Dreaming the Bull by MC Scott
The second of Manda Scott's Boudica trilogy opens with the somewhat older Breaca (known as `The Boudica', Bringer of Victory) ambushing Romans in modern Wales. Removed from the Eceni, now of Mona, she has a son and a husband, Caradoc whilst on the other side of Britain, Ban, now firmly known as Julius Valerius, a duplicareus, is aiding Corvus in planning how they will defeat the Britons. Valerius has lost his powers as an Eceni and now is subservient to Mithras Sol.
Over the first hundred pages we follow Julius as he sweeps into the Silures territory in Rome's bid to disarm the tribes. One by one they find the blades of the Britons and destroy them, best epitomised when he locates Casselliovanus' sword and gives it to his new friend, the Thracian master of the Horse, Longinus Szvede. Together, under the guide of the Prefect Regulus they become the scourge of the Britons and the focus of the hatred of Breaca, Caradoc, Durogenes et al. After breaking out of one ‘salmon trap’ laid by the Eceni, after Corvus nearly died and after Longinus and Julius also suffer injuries it culminates in Cunomar, Caradoc, Cygfa and Durogenes capture by Julius and removal to Rome for the Britannia Triumph.
Whilst there Caradoc manages to delay their executions by offering to prevent the Dreamers from killing the superstitious Claudius from afar in return for their lives and earns a temporary respite. This denied it is only during the Triumph itself where he challenges the emperor that he manages to secure all their lives in return for Claudius' own safety. During this period what is of more import is Caradoc's realisation that Julius is in fact the not-dead Ban and all the enormity that comes with that. Julius states his belief in Aminios' lies to Caradoc's frustrations though his own struggle with the inner voices of the Dreamers shows that he must eventually weaken to the truth.
On Claudius' death, they are freed and taken by Julius to freedom, though hotly pursued by the representatives of the newly elected Nero. After Caradoc is left alive but on the Italian shore the remainder return to Breaca and the inevitable hostile reunion as Ban and his sister meet again and she realises who he is. It ends with her sending him to Hibernia.
This second effort by Scott is much… much better than the first. Gone is the heavy insinuation that Celtic Britain was dominated by totem spirituality and more focus is on providing a tautly narrated story at the end of the invading Romans and the struggle to stop them by the British. The characters are more rooted in reality and likeable, their actions more in tune with their ages. Rome factors far more heavily in this and whilst there is a lack of actual scenery in Rome, the narration of the relationships during this time means it is not overly missed. Ban/Julius' inner struggle is more plausible and whilst you want him to return to his heritage, you suspect that complete acceptance of what he has done and how much he has betrayed his own people would cause an immediate breakdown. It'll be interesting to see how Scott resolves that dilemma in the next installments. One minor annoyance is the continued insistence by Scott on calling the Druids, `Dreamers', but it is not overly important.
I stated that first installment from Scott was easily put down, that it lacks any sort of gripping edge. Not so this one. It's not quite a one sitting read but it's close and certainly ensures I will look for eagerly for the third installment.
A major improvement.
This Dreaming the Bull book review was written by travelswithacanadian
All reviews for: Boudica
Dreaming the Eagle
In AD 60, Boudica, war leader of the Eceni, led her people in a final bloody revolt against the occupying armies of Rome. It was the culmination of nearly twenty years of r...
Dreaming the Bull
In AD 60, Boudica, war leader of the Eceni, led her people in a final bloody revolt against the occupying armies of Rome - the culmination of nearly twenty years of resista...
Boudica: Dreaming the Hound
To the Eceni tribe of Britannia, nature is the ultimate god, and warriors are joined in battle by the voices and spirits of their ancestors. But the proud Eceni are running...
Dreaming the Serpent Spear
AD 60: The flame of rebellion that has been smouldering for twenty years of Roman occupation has flared into a conflagration that will consume the land and all who live in ...
Have you read Dreaming the Bull?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
Dreaming the Bull reader reviews
8/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
Death in St James's Park
Five years after Charles II's triumphant return to London there is growing mistrust of his extravagant court and of corruption among his officials - and when a cart lad...
Mystery in the Minster
In 1358 the fledging college of Michaelhouse in Cambridge is in need of extra funds. A legacy from the Archbishop of York of a parish close to that city promises a welcome ...
It is 1866, and Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of twelve local men, who have me...
Murder on High Holborn
In 1665 England is facing war with the Dutch and the capital is awash with rumours of conspiracy and sedition. These are more frenetic than normal because of the recent sin...
Death of a Scholar
In the summer of 1358 the physician Matthew Bartholomew returns to Cambridge to learn that his beloved sister is in mourning after the unexpected death of her husband, Oswa...
Andersonville by Edward M Erdelac
Edward M Erdelac
Georgia, 1864. Camp Sumter, aka Andersonville, has earned a reputation as an open sewer of sadistic cruelty and terror where death may come at any minute. But as the Union ...
A God Strolling in the Cool of the Evening
Mario de Carvalho
In the 3rd century AD, Lucerius Valerius Quincius, perfect of Tarcisis, an imaginary Roman City, begins his memoirs. His city is threatened from without and within. North A...
The King of Scotland is dead. The nobles fight over the succession, unaware that King Edward of England has plans of his own. For years, Edward has nurtured a fierce vision...
The Chelsea Strangler
In the sapping summer heat of 1665 there is little celebration in London of the naval victory at the Battle of Lowestoft. The King, his retinue and anyone with sufficient m...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages: