This book is wonderful. Marcus and Eska are two of my favorite heroes, and their story is so well imagined and so intelligent, it captures you immediately and just won't release you until you're finished with it. Rosemary Sutcliff's writing style alone is enough to suck my breath away; she's so, so eloquent and so clear. The emotion she puts into her words is deep and rich and infectious, and the friendship she portrays between her heroes is inspiring and lovely. Marcus and his relationships with both Cub and Cottia were sweet and dear. I love how Sutcliff manages to make her male characters display their hearts so openly without making them any less masculine; if all the men of the world would study and imitate Marcus and Eska, I think the world would be a kinder, more intelligent place than it is.
I highly recommend this book. Don't judge it by the movie; I can see why they made The Eagle of the Ninth into
a movie, but they executed it very poorly. The characters are all opposites to what they should be and take actions that the characters I love would never have done. The plot for the movie carries none of the charm, wonder, intelligence or the sheer scope that Sutcliff's book does.
This is one of those books that I wish everybody would read at least once.