Join Neil Perkins, Latin student at Haltwhistle Grammar School in England, as he uncovers a story of usurpation, treachery, and betrayal. After unearthing an ancient Roman manuscript, Neil dedicates himself to studying Latin and translates this exciting story from the third century . . . Disaffected centurion Rusticus serves Rome at Hadrian?s Wall, an unruly frontier. He is saved from massacre by Calum, a Celt who was deeply changed when he saw Christians martyred in the Roman Colosseum. Readers will learn the differences between ancient paganism and the primal Christian faith practiced in third-century Britain by only a remnant. They, along with Neil, will begin a more thoughtful approach to life as they reckon with all they have learned.Publishers Description
Neil Perkins, a Latin student at Haltwhistle Grammar School in England, unearths an ancient Roman manuscript. He dedicates himself to study Latin and so uncovers a story of treachery and betrayal from the third century. Disaffected centurion, Rusticus, serves Rome at Hadrian's Wall, an unruly frontier. He is saved from massacre by Calum, a Celt who was deeply changed when he saw Christians martyred in the Roman Colosseum. Not only will you learn the differences between ancient paganism and the primal Christian faith practiced in third-century Britain, but you will discover a more thoughtful approach to life as a result.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.5" Width: 5.36" Height: 0.52"
Weight: 0.62 lbs.
Release Date Feb 23, 2006
Publisher P & R PUBLISHING #97
Availability 8 units.
Availability accurate as of Aug 19, 2017 07:15.
Usually ships within one to two business days from New Kensington, PA.
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
|Engrossing Jun 22, 2008|
|Neil Perkins, a fifteen-year-old prankster from northern England, has few greater pleasures than harassing his eccentric Latin teacher, Miss Klitsa. But when an accident on his four-wheeler uncovers some ancient Latin tablets near the ruins of Hadrian's Wall, Neil is forced to cooperate with her in order to translate the tablets, which were written by a Roman centurion named Rusticus. Due to the mysterious illness of Legate Julus, Rusticus's commanding officer, the scheming Tribune Festus has taken charge of the Roman soldiers stationed at Hadrian's Wall. Festus orders Rusticus to lead his men on a so-called training march into Celt-held territory, and as a result, the entire group, save Rusticus and his staff officer Linus, are wiped out. Rusticus's survival is due to the quick thinking of Calum, an auxiliary officer of Celtic blood. Unfortunately for Rusticus and Calum, Festus is unhappy with Rusticus's survival and sends them on a mission to gather intelligence about the warring Celtic tribes, taking Calum's close friend Iona as a hostage to see that the job gets done. However, they realize that even if they give Festus the information he desires, Festus will probably kill them because they are both too aware of his underhanded plottings. Rusticus must eventually find a way to save Iona as well as Calum, who puts himself in harm's way to look after her.|
The frame story works well with the main one, and, although the transition between the two is a bit awkward, Rusticus's action-packed story more than makes up for it. Ancient times are a rare subject for historical fiction among American writers, but Douglas Bond brings out the humanity of his subjects while keeping true to their historical background. Parents should be aware that "Hostage Lands" is best suited for teenage readers due to limited harsh violence and several extremely vague references to women being abused in a particular way that most children would not catch on to. Bond's writing, while not inappropriate for teenagers, is too deep for most ten-year-olds.
Perhaps most interesting to parents who want to use "Hostage Lands" as a teaching tool is Rusticus's inward struggle. He has been taught to believe firmly in "eternal Rome" as the bastion of civilization and order. However, his misguided patriotism begins to flag due to both Festus's scheming and the influence of Calum, who began following "Christus" after seeing Christians cruely martyred in the Roman Colloseum. About his experience there, Calum says, "For me, the glory of Rome faded that day." And so Rome's glory fades for Rusticus as Calum's questions about true endurance and higher loyalties seem more and more logical in light of Festus's unbridled ambition. Without sounding moralistic, "Hostage Lands" serves as a sound lesson about the dangers of state worship. To his credit, however, Bond never loses sight of his story, which is one of his most engrossing so far.
