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In 600 A.D. in northern Britain, Prosper becomes a shield bearer with the Companions, an army made up of three hundred younger sons of minor kings and trained to act as one fighting brotherhood against the invading Saxons.
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Rosemary Sutcliff (1920-1992) was born in Surrey, England. A voracious private reader, she left her regular studies at fourteen to attend art school. In 1950 her first children's book was published, and from then on, she devoted her time and talents to writing children's historical novels. Many of her books are set in Roman Britain, a period that particularly interested her. She received the OBE in 1975 and, in 1992, was awarded the CBE. She was still writing on the morning of her death at the age of seventy-two.From School Library Journal:
Grade 7 Up --Fans of Sutcliff's historical fiction will welcome her return to the post-Roman British setting of some of her finest novels as she tells a stirring tale based on "The Gododdin," the earliest surviving poem set in Northern Britain. Set in a.d. 600, the story is told by Prosper who, with his bodyservant Conn, joins Prince Gorthyn as a shieldbearer when the prince enlists in a company formed by King Mynyddog of the Gododdin in an effort to unite the British kingdoms against the ever-present Saxon threat. The bulk of the story concerns the forging of men from disparate parts of Britain into a fighting unit, combined in a common cause. The rousing climax comes with their first mission when, sent deep into Saxon territory, they are abandoned by Mynyddog. Prosper, Conn, and Cynan, the lord they serve after Gorthyn's death, are among the survivors, and they return to discover that their betrayal had been planned from the beginning. As the story closes, Cynan and Prosper have turned their backs on Britain to find new lives as soldiers in Byzantium. Sutcliff has called all of her considerable talents into play here, creating strong memorable characters, sweeping action, and a vivid sense of place and time. Her depiction of the final, hopeless charge of the Companions is unforgettable: Prosper's references to the Celtic Wild Hunt ring with haunting truth. Sutcliff remains a mistress of the delineation of the strong bonds that combat and a collective purpose can create among men. Her descriptions of the inevitable violence of war are honest and matter of fact. This is a challenging book, with many names and places that will be unfamiliar to readers not acquainted with early British history, although the map and pronunciation guide should help. Readers willing to surrender to Sutcliff's demanding yet hypnotic language will be drawn into a truly splendid adventure, containing powerful themes of heroism, friendship, loss, betrayal, and sacrifice. --Christine Behrmann, New York Public Library
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Farrar Straus & Giroux. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0374368074 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW33.2089793
Book Description Farrar Straus & Giroux (J), 1990. Hardcover. Condition: New. 1st - may be Reissue. Ships with Tracking Number! INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE Shipping available. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!. Seller Inventory # 0374368074n