LONG LIST REVIEW: Revolt Against the Romans


It's AD 41, Rome. Summoned by his cold father, young Marcus discovers that his father has been posted to Britannia to turn 'a land of tattooed savages into a proper Roman province'. The Catuvellauni have just been defeated, but their leader Caratacus, has escaped and is now stirring up the other tribes. Gaius, his father, is to set off immediately and Marcus is to follow in the spring.

Six days after arriving in Britannia, Marcus is captured by Caratacus, the barbaric savage his father has come to defeat, and he fears that he will be tortured and have his head severed from his body. However, the chieftain plans to use him as a bargaining chip and Marcus lives with the tribe whilst waiting for his father's response. 

When it comes, it is brutal and detached. His father expects him to commit suicide 'like a true Roman'. Marcus refuses and chooses to settle with the people he has come to like and admire. However, the paths of Rome and the Catuvellauni are set to cross again- how will father and son feel then?

'Revolt Against the Romans' is a short, exciting novel set in Roman Britain. Marcus is an engaging character and through his eyes, the reader experiences both sides of the divide. This is  great way of introducing children to the idea of viewpoints in history and how they can colour the way events are recorded. 

Relationships are also explored. Marcus's father is cold and distant, yet the 'savage' Britons are warm and affectionate. The freedom and respect he receives allow him to develop as a person, becoming very different to the Roman he was destined to be. 

There is plenty of historical detail and action as the story races towards its conclusion. A short, achievable read with some quite blood thirsty action, 'Revolt Against the Romans' is perfect for engaging children with this period of history and promoting historical discussions.

Revolt Against the Romans (Flashbacks)   Tony Bradman

Bloomsbury     ISBN: 978-1472929327