In AD 60, the woman known as the Boudica, whose name meant, 'Bringer of Victory', war leader of the Eceni, led her people in a final bloody revolt against the occupying armies of Rome.
It was the culmination of nearly twenty years of resistance against an invading imperial force that sought to crush forever a vibrant, complex civilisation and replace it with the taxes, slavery and laws of the Roman Empire.
DREAMING THE EAGLE takes us back to the last flowering of tribal life in the years before the legions landed and extends through to the hours immediately after Rome's victory at the end of the two-day invasion battle.
Through the eyes of the girl Breaca who will be named as the Boudica on that last battlefield, and her half-brother, the dreamer Bán, we see the world as it was and as it could have continued to be if the tribes had won the final battle against the legions of Suetonius Paulinus; a world of druids and dreamers and the magic of the gods, where horses and hounds and the land itself become characters in their own right, where warriors fight for honour as much as victory and where the gods hold the balance in any human conflict. Above all, it is a world of passion and courage and spectacular, heart-felt heroism pitched against overwhelming odds.
This is a historical series; the characters and plot details are largely fictional and even those grounded in recorded history are drawn from written comments by Roman authors, most notably Tacitus, with all the spin of the imperial victors describing the indigenous savages whom they have successfully defeated. It was not a pretty process. Before the Roman invasion, we of the British Isles were a highly cultured, artistic, phenomenally productive, largely peaceful state of tribal nations linked loosely by trade and heritage. All the evidence suggests that it was a largely egalitarian society and that the members were valued for their own skills, not be gender; specifically, women could and did lead tribes and armies, could be druids and lawgivers and were accorded honour equivalent to the men. The process of Romanisation was one of genocide, segregation and urbanisation, a stripping of a people from their land and their gods from which we have never recovered. In researching the novels, the greater part of the investigation into our pre-Roman past was a discovery of exactly how much is not known, particularly of our spiritual past. To discover that was an act of dreaming and clearly, the exact routes of the connection between a people and the gods cannot be recreated.
What I have done therefore, is to ground the narrative in my own experience. In every sense, the writing of Boudica has been an act of dreaming and I have taken as much care as I can to ensure that the dreaming described has been and can be mirrored in the twenty first century. We no longer exist in a culture which values art above avarice and courage before commerce; we have no recognisable rites of passage nor tales of our own heroic lineage – but there is no reason why we should not re-create these if we so desire. Boudica is a story of who we have been but it is also who we could be again. To know more, see the section on Dreaming Courses.
Dreaming the Eagle will be re-released with a new cover in late 2011 for its 10 year anniversary. Yes, it really has been that long... So if you like the old covers, buy it now, for it will be gone forever (except on ebay where they'll suddenly be like gold dust).