The Romans conquered Gaul (modern France and Belgium) in seven years but it took them seventy-seven years to incorporate two thirds of Britain into the empire. One reason it took so long is the revolt that cost seventy thousand lives, destroyed three major cities and required roughly eight thousand additional troops to make up losses and restore some semblance of order.
The shock was intensified by learning that such a humiliation of Roman might had occurred at the hands of a woman. How could such things happen to the world’s only superpower?
Seventeen years after the Romans invaded Britain, two figures stepped onto history´s stage to join in mortal combat. One was Suetonius Paulinus, Rome´s toughest general and the fifth governor of Britain. The other was a royal woman named Boudicca.
Her kingdom dissolved on the death of her husband, her daughters raped and herself flogged in order to cow the Britons, Queen Boudicca gathered her armies and attacked. In a sweep that would have pleased General Patton, she annihilated a legion, destroyed Colchester, London and St Albans and threw the entire occupation of Britain into jeopardy. Then she faced the brutal Paulinus in a final battle and was defeated. Was she outclassed or betrayed?
To answer this, Boudicca’s trail is followed as she develops from a young warrior into an immortal Queen-general. As she grows into the role of Arviragus (Commander) of the British armies, she has to deal not only with Roman invaders but also with the treacherous ambitions of her rival, sexy Queen Cartimandua, who loves to scramble men’s brains and aims to get control of Rome’s legions by seducing Rome’s governors. She also has to deal with another invasion by Christian missionaries who spread the disruptive message of peace and love among the armies of both sides.
Elsa, the Christian healer whom Boudicca loves, fights her own war against religious hypocrisy, while the evil Druidess Morfudd and her servant the murderous Regan, scheme to gain control over the rival churches being formed to corral Christian converts.
As for the men in her life, the elderly Prasu is her legal husband but her true lover is the erratic and hot-tempered Venutius who loves Boudicca but marries Cartimandua and is later discarded by Cartimandua in favor of his servant Velocatus. Owain is a high-ranking Druid who falls victim to Morfudd’s sexual wiles, tries to dragoon the Christians into fighting a holy war against the Romans and offers advice to Paul during a visit to Corinth. Ingenius is a brilliant artisan who tries to become rich by aligning himself with Seneca and Procurator Catus, finally redeeming himself by developing the chariots that break up the Roman legions.
Atak, an ex Roman auxiliary commander is Boudicca´s faithful adviser, who stays with her to the bitter end even though his most critical advice - not to ally herself with Cartimandua in the final battle - is ignored.
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by John Daniels
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by John Daniels
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by on September 27, 2016
- Xlibris, September 2001
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