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Instead of leaving with the last of the Roman legions, Aquila, a young officer, decides that his loyalties lie with Britain, and he eventually joins the forces of the Roman-British leader Ambrosius to fight against the Saxon hordes.
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The action picks up when Rome decides to leave Great Britain. Without Roman "protection", Britain is ripe for invasion. The protagonist of the story, Aquila, a member of the Legion, deserts, and he and his family decide to stay behind. The remainder of the book tells of Aquila's trials and tribulations in repelling the Saxons. I found Aquila not to be a really likeable person, but that is neither here nor there as far as the story goes. "We are the Lantern Bearers, my friend; for us to keep something burning, to carry what light we can forward into the darkness and the wind" This is a book written for YA's. However, teaching YA's, I can tell you that in no way, at least for the current majority, would YA's have an interest in or be able to understand this book's place in history. I enjoyed this book and in the future, on one of my buying "sprees", will look for the other books in this series. 240 pages ( )
  Tess_W | Jan 23, 2024 |
This is the end of the Roman occupation of Britain. The Saxons are threatening and the Romans withdraw the last remaining Legions to protect Rome.
Aquilla is a Cavalry man in the Legion as it is withdrawn back to Rome, only he decides that his future doesn't lie in Rome, it lies in Britain. His father is part of the group that is trying to support Ambrosius against the Saxon and has requested support from Roman legions in France. The go between is a bird catcher who carries a lantern. Aquilla returns to his father's villa in time to be with his family as the Saxons attack. The remainder of the book covers his life from there. It is actually fairly open about the fate of women, what happens to both Flavia is off stage, but implied. There is a fair level of co-incidence, but I suppose there is in every life. Some of the supporting characters are particularly well done, Brother Ninian, for instance, plays a pivotal role and helps, again, make a point about the less glorious side of war. The book ends as there has been a battle that stops the Saxons in their tracks, and the next generation are stepping forward to take on the banner that their parents have carried for so long.
It is quite complex a read and while there are glorious battles, it doesn't shy away from the darker side, while not necessarily showing those in full detail. It also captures something of the divided loyalties that come into play when a people are divided and families take different sides. ( )
  Helenliz | Mar 26, 2023 |
The third book in Rosemary Sutcliff's Roman Britain series begins with Rome leaving Britain forever. One many, unable to leave his family behind, stays only to see disaster that changes his life forever. Another rousing read from Sutcliff where good eventually triumphs over evil. The main character of this one--Aquila--is a brooding man bent on vengeance. ( )
  witchyrichy | Jan 11, 2023 |
unacceptable - Christ
fair - Michael
  hcs_admin | Aug 15, 2022 |
I've long been curious about Rosemary Sutcliff’s novels, but I don’t think I’d ever read one before The Lantern Bearers. I am a reader who loves excellent writing that doesn’t interfere with the flow of a story. I could not have asked anything more of this book. The characters are well drawn and I care very much what happens to them. I am pulled into the story but not hurled into it. I appreciate a writer with the confidence to allow me to really see where I am, where my characters are, to live and breathe with them, the quiet moments as well as the ferocious ones, to see what is different in their world and what I recognise from my own. This book follows one individual through many difficult years, through trauma and heartbreak, determination and loyalty, and an unvoiced wrestling with himself and how he is in the world.

When I learned that the author had been isolated through her childhood, enduring the crippling pain of her disability, it resonated with what I knew of the main character here. Aquila is not Rosemary, but his distance from the world around him takes it’s truthfulness from her own.

I didn’t expect to like this book, really. I am not interested in English history or British battles. But I have heard her name too many times not to give it a chance.

I loved every word and will certainly read more. ( )
  thesmellofbooks | Dec 3, 2021 |
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Keeping, CharlesIlustradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Lively, PenelopeIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Pisarev, RomanIlustradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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