Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Hostage Lands

My younger two children find things Roman rather interesting ,probably, ever since they were taught to march, in Latin, at Fishbourne Roman Palace. We hope to study the Romans fairly soon so I was interested to read Hostage Lands by Douglas Bond. This is one of the recommended books that go with the Veritas Self Paced history course on the New Testament, Romans and Greeks (review coming soon).

Hostage Lands, by Douglas Bond, is set in the Hadrian's Wall area of England. The plot takes place both in modern times and in the third century AD. 

Neil, a modern boy who sits bored in his Latin lesson, in a school close to Hadrian's Wall, finds a spearhead and wooden Roman tablets. He translates these tablets and finds a story of Romans and Celts at a time of tension around the wall. The story takes in intrigue, politics and the news of a better and heavenly Kingdom before reaching a satisfactory conclusion.

What did I think?
  • a fast moving story which will appeal to children aged about 8+.
  • There is some killing and violence in the book but this is not graphically described.
  • I'm in no position to judge the plausibility of the Roman part of the story
  • Douglas Bond occasionally misreads modern English culture. I find it improbable that a 15 year old would be able to bring his quad bike to school.
  • The book is a helpful and interesting way of introducing children to the issues around the interaction between the Romans and Celts.
  • This book is simpler than Rosemary Sutcliffe's book Eagle of the Ninth. For older children, both books are ideal reading before a trip to the Wall.
  • I liked the way that the news of Christus was described as travelling round the Empire and the difference that this made to Calum.

Disclaimer: I bought this book for the use of my family. The opinions are my own.

Every bed of Roses
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