Boudicca, Britain’s Queen of the Iceni by Laurel A. Rockefeller
Why is The Morrígan’s raven crying? Only Britons with hearts for true liberty know!
In 43 CE Roman conquest of Britannia seems all but certain — until a chance meeting between King Prasutagus of the Iceni and a runaway slave of royal descent from the Aedui tribe in Gaul changes the fate of the British islands forever.
Rise up for liberty with the true story of Boudicca: Britain’s Queen of the Iceni and discover one of the most inspiring stories in history! A Legendary Women of World History narrative biography.
Karen Meyer’s Review: 4.5-Stars
At first glance, I loved the very first sentence and if that grabs my attention, I venture on. Loved the Prologue! Then at first glance onto Chapter 1 and my thoughts went to, “Wow, do really need all the huge names, wouldn’t it be better to make them readable? Not so distracting?” Then I read on and at first glance, the plot was a little obscure. Note to self, no book reviews after 11:00 pm.
At second glance I realized I was reading a book of history about a real-life person. I became engrossed in the story but did skim over the names.
Very well written, very well documented and overall a very interesting book. Loved all the extras the author deemed important enough to give us.
Diane Andersen’s Review: 5-Stars
Boudica: Britain’s Queen of the Iceni by Laurel A. Rockefeller
The idea of a woman warrior leading the British people against tyrannical invaders, long before modern women’s rights movement or any Tudor or Windsor queen ruled the realm seems more like the premise for a fantasy epic than steeped in actual history. Yet there really was such a woman warrior in history. Her name was Boudica, Queen of the Iceni tribe and consort to King Prasutagus. Although much of her story is left to legend and myth, and often dismissed by reputable historians, in the hands of a historical fiction author, this woman’s life is a storyteller’s dream. In the hands of an experienced young adult writer, Laurel A. Rockefeller, it becomes a potentially educational and entertaining tour de force.
I took the opportunity to listen to this as an audiobook, my favorite diversion during long work commutes navigating between rural and city areas. With the excellent reading by Richard Mann, who lent authenticity with a rich baritone British accent, I was swept away into the past as the miles flew across my daily drive. I almost hated to leave the car and hit pause and then looked forward to the return drive home so I could listen to the story again.
A rather short novella, told in a mere ten chapters, the story within feels much larger as every word packs a powerful punch, spanning the lifetime of this British war heroine from her youth when she first meets her future husband to the culminating clash with the Roman invaders, who broke the treaty and left her a bereft widow with twin daughters. But this woman wastes no time grieving as she refuses to bend the knee and see her people enslaved. Instead, as legend tells, she rallies them to unite in rebellion to fight for freedom and justice over tyranny.
Told in a simple, straightforward style, Rockefeller’s writing will appeal to younger readers as an introduction to this point in history, but the story is not necessarily for children only. Rockefeller does not shy away from the grittier side of battle or the unseemly views of women’s roles or their vulnerability to abuse by men of the era. While scenes are not graphic, there is little doubt as to what tortures and terrors these women are threatened with if not actually experienced. Therefore, parental guidance and careful explanation may be needed for younger, naïve readers who may raise questions adults may not necessarily be comfortable with answering in full.
However, as an adult reader, this makes for an easy and entertaining overview that satisfactorily fleshes out this legendary life and may entice further research on the topic for those who want a more in-depth look into the topic of Roman rule in Britain or the life and times of the Iceni tribe as led by Boudica. While there are certainly other books out there on the subject, as well as some excellent History channel documentaries, I would recommend this book as an excellent place to start for both adults and younger readers.
Five stars for both the writing and the audiobook narration.
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