Sword at Sunset

Sword at Sunset 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 Weste

  • Title: Sword at Sunset
  • Author: Rosemary Sutcliff
  • ISBN: 9780857892430
  • Page: 322
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 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 polThis 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 braiding of ancient legend, fresh research, soaring imagination and hypnotic narrative skill comes a novel that has richly earned its reputation as a classic.

    One thought on “Sword at Sunset”

    1. I had not heard of this work or of Rosemary Sutcliff until I found this at a bargain charity shop, and I already had my favourite Arthurian novels and series : Nancy McKenzie's Guinevere books, the Mists of Avalon, Mary Stewart , and Benard Cronwell.Written in a style that needs concentration and focus to absorb it is nonetheless rewarding and enriching as it places Arthur firmly in the Romano-Celtic tradition dispensing with the anachronistic medieval knight and chivalry affair.Sutcliff did her [...]

    2. I didn't think I was going to like Sword at Sunset as much as I typically like Rosemary Sutcliff's books, even though it was surely combining two of my favourite things -- Sutcliff's writing and realism, and Arthurian myth. It began slowly, I think, and it was a surprising change of tone for Sutcliff -- her books are mainly written for children (of any age!), but this book had decidedly adult themes, with the incest and more explicit references to sexuality than I'd expected. It's also unusual f [...]

    3. Reread for my dissertation -- and all the more bittersweet this time because I knew how everything would play out. It's beautifully written, and it pretty much exemplifies Rosemary Sutcliff's usual shtick about male friendships (and a sepulchral voice that sounds like my dissertation supervisor whispers the words "homosocial bonds"), to the point where there is actually an explicitly gay couple in the story, and Arthur and Bedwyr's relationship is deep and intense -- perhaps not sexual, but the [...]

    4. This is very simply a wonderful book. Rich in characterisation not only of Artos the Bear but also of his wonderful Companions.It is Artos, warrior, horseman, leader of men who gave rise to the later more romantic, sanitised depiction of King Arthur.We see a different side to Guenhemara, who he takes to wife.This is a gritty story, and for me a more plausible story of the rise of Arthur and brings him to life on the pages. It is a story that is vibrant and engrosing. I know that this review will [...]

    5. SWORD AT SUNSETI borrowed Sword at Sunset from my local library in my youth and thought it wonderful. Many years later I found it in paperback and settled down with much anticipation to read it. I put it down after half a chapter, unable to read further because of the densely packed lines, poor paper and blurry print. It was a sore disappointment.Recently I saw it was available on Kindle and immediately bought it. Once again I settled down to read it. Again I put it down after one chapter. This [...]

    6. This is, for me, the definitive historical version of the Arthur story, although I do have other favourites - Mary Stewart, Parke Godwin, Jack Whyte, Bernard Cornwell. Rosemary Sutcliff's Arthur is believable. If he existed, this is how he would have been - a Romano-British leader who is passionate about saving the world he lives in, keeping the light going before the dark sets in. For him, this is the Roman way, even after the Romans have gone from Britain. His Companions are very likely the or [...]

    7. SWORD AT SUNSET BY ROSEMARY SUTCLIFF: The late Rosemary Sutcliff was a prolific writer from the 1950s through the 1970s, publishing a number of children's books, including the Eagle of the Ninth series and a series of Arthurian novels, as well as over twenty other children's books on historical subjects. She also penned nonfiction works and adult fiction, including Sword at Sunset, originally published in 1963 and re-released on May 1st of this year.Sword at Sunset features an introduction by Ca [...]

    8. Of course I'd read Thos. Malory as a child. But when I found "Sword at Sunset" at sixteen or so, I knew that this was the version of Arthur that I needed. All those people who loved "Mists of Avalon" or "Once and Future King" justffled me. Sutcliff's post-Roman Britain was the only Arthurian version I could imagine at all. Spare, harsh, austere, darkd that vision of the last lingering lights of civilisation and Romanitas being held aloft against the Saxon flood and the inevitable dark. Her Arthu [...]

