Learn more Shop now Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Fitbit

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
37
4.6 out of 5 stars
Format: Kindle Edition|Change
Price:£6.47


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 15 October 2015
I enjoyed it reading it
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 29 April 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is one of the true classics of children's literature. It is well told in the way that keeps every chapter an "episode" and is well suited to a parent's bedtime reading or a child's day to day slower pace.

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.
0Comment| 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 21 November 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
As a precocious pre-teen, I adored Rosemary Sutcliff's books. They dealt with the "big themes" - life, death, love, friendship, loyalty, change, personal growth - but never in a preachy or obvious way. I could take from them valuable messages without being overwhelmed by blood, gore or gratuitous detail. I still have a very battered copy of my absolute favourite book of hers, "The Mark of the Horse Lord" which still makes me cry.

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.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 27 August 2008
Hi, I've just re-read Dawn Wind for the first time as an adult, having read it and loved it many times as an adolescent girl and I'm relieved to find it's still brilliant. The pace, characterisation and historic detail cannot be faulted, and as the other reviewer says it is refreshing that Sutcliff portrays the Anglo-Saxon colonisers in an even-handed way. Sutcliff's writing style can be heavy going for a young person (I would say this is definitely an 10 years and over book) but the upside is that it is never patronising. This novel would make a great (and bargain!) present for a young person into history.
0Comment| 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
It is almost the end of Owain's world - all kinsfolk slain in battle against hated Saxons, he himself barely alive. This is his story - one of resilience, unexpected friendships, divided loyalties. As the youth grows into a man, he forever adapts whilst striving to remain true to himself.

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!

Recommended.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 25 September 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Rosemary Sutcliffe was one of the writers who excited my imagination as a child and turned me into the avid reader I still am today.

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.

Totally wonderful.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I hadn't read any Rosemary Sutcliffe for at least 45 years so was curious to see how well her work had lasted. For this aging reader at least, there are no problems on that score.

This book explores the moment of the struggles of the native Britons to defend themselves against Anglo-Saxon invaders following the withdrawal of the Romans, whose presence Sutcliffe wrote about so effectively in 'the Eagle of the Ninth' series. The narrative is strong and the central character, Owain, is engagingly drawn. The adult reader has to make few compromises, though I confess I found her style rather dull and the dialogue over-declamatory, which for me tends to subvert the realism of the story. Would it appeal to a young reader today? Not sure: I suspect the pleasures the younger me found in these books so long ago, action, adventure in a place so historically distant that there is almost a fantasy feel to it, may be more readily discovered elsewhere.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 17 August 2006
This is my favourite book in the whole world ever! It is a story about children facing adversity but is full of hope. It is also about enemies making peace. Furthermore, unlike many modern books, it shows "Anglo-Saxon" life in a positive light. I don't want to give the story away, but this book is just beautiful and I don't understand why this one of Rosemary's books is out of print, unless it is because she has taken a few liberties with historical time-periods. But this doesn't matter because Owain does good.
11 Comment| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 24 April 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I had not read any Rosemary Sutcliff for a while, but when this novel came up for review, I grabbed it. I am glad I did. I had forgotten what a fabulous storyteller Ms. Sutcliff was, and this book was no exception. It is the story of a boy who survives a battle between the native Britons and the invading Saxons, and his adventures as he finds a surviving war hound pup in the same battle, then later, a half wild slave girl hiding in the remains of a town. En route, he becomes a slave to the Saxons, tames a beautiful wild horse who must become a sacrifice and... well, if you want to know more, read the book! Rosemary Sutcliff weaves a dazzling spell of words, and although this is a childrens' book, she never patronises or talks down to her audience, and there is enough here to keep any adult with a feel for history, entranced. Life in the Saxon period is vivid and realistic and the plot is gentle and exciting by turns. If I have a problem, it is that I can only give this book 5! Recommended!
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 25 February 2014
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I didn't order this for myself although I did read it. Although I read several Rosemary Sutcliffe novels when a child this story from 1961 was not one of them. However, I always found her an immensely enjoyable author to read. In terms of this classic it is good to see that violence is implied rather than graphic (and this fifty-year old approach doesn't get in the way of a well told story). Not surprisingly the prose is rather old fashioned but again this doesn't get in the way of the story (from an adult experience I still enjoy a great many novels written in the 1940s, 50s and 60s - when novels typically were not the size of telephone directories!). Charming and well written, well rounded characters and plenty of atmosphere. Highly recommended for the young and old alike.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse


Need customer service? Click here