rosemary herself suffered a disability as a child, and most of the heroes in her historical novels are handicapped in some way.
She wrote fiction for children , but with an excellent grasp of the culture of the times she wrote of. Most of her works are regarded as classics, enjoyed by adults as well as children.
In this work, a young centurion is determined to find out what happened to his father, who disappeared on active service while serving with the ill fated 9th Legion, which went on an expedition and never returned.
Sutcliff tries to explain how it may have been for the conquered and the conquerors in Roman Britain - that the new culture was a new slip grafted onto an older stock , and it had not taken yet.
The Britons lived in circular huts that were usually inside circular earthworks for protection.
Yet the romans build in straight lines, with squares and rectangles everywhere. the clash of cultures and personal loyalties arising out of this is one of the themes she explores.