Getorix: The Eagle and The Bull: A Celtic Adventure in Ancient Rome is a Young Adult book.
The year is 101 BCE, Gaius Marius and Quintus Lutatius Catulus, having defeated the Cimbri at Vercellae – and Marius the Teutoni at Aquae Sextiae – are celebrating their joint triumph. Custom has it that defeated adversaries are to be executed at the end of the triumphal procession, and among these are the Cimbrian king Claodicos and his young son Getorix. However, on a whim, Catulus' son Lucius (a fictional Catulus as explained in the Author's Notes) requests Getorix as his slave from his father.
The book presents a coming of age story of two boys, of Getorix, whom fate has thrown into a hostile and utterly bewildering environment – he mistakes the wax masks of the Lutatius ancestors for the heads of slain enemies – and of Lucius, the sickly, spoiled baby of the Lutatius family, an involuntary loner who desperately wants to have a friend. And it's a whopping adventure tale besides.
This is a well researched and well-crafted first novel by an author who understands her audience. Basically geared towards 12-15 year olds, Ms. Geary does not insult their intelligence: battle scenes, death and dying are openly and honestly dealt with, as are punishments of slaves, and other unpleasant or adult aspects of life. The book is lavishly illustrated, has a wide-ranging “Author's Notes” section and an extensive glossary. Associated curricula are planned, and a sequel, “Getorix II: Games of the Underworld,” is in the works, with a teaser added to the current book. There is a website with sample chapters, historic background essays, and future curriculum information.