- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Red Fox Classics (2 Jan. 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1782950869
- ISBN-13: 978-1782950868
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.5 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 88,842 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Mark of the Horse Lord Paperback – 2 Jan 2014
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More About the Author
Rosemary Sutcliff's novels about Roman Britain have won much critical acclaim. The best-known of these is her The Eagle of the Ninth trilogy, of which the second book in the trilogy, The Lantern Bearers, was awarded the 1959 Carnegie Medal.
Sadly, Rosemary died in 1992 at the age of 72.
"An exciting adventure" (Surrey Advertiser)
"To my mind, one of the best-ever historical novelists for children - her books gripped me as a child and still continue to do so with her vivid evocation of period and character" (Parents in Touch)
Gladiator meets Braveheart in this epic historical tale from award-winning author, Rosemary Sutcliff.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
It's the very harsh tale set in Roman Britain, that has a freed gladiator involved in a conspiracy by the Dalriada (the 'horse people') to impersonate their deposed and blinded heir Midir in a bid for kingship against the ursupatory rule of their queen.
I loved the characters Sutcliff creates - Phaedrus himself, the queen's daughter Murna, androgynous Conroy who becomes the hero's rival-friend, and the true heir Midir, obsessed with vengeance.
The plot is action-packed and manages to bring history to life extremely well. It's also quite brutal, and not really a children's book at all. However, characterisation is not neglected and makes us care about the protagonists.
There's a touch of matriarchical versus patriarchical rule to the story, which made me a bit ambivalent about who to cheer for, but overall, it's an excellent read. It's a book I hadn't got out of my head in 25 years, and on reading it again it was as enjoyable as the first time.
This perfectly written piece of historical fiction is worthy of its author, the inimitable Rosemary Sutcliff. In The Mark of the Horse Lord, she weaves a compelling tale of a gladiator turned king among the Dalriads of Roman Scotland. Phaedrus, freed from the arena, is soon drawn into another and perhaps deadlier arena of war between the Pictish tribes, who are struggling for supremacy between the worship of the Sun God and that of the Earth Mother.
It's been too long since I have savored Sutcliff's writing. Her dialogue rings true, her history is flawless, and she doesn't shy away from the harsher, bloodier aspects of the period. Yet somehow her characters never lose their touch with the reader. They remain relatable across oceans of time, custom, and religion and I always come away from her novels feeling slightly awed at her ability to balance historical fidelity with more modern sensibilities.
Without giving anything away, I was rooting very hard for a different ending. But it was beautifully done.
Yes, the plot has ambiguities and the characters are subtle, complex and flawed; surely that is not a bad thing? The topic of culture-shock as the Roman protagonist leaves the empire and crosses into Celtic Scotland is very nicely done. Both Roman Britain and the barbarian culture outside the Wall are portrayed richly and even-handedly.
Readers should know that the background is well-based in history. The Dalriada Scots crossed from Ireland bringing with them the Gaelic language, and came to dominate the whole country, their language and culture in time being adopted by the original Pictish population. Sutcliff bases a lot of her description of them on material from the contemporary Irish/Ulster legends, which deal with, among other subjects, the invasion of Scotland by the Dal Riada. Interested readers shouldn't miss The Hound Of Ulster (Red Fox Classics), Sutcliff's powerful and evocative retelling of the Ulster Cycle.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A very enjoyable Rosemary Sutcliffe which I hadn 't read before. Definitely one of her best, up there with Eagle of the Ninth etc. TPublished 21 months ago by Suchea
Wish I'd found this book when I was a child. My own children are the wrong generation. And in response to another review, the ending is perfect. You'll see it coming. Read morePublished 21 months ago by H. Child
I loved her books as a child & have recently gone back to read them again. Still page turners. Make more movies please :-)Published on 15 Nov. 2013 by Dubh
he was really pleased with condition etc and enjoyed revisiting the story. She was a ture storyteller for all agesPublished on 2 Dec. 2012 by Mrs. M. Mcallister