Thursday, March 20, 2008

26. "Sword at Sunset" - Rosemary Sutcliff

Using factual evidence that King Arthur existed, Sutcliff creates a unique take on the old "Knights of the Round Table" theme. In this case, Artos the Bear is the leader of the British High King's army. He battles Romans (called Sea Wolves) and Scottish clansmen, trying to keep Britain's culture alive.

With a heavy lean on old Celtic culture, I adored the details, from the different traditions of separate clans to the unique role of Christianity among pagan gods and goddesses.

Toward the end, however, I became weary of the battles and skimmed the last 60 pages, nodding to myself over my predictions for the grand finale. Overall, it is worth the time, though it could have accomplished more with less.

4.0 out of 5.0 Red Sunsets.


Nicola said...

I've read a few of her books and enjoyed them. I haven't read this one though. Thanks for the review.

Jeane said...

I always like reading different takes on the King Arthur legend, but I think I would find the battles a bit boring, too.

Weaverman said...

I think this is a great novel. As Artos is a warlord it seems a bit picky to object to the battles. Also you say that Artos fights against Romans (called Sea Wolves) but in truth he sees himself as preserving the last of Roman civilisation. If you read it properly without skimming you'd know that the Sea Wolves are Saxons! There is also a prequel to this book called THE LANTERN BEARERS.