|Fabulous Read! Engaging and educating! Jan 22, 2008|
|Hostage Lands is a great read! Its one of those books that once started, you don't want to put down. Full of intrigue and suspense, this is a book that young and young at heart will enjoy. I appreciated Douglas Bond's ability to weave so much history of post Roman Britain into the book. I've read other books that speak to Rome's conquering Brittania, but this was a new era for me and filled in gaps that I wondered about. A definite must for students of world history, the Roman empire, or just "ancient" civilizations.|
|Roman/Celtic tale to rival Rosemary Sutcliff Jul 23, 2007|
|Fifteen-year-old Neil Perkins lived a reasonably good life. He lived on Hostage Heath, a farm near Hadrian's Wall in northern England, and his parents let him go where he please on his four-wheeler, as long as he accomplished his chores. Yes, he had a good life, except for his Latin classes with the ridiculous Miss Klitsa. Perhaps she would have been better off teaching a drama class. |
After wrecking his four-wheeler near the wall, Neil finds a packet of tablets in the hole he made in landing. The tablets were all written upon, and in Latin, no less! He took them to Miss Klitsa and asked what they said, but she was too much of a teacher to tell him.
All of this merely serves as the introduction to the tale which Neil laboriously translated. The epic tale of Celts and Romans scheming, spying, fighting and dying around Hadrian's Wall is reminiscent of the tales spun by Rosemary Sutcliff. We follow the centurion Rusticus, who must decide where his loyalties lay. The story is well told, and readers will hold their breath, instead of easily guessing the way everything will resolve itself. To make this drama even better than Sutcliff's, one of these characters, Calum, is a Christian, although he does not proclaim it to everyone he meets. When the Celts sit around the fire at night, and call on him for a story, he tells them, "My tale is of a great King," and gives the whole gospel. Calum's service to the Prince of Peace does not however, make him any less valiant a soldier.
The book concludes with Rusticas telling a story of "a great King." Neil wonders if the whole story is true, and asks questions. Will Neil, will the reader believe the story? What about the tale of "a great King"?
I have always loved Sutcliff's books, but Hostage Lands ranks even higher on my list. I wish I could give it more stars, and highly recommend it to those 13 and up. Travel back to the misty, dangerous Britain of the Celts, when Romans built their wall, and flaunted their standards. You will learn to think like a Celt, and step quietly behind a tree when you hear footsteps. And maybe you finish this book, and read it again, and give it a place with your favorite Celtic books.
|Well writen, good plot twists, great message! Dec 21, 2006|
|I've been learning alot about Roman history, lately, and I must admit I was getting tired of hearing about it. But this book is amazing. When I finished Hostage Lands, I wished there was more of it to read. Great book, from cover to cover.|
|Historical adventure that demonstrates the cost of following our Lord Jun 23, 2006|
|Officially listed as teen fiction, Hostage Lands has an appeal which reaches a larger audience, from approximately 10 years old through adult. Set in English farmlands near the remains of Hadrian's Wall, this historical adventure can be read for its entertainment value alone; but, the reader will also find out what it can cost to be a follower of our Lord, as well as gaining some fine Christian perspectives for living. |
In contemporary England, eccentric, extremely laughable Miss Klitsa's Latin class alternates between soporific trance and wild hilarity at the teacher's expense. The protagonist of this story, Neil Perkins, gets to drive his ATV to school everyday, and it isn't only teenage readers who grow green with envy. He often leads in the hilarity aimed at the redoubtable Miss Klitsa. Then one fateful day, Neil and his ATV hair-raisingly gouge a ditch near Hadrian's Wall and he finds an ancient manuscript. The only one who can help him is Miss Klitsa.
As Neil translates the manuscript, the reader falls headlong into a spine-tingling Roman/Celtic adventure of sword-play, treachery, fearful undertakings, wild men vs. civilized people, undying friendship, and impossible decisions. It's hard to put this book down and just as hard not to assimilate the lessons: true friendship; patriotism gone awry; willingness to die for another; various battle styles and the war equipment for each; uncivilized Christians vs. civilized pagans; some intriguing English archaeological lessons; accepting people as worthwhile even when you think them ridiculous; and a great deal more.
High school history and English teacher as well as author, Douglas Bond knows how to portray people of all ages. He is a rising star in the historical fiction genre for both older and younger people. Not satisfied with his own history background, Bond draws on the research of other historians. With a wide but understandable vocabulary, a talent for keeping the plot under control, a penchant for characterization, and a wonderful imagination, Bond presents a tale sure to engross any reader. A glossary of terms and a Roman timeline help keep the audience on track. As well as being a good read for the individual, Hostage Lands makes a fine read-aloud book. - Donna Eggett, Christian Book Previews.com
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