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Island of Ghosts

Island of Ghosts Ariantes is a Sarmatian a barbarian warrior prince uprooted from his home and customs and thrust into the honorless lands of the Romans The victims of a wartime pact struck with the emperor Marcus A

  • Title: Island of Ghosts
  • Author: Gillian Bradshaw
  • ISBN: 9780812545142
  • Page: 483
  • Format: Paperback
  • Ariantes is a Sarmatian, a barbarian warrior prince, uprooted from his home and customs and thrust into the honorless lands of the Romans The victims of a wartime pact struck with the emperor Marcus Aurelius to ensure the future of Sarmatia, Ariantes and his troop of accomplished horsemen are sent to Hadrian s Wall Unsurprisingly, the Sarmatians hate Britain an Island oAriantes is a Sarmatian, a barbarian warrior prince, uprooted from his home and customs and thrust into the honorless lands of the Romans The victims of a wartime pact struck with the emperor Marcus Aurelius to ensure the future of Sarmatia, Ariantes and his troop of accomplished horsemen are sent to Hadrian s Wall Unsurprisingly, the Sarmatians hate Britain an Island of Ghosts, filled with pale faces, stone walls, and an uneasy past.Struggling to command his own people to defend a land they despise, Ariantes is accepted by all, but trusted by none The Romans fear his barbarian background, and his own men fear his gradual Roman assimilation When Ariantes uncovers a conspiracy sure to damage both his Roman benefactors and his beloved countrymen, as well as put him and the woman he loves in grave danger, he must make a difficult decision one that will change his own life forever.

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      Published :2019-02-03T07:51:45+00:00

    1 thought on “Island of Ghosts

    1. It took me a while to get round to reading Island of Ghosts, but I'm so glad I finally did. I remember finding one of Gillian Bradshaw's other books slow but compelling: I read this all in one day, though I wouldn't call it a quick read. It is a compelling one, though, just as expected. I wasn't sure exactly what was so good about it, but by the time I was a quarter of the way through, I was determined to finish reading it today.One of the factors is the main character, Ariantes. Full of honour, [...]

    2. Capitulated troops from the steppe in the east are sent to Britain to guard another frontier. At home they are declared dead, their wives widows, and they don’t believe in an island across the ocean, unless ghosts inhabit it.So starts this story of cultural intersection. The captain Ariantes needs to learn Roman ways to look after the welfare of his troops – the only concern left to him now – but this is to Romanize, which he has no wish to do. The book is first person Ariantes and he came [...]

    3. Like several others here, I'm sure, I first learned of the Sarmatians after watching the 2004 movie King Arthur. While the historical accuracy of many aspects of that film is subject to debate, it piqued my interest nevertheless. (But to all you King Arthur bashers: read the note in the historical epilogue about the stirrups!)Now, on to the actual book. Being a historical-fiction lover, I'm surprised I hadn't heard of Gillian Bradshaw before, especially given all the raving reviews she's receive [...]

    4. Another one of Bradshaw's with an "outsider" protagonist. Sarmatians in Roman Britain on the Wall, helping to defend the Empire. The hero, Ariantes, helps foil a plot against the Empire, falls in love with a Briton, and all the time tries to maintain his own steppe culture while adapting somewhat to the Roman culture. Ariantes was one of the most appealing figures in fiction--stalwart, tactful, and a good strong leader. Most highly recommended.

    5. Gillian Bradshaw's Island of Ghosts is a complex and entertaining tale, set in Roman Britain during the reign of Emperor Marcus Aurelius. The narrative thread of the novel is played out against the story of the Sarmatian auxiliary forces taken into the Roman army and posted to Britain after the Empire's victory over the their people. Little is known of the fate of the Sarmatians - a nomadic people, known as formidable mounted fighters, who had migrated from Central Asia into Eastern Europe - onc [...]

