A couple of weeks ago we spent a weekend staying up in Northumberland near Hadrian's Wall and it reminded me of a fab book I read a few years ago. Hostage Lands is a historical fiction book written by Douglas Bond about a schoolboy in modern day England who struggles with his Latin lessons at school. Living alongside Hadrian's Wall does nothing to encourage his interest in the language that would once have been used in the area. Until that is, he finds a set of Roman tablets detailing (in Latin) a story of treachery, betrayal and warring allegiances between a Roman Centurion, an Auxiliary and a Celtic tribe. So much can be learnt from the book about the ways of the Romans, the Celts and the area, plus most importantly the Christian faith of the Auxiliary which shines through in his walk and character. I highly recommend visiting the area too - it makes it all so much more real when the places you visit like Haltwhistle or Vindolanda are mentioned in the book.
You can find out more about the book on Douglas Bond's website http://www.bondbooks.net/hostagelands.htm and even read a sample chapter.
In this Heroes & History series Douglas Bond has also written Hand of Vengeance an Anglo-Saxon story every bit as engaging as Hostage Lands.
Hostage Lands by Douglas Bond, £7.99, published by P & R