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Tristan and Iseult by Rosemary Sutcliff

Tristan and Iseult (1971)

by Rosemary Sutcliff

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A beautiful and tragic legend of Tristan, a warrior prince of Cornwall and the beautiful Iseult, the Irish princess Tristan won as a peace treaty for his king, Marc of Cornwall. This must be the most heart rending story of tangled love, heroic quests, and the conflict between trust, honour and a warrior's and a king's love. A beautifully written and powerful must read story for teens and adults. ( )
  Leov | Nov 21, 2011 |
Tristan's adventure begin with his defeat of Ireland's champion warrior. ( )
  DebbieMcCauley | Nov 6, 2011 |
Sutcliff, Rosemary.
Title Tristan and Iseult / Rosemary Sutcliff ; Illustrations by Victor Ambrus.
Publisher London : Heinemann Educational, 1973.
Description 139 p. : ill. ; 20 cm.
Untraced Series New windmill series ; 177
ISBN 0435121774
Title as Subject Tristan -- Romances.
Local Control Number 12504017 ( )
  aglawton | Mar 17, 2010 |
The story of Tristan and Iseult is said to have originated as an oral Celtic legend and evolved into part of the Arthurian legend of medieval times. The author states in the book’s foreword, “I have tried to get back to the Celtic original as much as possible.” The reader follows Tristan, whose name means “sorrow”, from a young man in the kingdom of Lothian through his many quests and adventures that ultimately leads him to the Irish princess Iseult. When Iseult is given in marriage to the Duke of Cornwall, fighting the love Tristan feels for her will become the most difficult challenge he has ever faced.

I wanted to like this book because I think the story of Tristan and Iseult can be one of the greatest tragic romances, but this version didn’t leave me with that heart-broken feeling I use to rate a good love story. My main issue with the novel was that I never connected to the characters. I’m not sure if it was because of the formal (aka British author) tone of the writing, or the limited dialog, or that the characters’ thoughts and feelings were not delved into deeply enough, but whatever it was I didn’t find myself caring about Tristan, Iseult, or even the cuckolded Duke Marc. The climactic parts of the story weren’t dramatic enough, the love scenes were too tame, and honestly the characters just got on my nerves. Another thing that rubbed me wrong was that the author was adamant about changing the traditional medieval story to leave out the love potion that induced the attraction between Tristan and Iseult to make the story more “real”. But scenes with fire-blowing dragons, sparrows carrying Iseult’s hair from Ireland to Cornwall, and other unrealistic elements remain in the story. My opinion is if you’re going to leave out one fantastical elements leave them all out. I would have much more welcomed a realistic version of the tale anyway. ( )
  jtrovato | Nov 2, 2007 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rosemary Sutcliffprimary authorall editionscalculated
Mikolaycak, CharlesCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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There was once a King of Corwall, whose name was Marc, which in the ancient Cornish tongue means a horse - for which reason there was a story told of him that he had horse's ears.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Retells the Celtic legend of the love between the warrior Tristan and Iseult, the wife of King Marc of Cornwall
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374479828, Paperback)

Tristan defeats Ireland's greatest warrior and gains the friendship of his uncle, the King of Cornwall, who entrusts him with a very special mission: to sail the seas in search of a queen.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:40 -0400)

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Retells the Celtic legend of the love between the warrior Tristan and Iseult, the wife of King Marc of Cornwall.

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