    6. Over 1500 Sarmatian heavy horsemen from well beyond the Rhine serve in Britannia on behalf of the Roman Empire despite the ongoing distrust of the Romans and the lingering resentment of the Sarmatians following their narrow defeat by the Romans. The process of acclimatizing themselves to Roman service and culture is fraught with difficulty, especially for Ariantes, the one Sarmatian noble and leader who is willing to work with the Romans to save his men from what their reluctance to serve could [...]

    7. A wonderful story. A few days ago, when I picked it up and glanced at the first page, I wound up reading the whole thing . . . again. All about belonging and identity . . . with adventure, romance, and really everything you could possibly want. A wonderful story!

    8. What Gillian Bradshaw does best: historical detail, engaging plot, lots of intrigue and plotting, and interesting characters!

    9. About as good as historical fiction gets. This might be my favorite Bradshaw so far. Not to be missed.

    10. Gillian Bradshaw's writing reminds me of Rosemary Sutcliff in her ability to craft a historical novel that allows the reader to visit the past.

    11. Frequently, for the old favorites, I like to search the web for book reviews to copy and paste here's one that appeals :theidlewoman/2016/02/25/i"Hot on the heels of The Beacon at Alexandria, I turned my attention to the other Bradshaw novel I had lined up, and I’m delighted to say that Island of Ghosts proved to be equally enjoyable. Like Beacon it has a classical setting, this time in Roman Britain in 175 AD, and it’s written in the same easy, engaging style. Indeed, its protagonist is [...]

    12. After recently finding this author, I am "working my way" (though not a chore!) through this author's books. Like the others, an engaging story overlaid on on very interesting historical background. Not the biggest areas of history of which we are more knowledgeable but less well known but still vaguely familiar periods. I always love books where I can learn something while enjoying the story!

    13. An amazing novel, even the second time around. It has everything in perfect balance--historical setting with such details that it comes alive, characters with depth and likability, suspense right up to the end and a bit of romance. Gillian is a master historian and writer.

    14. Well-written, with a character-driven plot and a strong emotional narrative, Island Of Ghosts is the story of Ariantes, the leader of a group of Sarmatian warriors, barbarian auxiliaries brought to Britain to be stationed beside Hadrian's Wall. Ariantes' arrives with divided loyalties. He and his followers were incorporated into the Roman army after a defeat and feelings are still raw on both sides. Regarded with contempt by the Roman military establishment, he struggles to keep his followers fr [...]

    15. Plot: 7 (slow-moving, melancholic, and focused on internal change)Characters: 8 (unique but not always relatable)Accuracy: 9 (generally accurate if idealistic)This was a somewhat curious book that I didn’t know what to expect from. The basic premise is one of foreigners having to adjust to life in a new country, in this case Sarmatians in Rome. Naturally, that’s a bit harder than moving to Brazil or getting a new job in Korea. Sarmatians are barbarians, and therefore inferior genetic scum, a [...]

    16. I’ve read this book four or five times now, and it’s very difficult to say definitively why I love it so much. There’s a fair share of warfare, romance, treachery, humor, and swashbuckling in faraway lands, but I think my real answer would be: Ariantes. Ariantes is the star of this show, not just because he’s the main character, but because he’s impressive. He’s noble, clever, and honorable without becoming rigid or self-righteous. In a time of war, he’s unapologetic, but weary. He [...]

    17. This book attracted my attention (from Rachael's list) because when I studied abroad in London, I also spent the semester studying Roman Britain and Latin with one of my favorite professors from BYU and really loved it. This book reminded me how fascinating (and advanced) the Roman empire was and of its power to merge culture and customs (and, often, language) from the people they conquered.That being said, there were still some things that bothered me about it. Bradshaw has a background in Clas [...]

    18. Bradshaw is best known for her Arthurian trilogy. My first work by her, read in my teens, happened to be the third book in that trilogy, In Winter's Shadow. I loved the portrait of Guinevere, who with Arthur sought to form a firebreak to keep the guttering flame of civilization from going out in Britain after the Roman withdrawal. When I finally hunted down the first two books, I was actually disappointed. Because the first two books were really fantasy--the last really was historical fiction. A [...]

