Rage Against The Dying Of The Light
The great uprising of Celtic tribes against Roman rule in Britain in A.D. 60-61 forms the backdrop for Jan Surasky’s vivid and fast-paced novel about the leader of that uprising, the fiery-spirited Iceni queen Boudicca, who sought revenge on the occupying Romans not only for their caprice and oppression but also for raw personal reasons – her daughters had been raped by Romans, and she herself had been whipped by them.
Surasky’s novel gives readers generous and informative looks at Boudicca’s youth and upbringing, her marriage to the Iceni king, her gradual introduction to the ways of the Roman officials and retired Roman soldiers who now hold sway over her land. Much as Pauline Gedge did forty years ago (in her novel The Eagle and the Raven), Surasky shapes her story almost entirely from the viewpoint and sympathies of Boudicca herself, so the litany of Roman injustices is seen from the viewpoint of the victims – with predictable but very dramatic results. This is a fine Boudicca novel.