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The Best of Rosemary Sutcliff: Warrior…

The Best of Rosemary Sutcliff: Warrior Scarlet, the Mark of the Horselord,…

by Rosemary Sutcliff

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Warrior Scarlet. I enjoyed it very much. It is a young adult book which is set in the Bronze Age of the British Isles. The main character is a boy named Drem. Drem is an arrogant young boy without much thought for others. He wakes up to the fact that he must survive in a very harsh world with a severe handicap. As he strives to achieve manhood, he learns about community, prejudice, hate and love. The story is written in a style which conjures up ancient myths and tales. It opens a window on the lives and peoples of another era. I could hardly put it down, I was so eager to know whether Drem succeeded in his challenges and if he ever became a man of character.

The Mark of the Horse Lord is also a book about ancient Britain during the Roman occupation. Mostly the northern end. Two tribes with different races, different world-views and a different way of worship are struggling for supremacy. Phaedrus, a freed gladiator, becomes caught up in the struggle as he bears a strong resemblance to the man who should be king. This seems to be a book about choices and the effects which they have on our lives. Are we the master of our own choices? Is there someone else weaving the overall picture of our lives? A wonderful story of a man who learns to love and sacrifice for others.

Knights Fee is the tale of poor boy makes good. Set in England in 1090bc, approximately, it follows the boy, Randel. An orphan villein who tends his masters dogs. Beaten and discouraged, his fortune is about to change. We follow him through the process of becoming a man, and learn something of what it means to have your future and survival decided by others.
I enjoyed the details of life in that time, and by the end of the story I was blubbering like a baby. I really got caught up in the lives of the characters, though at first I was a bit indifferent. ( )
  MrsLee | Sep 23, 2007 |
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In Warrior scarlet, a young boy with a crippled arm longs to become a warrior but must pass an initiation test. In the second story a Roman gladiator is the exact double of Midir the Horse Lord and agrees to impersonate him in order to rid the tribe of a usurping queen. The last story tells how Randal the servant boy strives to become a knight.… (more)

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