WARRIOR QUEEN by James Sinclair


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The galloping tragedy, sweetly told, of Boadicea, warrior-queen of ancient Britain, and her beloved general Canis, written without ""the obsessive pro-Romanism common to many classical scholars."" The Romans, in fact, except for Julian Osiris and his bratty sister Lydia, are Ugly-Americans to a man; the Britons (Iceni) are noble savages right out of the forest of Arden. Especially noble is Boadicea, who utters not a sound when she is scourged to ribbons by the whip of the Roman governor--but has plenty of sharp-tongued backchat for Canis, since she loves him desperately but can say nothing until her husband has been dead a year and a day. Canis loves her in return, but suspects nothing of her feelings, so he gets drawn into various kinds of compromising relations with Boadicea's daughter Cea--not to mention his companion, warrior-maid Cerdwa, who repeatedly begs him not to let her die a virgin. Cams' knowledge of Roman military tactics enables Boadicea's army of ""40,000 fighting Britons"" to break through the conqueror's phalanxes to repeated victories--until the queen, overcome by jealousy for Calais, rejects his advice and tells her whole army to charge the Romans head-on. The British go down to defeat and slavery, but Canis survives to declare his love and even love again. A failed resistance movement, colorful barbarians, a historical Wonder Woman, passionate encounters, and battles galore--grand-scale fun and even, occasionally, affecting.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1978
Publisher: St. Martin's