Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Review: Rage Against the Dying Light by Jan Surasky

Title: Rage Against the Dying Light
Author: Jan Surasky
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Sandalwood Press
Publish Date: June 1, 2012
Source: I received a copy from the PR; however, this did not affect my review.

Why You're Reading This Book:

  • You're a historical fiction fan.
  • You know some about Celtic history already.
What's the Story?:

From "Few woman warriors are more storied than Boudicca, the fierce redheaded queen who, in the first century A.C.E., led the most celebrated Celtic rebellion in history. Here, for the first time, Jan Surasky imagines Boudicca's enthralling story of bravery and triumph from the Celtic perspective. In her extensively researched, vividly told novel, Boudicca bursts to life asnever before in all her bold passion, brazen courage and heroic glory. After a carefree childhood, Boudicca is wed to a much older king. Then, her world turns dark. Romans invade the island, taking slaves, publicly humiliating Boudicca and assualting her two young daughters. Betrayed and outraged, Boudicca leads thousands of warriors into an epic battle to avenge her daughters and rid her beloved island of Roman tyranny. Grand in scope and intimate in detail, this beautifully written novel resonates with the queen's indomitable spirit, placing her alongside no lesser woman warrior than Joan of Arc herself."

My Two Cents:

"Rage Against the Dying Light" is the story of Boudicca, the warrior queen who led her people to victory. She is a well known figure of Celtic history, a people that I really just don't know much about at all, which may have been part of some of the issues that I had with this book. I was not familiar at all with Boudicca at all before this book.

Boudicca's story is definitely interesting and this book was definitely well researched. It's a relatively short book (not much over 200 pages) and the book goes very fast with little explanation about the culture of the Celtic people and all of the various tribes that appear in the book. I think someone that had a better background in Celtic history might get more out of this book than I did. I had to look up so many different things because there was no explanation within the book. It was very confusing to me.

It was also really hard to keep track of how far apart all of the different events in the book happened. I really like when historical fiction books have clear markings as to when events are happening. For example, dates at the beginning of the chapter or something to give the story some sort of chronological context.

The writing in the book is very good and is definitely what kept me reading. I really wish that there had been more detail and story building so that I could understand more about Boudicca and her accomplishments.



  1. Thanks for the review. I don't know much about the Celtic culture either. The story of Boudicca sounds interesting and I like learning about historical periods I didn't really know by reading fiction. But based on your review, I'm not sure I'll be reading this one. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Hearing about her reminds me of Clockwork Angel. She is an interesting historical figure. I might need to study before I read this, though.

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  5. Aww I am familiar with the history, but like you I want my timeline defined, with dates etc. Sorry this one disappointed you.


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