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|Print List Price:||£7.99|
Save £1.52 (19%)
Dawn Wind Reissue , Kindle Edition
|Length: 337 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled|
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Owain is the only one of his family left after the battle at Aquae Sulis and has to make his way in the threatening landscape of Dark Age Britain. The Saxons are an ever-present threat.
His one companion is Dog with whom he strides across the battle-scarred land. At the farmstead he first encounters he is treated with kindness and introduced to a solid, dependable kind of life which could be his did he not feel the need to travel back to his homelands.
His wandering takes him back to Viroconium, but the city is a dessert, abandoned by its inhabitants before the coming of the Saxon armies. Only Regina, the beggar girl, is left to share the shattered buildings with him.
Rosemary Sutcliff evokes the atmosphere of those towns left by the Romans and taken over by the British to create a haunted townscape. In the same way she brings to life the thriving of Saxon homesteads when Owain has become a thrall to Beornwulf in order to save Regina's life.
She is masterful not only in the creation of belief that this is how life was, but also in a style of writing which matches with the sagas of the Saxon settlers. The story has the dark threat that lies in such tales as Beowulf. She shows a detailed knowledge of the period about which she writes and yet incorporates it lightly into the tale so a child may easily come to understand what kind of world it was.
She hints at the violence that was ever-present and shows the results of battles without going into the gory details of the actual fights by detailing the physical consequences. In this way she deals with the serious issues of violence without making them graphic, as do modern authors, yet she does not shirk the duty of painting grim reality for young readers.
It is lovely to see her work once more in print.
As an adult, I could still appreciate the skill and artistry with which Sutcliff weaves her story, and also notice how unobtrusive historical fact is incorporated into the fiction.
The story is a classic "quest" tale, and is very much in the manner of traditional tales.However, Owain is a hero it is easy to relate to, and to get emotionally involved with. It didn't feel like I was reading a "children's" book at all, and yet there wasn't anything in it I wouldn't want a child to deal with.
I can't wait to be able to share this with my niece when she is a slightly more confident reader.
Set in days when the land was fragmented under many rulers so often at each other's throats, "Dawn Wind" refers to a development which will change things for ever, history in the making. Owain was present, even with a modest part to play.
Here is fine writing by a mistress of her craft. Rosemary Sutcliff never parades her learning, emphasis instead firmly on believable characters set in convincing surroundings. Owain himself greatly appeals, as do the main characters he encounters - not least scraggy beggar girl Regina. Also worth special mention is devoted Dog.
In turns exciting, gruelling (hardships not minimised), surprisingly moving and always involving. How can Owain possibly emerge unscathed? Will he find true love and at long last settle? Enjoy finding out!
I loved her books then and reading it again today I was as impressed. One of the things I remember from being a child was how sad and real they felt. And today again, I notice the lack of saccharine.
She brings a different time alive and I could really emote with her characters.
The prose is a touch anachronistic, mainly because of its richness and density.
Having read this again I am definitely going to buy some copies of her books for nieces and nephews.
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