Rosemary Sutcliff

If you are looking for amazing, heartbreaking historical fiction, Rosemary Sutcliff is it. She’s almost exclusively British Isles-focused, and necessarily so great at minority stories (though I don’t remember seeing anything actively offensive). Sutcliff’s gift for words, for tragic stories and endearing characters is unparalleled.

My favorite Rosemary Sutcliff books
1. The Eagle of the Ninth
2. The Lantern Bearers
3. Blood Feud
4. Bonnie Dundee
5. Knight’s Fee
6. The Mark of the Horse Lord

All of my Rosemary Sutcliff reviews
Bonnie Dundee (2009)
The Lantern Bearers (2010)
The Shield Ring (2010)
The Shining Company (2009)
The Silver Branch (2008)
Dawn Wind, briefly (2009)
Frontier Wolf, briefly (2010)
The Capricorn Bracelet, briefly (2010)
Blood Feud, briefly (2010)
The Mark of the Horse Lord, briefly (2011)
Flame-Colored Taffeta, briefly (2011)
The Sword and the Circle, briefly (2011)
Outcast, briefly (2012)

Books which I’ve read and haven’t formally reviewed
The Eagle of the Ninth (1954)–read.

The Sword and the Circle (1979)–read. “I wasn’t wild about this one, despite loving both Sutcliff and Arthurian legends. It all felt a little too derivative–a bit too much straight Malory and not enough of Sutcliff herself.” (03.2011)
The Light Beyond the Forest (1979)
The Road to Camlann (1981)

Lady in Waiting (1957)–Sir Walter Raleigh and his wife. I started it, but didn’t finish because I knew what was going to happen and that it would be tragic.

Warrior Scarlet (1958)

Rider of the White Horse (1959)–read. English Civil War. Follows one of the moderate Puritan generals, Sir Thomas Fairfax, and his wife Nan.

Knight’s Fee (1960)–read. Story of Randal the dog boy, whose life changes when he makes a powerful enemy and a powerful friend. Takes place c 1095-1100.

Bridge Builders (1960)

Beowulf: Dragonslayer (1961)

The Hound of Ulster (1963)

The Flowers of Adonis (1965)

A Saxon Settler (People of the Past series) (1965)

The Chief’s Daughter (1967)

The High Deeds of Finn MacCool (1967)

A Circlet of Oak Leaves (1968)

The Witch’s Brat (1970)

Tristan and Iseult (1971)

The Truce of the Games (1971)

The Changeling (1974)

We Lived in Drumfyvie (1975)

Song for a Dark Queen (1978)–read. “Um, yes. Dark pretty much covers it. Sutcliff is often tragic, but I have never thought of her as depressing until I read this book.” (06/2011)

Flame-colored Taffeta (1986)–read. “Damaris and Peter discover a man they think is a smuggler and nurse him back to health with the help of the local herb woman. But Tom isn’t exactly who he seems. The story takes place in the 1750s, a different time than Sutcliff usually writes about. But it doesn’t matter, because her prose and characters are just as lovely. This is a bit more in the middle grade category than some of her books, though certainly it’s enjoyable for an adult as well.” (03/2011)

The Minstrel and the Dragon Pup (1993)–read. “A picture book about a minstrel who raises a dragon pup and the adventures that befall them. I liked the story and, for the most part, the illustrations. Occasionally, though, there was a weird green cast to some of the skin tones that kind of put me off.” (07/2011)

Sword Song (1997)–read. very good, but definitely tragic. Retells a Celtic hero poem

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Rosemary Sutcliff

  1. Pingback: May 2012 book list | By Singing Light

  2. Pingback: 2013 Armchair BEA: Genre Fiction | By Singing Light

  3. So sorry not to have discovered this enjoyable page before … and you such a fan!

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