This book, following closely from "The Lantern Bearers" but equally easy to read as a standalone story, is to my mind the most brilliant retelling of Arthurian legend as a historical adventure. The atmosphere of a world where the last romano-britons are trying to cling on to their way of life as the Saxon invaders push further and further west. Sutcliff's bright, vital prose brings the period alive for the reader, conjuring up those long distant times and the largely forgotten struggles that once tore our country apart. I think part of the appeal for me is these wild adventures taking place in such a familiar setting.
The story doesn't flinch from the danger or the brutality of the time, the years of campaigning and the tough lives that these people led, but they are all interesting, rounded characters and the way that the familliar lines of the familiar Arthurian legends wind through the narrative without ever seeming forced or intrusive.
When I saw the movie "Arthur, King Of The Britons" I was furious, not only because it was a terrible film ( although it undoubtedly was ) but because had it told the story I am familiar with from this novel it could have been brilliant.
5 people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?