Sword Song is the swashbuckling story of Bjarni, a Viking swordsman. Banished from his home for a murder he didn't intend to commit, Bjarni takes up a new life as a mercenary. He journeys from England to Dublin, and then to the islands off the west coast of Scotland. There he meets the man who is to shape the course of his life for years to come, a life that will lead him from boyhood to manhood--fighting among the clan chiefs from the west coast of Scotland in feuds as bitter and bloody as can be imagined.
Discovered among her papers after her death in 1992, Sword Song is a fitting capstone to Rosemary Sutcliff's marvelous career as one of Britain's premier authors of historical fiction.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Rosemary Sutcliff (1920-92) wrote dozens of novels for young readers, including the award-winning trilogy set in Roman Britain, The Eagle of the Ninth, The Silver Branch, and The Lantern Bearers. Shortly before her death, she was awarded the CBE, one of Britain's most prestigious honors.
Grade 7 Up-Exiled from his home for five years, 16-year-old Bjarni Sigurdson is forced to support himself by becoming a mercenary. Although he is young and untried, he sells his sword service first to Onund Treefoot and later to Thorstein the Red, Norse chieftains who have settled in the islands west of Scotland. With his black dog Hugin in tow, the young man learns the ways of the sea and of warfare as he follows these men in battle and in peace. After five years, he decides to return home, but is cast ashore during a violent storm for one final adventure. The action-filled plot develops coherently and is less episodic than those of many journey tales. Bjarni is an appealing, well-rounded character whose growth and development keep the story focused. His early experiences are those of an adolescent, as he chases after Onund's enemies. Thorstein is involved in more serious matters, making treaties and establishing settlements, and Bjarni, too, becomes more reflective, considering his behavior and his future plans. Sutcliff wrote historical fiction as if she lived it, and this book is no exception. Particularly interesting is her portrayal of the coexistence of the old religion of the Norsemen and that of the White Christ. Although the author did not complete the final draft before her death, this is a well-crafted story that will appeal to sophisticated readers. In places the language is slightly less polished than usual, and Bjarni's final adventure is not as well integrated into the plot as the earlier ones, but still, this is vintage Sutcliff.
Barbara Scotto, Michael Driscoll School, Brookline, MA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Red Fox, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0099253224