Sword at Sunset

( 4 )

Overview

This brilliant reconception of the Arthurian epic cuts through the familiar myths and tells the story of the real King Arthur: Artos the Bear, the mighty warrior-king who saved the last lights of Western civilization when the barbarian darkness descended in the fifth century. Artos here comes alive: bold and forceful in battle, warm and generous in friendship, tough in politics, shrewd in the strategy of war—and tender and tragically tormented in love. Out of the interweaving of ancient legend, fresh research, ...

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Overview

This brilliant reconception of the Arthurian epic cuts through the familiar myths and tells the story of the real King Arthur: Artos the Bear, the mighty warrior-king who saved the last lights of Western civilization when the barbarian darkness descended in the fifth century. Artos here comes alive: bold and forceful in battle, warm and generous in friendship, tough in politics, shrewd in the strategy of war—and tender and tragically tormented in love. Out of the interweaving of ancient legend, fresh research, soaring imagination, and hypnotic narrative skill comes a novel that has richly earned its reputation as a classic.

For fourteen centuries the story of Arthur was a legend, misted over by the tradition of romantic hero-tales. But Arthur was real--a man of towering strength, a dreamer and a warrior who actually lived, fought and died for his impossible dream. Now Arthur is brought to passionate life in Sword at Sunset.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A book of great beauty, of fine writing, of the evocation of a time past. . . . A book for the appreciative, mature reader."   Library Journal

"[Sutcliff] is an effective storyteller and knows how to keep her dialogue terse and believable. . . . There are many fine battles in Sword at Sunset, and they are described with majestic eloquence."  Orville Prescott, The New York Times

"[King Arthur] is a living presence who moves in a brilliantly lit and fantastic landscape . . . rich and sumptuous as the world described in Mabinogion, as gay and menacing as The Tale of Genji . . . Rosemary Sutcliff is a spellbinder."  Robert Payne, New York Times Book Review

"The gritty realism and emotional power of Rosemary Sutcliff’s writing places Sword at Sunset in a place of its own . . . leaves you convinced that if the story of King Arthur is more history than fantasy, this must be the way events really occurred . . . makes other versions of the legend pallid by comparison."  —Green Man Review

"A good story, swift, various, and at all times exciting. . . . Miss Sutcliff has a sure hand with heroism and pathos."  —Times Literary Supplement

Children's Literature - Julia Beiker
The legendary tale of King Arthur, his Knights of the Round Table, and the magical world of Camelot has mesmerized audiences of all ages for centuries. What would this story be like if readers discovered the realistic truths to life in this time period? In this book, the strong and independent warrior known as Artos the Bear wields a powerful sword made of metal and sweat that conjures triumphs throughout his lands as he defends his people. Artos is not unlike King Arthur, minus the mystical help of Merlin. This realistic version leaves out the beauty of the tale and focuses on the blood and guts of the time when survival amounts to being the meanest and most powerful. Even our hero is mean, leaving hardly a morsel for the monks who had helped him when he left the Abbey. Although Rosemary Sutcliff depicts the story with a more accurate pen, it lacks the beauty of the legend. Between the Old English touches and the constant time changes, young readers could get lost easily and then struggle to figure out where they should be. Because the story also includes Elizabethan language, adult themes and sexual content, it is geared for a more mature high school reader or an adult. For a sophisticated reader, the descriptive prose and accurate research done to produce the book would result in the gaining of knowledge and, possibly, breathless enjoyment in experiencing life during this time period. Penned over 20 years ago, Sutcliff's classic has survived many culture changes and will still find an audience in the 21st century. Reviewer: Julia Beiker
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781556527593
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/1/2008
  • Series: Rediscovered Classics Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 512
  • Sales rank: 311,249
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Rosemary Sutcliff wrote more than 40 historical novels for young adults—including The Eagle of the Ninth, The Silver Branch, The Lantern Bearers, The Sword and the Circle, and Black Ships Before Troy—five adult novels, and several books of nonfiction.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2007

    First Rate King Arthur Story

    What can I say about how much I enjoyed this book. Its 2007, and it was published in 1963, reissued in 1982, and thank God. It is my concern that this book, and its author will fade into obscurity, and that would be a shame. Great book, it was like reading 'CAMPAIGNING WITH GRANT' or any other famous war leader. The story, we all know by now, so its no longer what the particulars are, but how its told, and Sutcliff did a masterful job. Engaging from beginning to end. I want this book to be thought of along with Stewarts and Cornwells tellings of Arthur, and I hope my review does just that, even if for 1 person. Too bad, and very sad this book is out of print. Her knowledge of post Roman Britain was remarkable, thick with Celtic flavor, I promise this to be an excellent read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2013

    Great

    I got a copy of this book from my latin teacher in highschool. Read it in about 3 to 4 days. Very engaging book. The only reason it toom me that long was my mom kept yelling at me.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2013

    Great book!

    Excellent story, well written. Thoroughly enjoyed the read.

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  • Posted July 6, 2011

    A Heady Read, but well worth it

    This is not the sort of book you take along to the beach, at least not for me. This is a settle into your favorite chair at home, with a drink by you, and immerse yourself in a world you thought you knew, but had only scratched the surface of - book. It's concentrated reading, but worth the time, the very opposite of a light read. I would highly recommend this book to anyone to claimed to like Arthurian legend, and the history buff will find plenty to delight in as well. I believe it's the most historically written Arthur I've ever come across. Extremely well written, it grips you till the end.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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