Agricola’s Bane (Celtic Fervour Series Book 4)

Written by Nancy Jardine
Review by Anna Belfrage

Britain in the first century AD was a complicated place. The Roman Empire was determined to push its boundaries further north, and the various Celtic tribes who called Britain their home were doing their best to resist. In Agricola’s Bane, the Roman efforts are led by Agricola himself. The recently defeated Celts are licking their wounds and attempting to regroup while Agricola pushes further and further into their territories.

As a setting, this is heady stuff, and undoubtedly Ms Jardine knows her period and her various tribes extremely well. This is the fourth book in Ms Jardine’s Celtic Fervour series, and a lot of backstory is presented during the first third or so of the book, usually via long dialogues, mostly set in one of the Caledon roundhouses. It all becomes a bit tedious at times, slowing down the narrative – as does the somewhat cumbersome prose.

For those with an interest in Celtic (and Roman) Britain, Ms Jardine offers a lot of insight into a tumultuous time. I would, however, recommend that the books be read in order, as this enhances the reading experience.