Outcast Paperback – 3 Jul 2008
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[For The Eagle of the Ninth]: 'Decades later, I can still hear echoes of The Eagle of the Ninth in my head: the chink of mail, the tired beat of the legionaries' feet. (The Independent)
What a splendid story it is, compulsive reading! (Junior Bookshelf)
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Top Customer Reviews
Beric stands in the usual tradition of Sutcliff's protagonists, who are always crippled either physically or emotionally. Perhaps that is the strength of her novels, which take the theme of the outsider finding a place for himself in a harsh world. Sutcliff's own situation, progressively finding herself increasingly crippled by Still's disease, and isolated in an era where disability was considered something shameful, may inform her creation of her heroes (for details of this author's life, read Blue Remembered Hills: A Recollection). Certainly, she, and we, have immense sympathy for her 'outsiders'.
However, this is one of Sutcliff's grimmest tales. The sheer unremitting onslaught of adversity that she throws at Beric can seem overwhelming, and for this reason I would not recommend this story to younger children. And does it have a happy ending? Only by the standard of what has gone before - Beric finds a solution to his feelings of rootlessness, but he was still probably at his happiest in chapter 1! (Sutcliff does not deal in trite endings - no fortuitous denouements here! - her character's problems are real, not the result of misunderstandings or imaginings.)
So why only 4 stars?Read more ›
I believe the psychological truth of the last section is actually one of Outcast's greatest strengths, but perhaps all that shows is that while its restraint makes it particularly suitable for children able to engage with it, it isn't a "children's book" in the sense of being in any way limited. Like all Rosemary Sutcliffe's best stories, it has most to give to a maturer understanding.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of my favourite books by one of the best author of children's literature. If you want to get your kids reading then get ten started on Rosemary SutcliffPublished on 19 July 2014 by Stuart
Another good book from R Sutcliff. Good plot plenty of action could not put it down Was sorry to get to the last pagePublished on 25 Jan. 2014 by Richard Gillanders
She is so worht reading. Such simple prose. Such a heart. Should be required reading! Perhaps I go to far, but she has a way of making her characters admirable!Published on 15 Nov. 2013 by Dubh
Can get a little depressing at times, but she creates vivid scenes and personal relationships that really matter to the reader.Published on 13 Oct. 2013 by Mr J
Maybe not one of Rosemary Sutcliffe's very best books but very enjoyable and I will happily read anything by her.Published on 7 April 2013 by Suchea