Compelling historical fiction relies on characters welded so smoothly to actual events that the seams are nearly invisible. A smooth blend of fictional and historical figures provides the depth of a documentary with the sweep and emotion of a good yarn. This mixing makes Rosemary Sutcliff‘s Roman Britain novels (The Eagle of the Ninth, The Silver Branch, Frontier Wolf, and The Lantern Bearers, along with the Romano-Celtic Sword at Sunset and Dawn Wind) the great books that they are. Their re-creation of Roman Britain is vivid and exquisitely detailed. The result, novels that convincingly transport the reader back to the Empire, is compelling reading. The family connection of the main characters in all but Sword at Sunset (where the Aquila family plays a minor role) builds on the historical details to create a personal connection between the novels.
via Rosemary Sutcliff, Roman Britain historical novels (with thanks to reader and contributor Anne)