    19. This one is my favorites so far of the Gillian Bradshaw books that I've read, although they all have been good. This one is about a group of Sarmatian cavalry who are sent to become Roman soldiers in Britain. It may sound like the movie King Arthur, but that is the only similarity. This is a much better story in my opinion. What I liked so much about it were two things: I liked seeing how the Sarmatian leader was trying to retain his people's culture while at the same time adjusting to the Roman [...]

    20. Let me get one thing straight, first, 'cause it bugged me--from the Historical Epilogue. "Ben Hur" probably didn't care about the historical accuracy of galley slaves on a Roman ship. The book/movie "got it wrong" for the same reason GB displaced the Thundering Victory battle--to make a good story!Ye scholars and well-studied attend to this: fiction is not about how smart you are. It's about a good story! The best transform something inside the reader.Anyway, that said, this was a fine and enter [...]

    21. This book was about some groups of Sarmatian horse warriors who came to Northern Britain after being defeated in their homeland near the Danube by the legions under Marcus Aurelius. The narrator is the head of one of these groups, Ariantes, and he tries to do the best for his men without becoming too Romanized. The trouble is, the head of another group has been seduced into trying to help a descendant of Queen Bodica overthrow the Romans. I really liked learning about the Sarmatian way of life. [...]

    22. Competently written, if a bit straightforward and predictable: the plot moves quickly and kept my attention, but there's never really any doubt about the villain or the outcome. The main character, Ariantes, is likable, but he has a dispassionate, matter-of-fact voice and comes off as rather distant. But there are some generally moving moments; I particularly liked the way (view spoiler)[Ariantes' friendship with Facilis developed (hide spoiler)]. There were times when I wanted more lingering ex [...]

    23. I found this to be a fascinating book, appealing on so many levels. The history behind the story is fascinating, it inspired me to do more research into the Sarmatian people and how they fit into British history. There are elements of mystery and romance in the story which I found balanced things very well. Bradshaw shows herself to be a master of character development; I found all the characters to be well-rounded and sympathetic to a point. The Orlando Sentinel calls the characters, "likable b [...]

    24. This is a classic fish-out-of-water immigrant story: Ariantes the Sarmatian warrior (a pre-Slav people) is sent as part of a treaty deal to be a soldier in Roman Britain. It's got adventure, romance, and political intrigue, and probably my favorite part is the evolution of some of the minor characters and their relationships to Ariantes. The major characters, particularly the villains, are not particularly fleshed out, though. The language is - well, it's not quite modern, but it feels much more [...]

    25. Once again, Gillian Bradshaw does a wonderful job of bringing to light the details and nuances of life in the provinces of the late Roman Empire. The person and situation of Ariantes, a Sarmatian (today Ukranian) prince beautifully encapsulate many of the manifold stresses and inward decay, strenth, and pluralism that both ultimately brought down the Roman Empire and ensured it lasted so long.Island Of Ghosts is particularly poignant in the portrayal of the push-pull stresses of assimilation and [...]

    26. A happy discovery: more on Roman Britain, which is a topic I find irresistible. Here, a Sarmatian scepter-holder (e.g. high noble of the Sarmatian nation, linked to the Persian and Afghan peoples of a few hundred years after Alexander the Great's time) has to lead his horse troops (with cataphract armor! Cool!) across the Danube and Europe to an island none of his cavalry even believe exist, as part of a treaty settlement with the emperor Marcus Aurelius. Rich in details of Hadrian's Wall, fort [...]

    27. Ariantes is a noble Sarmatian warrior, forced to serve Rome as part of the peace treaty between his king and the Emperor Marcus Auerlius. Sent to Britain to man Hadrian's Wall against the Picts, he must tread a fine line between working with the Romans for the good of his troop and Romanizing to the point that his men will no longer respect him. And when Ariantes becomes aware of a British plot against the Romans, he must decide which side to fight with. Ariantes is a strong leader, and I really [...]

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