Lest anyone should think absolutely nothing’s been happening at Downie Towers while the editor was drafting her feedback on Ruso 7 – here’s news of a completely independent project. I’ve had the pleasure of working with some of the award-nominated team who put together A Day of Fire last year, and this is what we’ve been up to:
A YEAR OF RAVENS: a novel of Boudica
Britannia: land of mist and magic clinging to the western edge of the Roman Empire. A red-haired queen named Boudica led her people in a desperate rebellion against the might of Rome, an epic struggle destined to consume heroes and cowards, young and old, Roman and Celt . . . and these are their stories.
A novel in seven parts by Ruth Downie, Stephanie Dray, E. Knight, Kate Quinn, Vicky Alvear Shecter, SJA Turney, and Russell Whitfield, overlapping stories of warriors and peacemakers, queens and slaves, Romans and Celts who cross paths during Boudica’s epic rebellion. But who will survive to see the dawn of a new Britannia, and who will fall to feed the ravens?
Due for release November 2015.
There’s a page for the Facebook-savvy here where you can find out the latest. Meanwhile, here are a few suggestions of what the great queen might have looked like. I can’t help thinking they tell us as much about their creators as they do about the woman herself.
According to Dio Cassius, Boudica was “very tall, in appearance most terrifying, in the glance of her eye most fierce, and her voice was harsh; a great mass of the tawniest hair fell to her hips; around her neck was a large golden necklace; and she wore a tunic of divers colours over which a thick mantle was fastened with a brooch.”
Here’s an eighteenth century take from John Opie:
Thomas Thornycroft’s Victorian version is on the Embankment in London:
And here’s one created this very morning!