SWORD SONG by Rosemary Sutcliff


Age Range: 10 - 14
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An action book if there ever was one, found in full draft among the prolific Sutcliff's papers at the time of her death in 1992, and a fine last gift. Set in a time when the British Isles were wild places, with Norsemen and Painted People, Picts and pirates, readers follow the adventures of Bjarni Sigurdson, a teenage boy exiled from his home for five years for accidentally killing a priest of the White Christ. During those five years, he makes himself and his sword available for hire from Dublin and the island of Iona to Barra, Harris, and Kyle. Every page is rich in the detail of living on land and by sea: ship battles, wedding feasts, and the getting of food are side by side with storytelling, the search for god or gods, and the harper's song. Bjarni grows, never abandoning the loyal dog who follows him and waits while he is at sea. A few strong women enrich the story: Lady Aud the Deep-Minded in whose son's service Bjarni learns much, and Angharad, the Welsh healer who becomes his wife. A glorious tale, full of pulse and power. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-374-37363-9
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 1998


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