13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Dramatic, beautifully told and an absolute joy to read,
This review is from: The Shining Company (Red Fox Older Fiction) (Paperback)
I picked this up when I was young and never got around to reading it, then stumbled across it a few years back as an adult and this time I got past the beginning and it rapidly picked me up and carried me along it's dramatic course towards a devastating, brilliant conclusion.
It's a fairly simple story, set in the context of 7th century northern british resistance to the encroaching Saxons and leading up to the battle described in the early poem "Y Goddoddin." I knew nothing about the poem and it's background before I read the book and I'm actually glad that I didn't - the sweep and spring of the story from it's joyous opening to the dramatic finale is perhaps even more intense when you don't know where that conclusion is going.
As ever, Rosemary Sutcliff's imagination is so strong that she carries the reader along with her into the time she is writing about, bringing the dark ages to colourful life with her prose. Although she largely wrote books marketed for children, her stories are so strong that - like much of the best young people's fiction - their appeal is far wider than any particular age group.
Highly, highly recommended.