius - because he feels what they're doing is right and good. To me, thought they are fictional, they represent real people throughout history and the world who have risked their lives to faithfully fight for what is right and true in the face of great danger and evil. I love that Justin has an eye for small but significant details about people, places, and events. I love that this book includes such wonderful female characters. Aunt Honoria is the most prominent and wonderful woman in this book, and she shines gloriously beside Flavius and Justin throughout. I highly, highly recommend The Silver Branch to all readers of historical or adventure - and to any reader of any genre who loves compelling characters, suspenseful plots, and deep and beautiful writing.
Srebrna grana je vrlo solidan istorijski roman za decu koji se bavi onim istorijskim trenutkom kad se Rimsko carstvo ve malo ljulja ali jo nije poelo sasvim da se raspada (tako, trei vek). Na kraju poglavlja istorijska beleka o Karausiju preko celog praznog prostora, sitno ispisanih pola strane :) Razumem da to drugima smeta, meni je bilo drago i simpatino i sve vreme sam imala utisak da mi preko ramena knjigu ita neko poput mog razrednog (istoriara, normalno) iz gimnazije :)
The books are stand-alone action stories, but when you fall in love with an author, her plot and characters, you don't want to waste any time in finding out what happens next; even if it is several generations later. *Note: I listened to the audio version of this book so this Cleanliness Report is not as thoroughly detailed as other reports are. These reports give a complete break-down of everything in the book, so you'll know just how clean it is or isn't.
Rosemary Sutcliff was a British novelist, best known as a writer of highly acclaimed historical fiction. Although primarily a children's author, the quality and depth of her writing also appeals to adults, she herself once commenting that she wrote "for children of all ages from nine to ninety." Born in West Clandon, Surrey, Sutcliff spent her early youth in Malta and other naval bases where her father was stationed as a naval officer. She wrote incessantly throughout her life, and was still writing on the morning of her death.