    9. The best "modern" Arthur story I've read. Wish I'd read it forty years ago. About as close to a happy ending as you can hope for given how many of his close friends and relatives were betraying our protagonist.Not to be confused with historically accurate, you understand, but that's never been a big consideration in Arthur stories. I can sum Rosemary's errors in one word: stirrup. Western Europe still didn't have stirrups when Charles Martel stopped the Umayyads at Tours in 732. Artos couldn't h [...]

    10. For those of you who have never read any of Rosemary Sutcliff's books you have missed out on a great youth writer of historical fiction and this in many's mind is her best book and my own personal 2nd best favorite of the Arthurian tales. Her books are about youth but they never write down to her audience. The are almost adult in every way. They all deal with morals and character development.

    11. If I had read this book as a child, it would have fundamentally changed my life in the way The Dark is Rising did. I'm not sure I can do credit to "Sword at Sunset." Sutcliff wrote this fundamentally realist version of the Arthur mythos in the fifties, and the degree to which it has apparently influenced all realist and semi-realist Arthurian narratives that follow it is vast. I've read a fair amount of these and other Arthurian books--not that I would call myself an Arthurian per se, more of a [...]

    12. Ah, the beauty of a well-written book. While I was reading this, the characters stayed with me, so that as I went about my daily life, I was aware of them there in my mind, as real as the rest of the world around me. Sutcliff has a very powerful writing style; calm, quiet, yet full of strength. This is the story of Arthur fighting the Saxons in post-Roman Britain, yet it is a more realistic Arthur, without the trappings of medieval chivalry that distract us from the hardships of battle. This Art [...]

    13. How can I ever say enough about this book. My star rating above is 4 1/2 starst 5 because although I did love the story, the writing, the voice, the characters, etcere were times when I felt bogged down and other brief moments when I was a bit lost and not sure about the details. But overall, this book is fabulous!I had never heard of Rosemary Sutcliff and had never heard of Sword at Sunset, originally published in 1963. recommended it as one I might enjoy and it was a perfect recommendation! S [...]

    14. This is Standard Arthurian Legend without the Standard and the Legend; Sutcliff grounds her story in the real history and salts it with the grit and pain of real war. The characters' names may not be recognizable (other than Artos and Guenhumara, which are barely so) but the story is familiar. And even the standard story (Arthur betrayed by his son by his half-sister, and by his best friend) is really only a minor part of this story of one man's battle to unite Britain - the tribes and the remna [...]

    15. Sword At Sunset is an a retelling of the Arthurian legend with the emphasis on realism. Arthur, or Artos as he is here known, is a warlord struggling to unite the disparate tribes of Britain against Saxon invaders. The writing bears all the Rosemary Sutcliff hallmarks: detailed observation of nature, a powerful sense of location, and a poignant lyricism. However, the narrative is over-long and lacks the driving plot of its predecessor, The Lantern Bearers. In places it seems to get bogged down b [...]

    16. Wonderful story of the Celtic warrior that we know as King Arthur. This tale starts with Artos the Bear as a young calvary leader and ends with his last battle where he kills his traitorous son, Merdraut. The reader can very much feel the betrayal of Artos' friendship with the affair of Artos' wife, Guenhumara, and his best friend, Bedwyr (not Lancelot!). This story shows that King Arthur may not have been the very chivalrous and pristine knight that some writers pen him to be within their stori [...]

    17. The Sword at Sunset by Mary Renault; in many ways it is almost a companion piece to the Eagle in the Snow by Wallace Breem (another of my very favourite novels).Sword at Sunset, like the Eagle in the Snow deals with the very last waning of the Roman Empire in Western Europe, but this time, specifically in Britain. It is also my favourite version of the Arthur story / Arthurian legend. I don't want to write too much about it and spoil anyone's future enjoyment, but this was one of Rosemary Sutcli [...]

    18. I found this book at the library one afternoon, sitting lonely on a shelf. It was naked, with no dust jacket and no cover art - just a title. I love Arthurian legend, so I decided to give it a try. I am so glad I did. It's one of a handful of books I've read twice as an adult. I read it again just to remind myself how good it was. It's a look at Arthur how he really would have been chronologically. There are no pretty pennants blowing from gorgeous castles. It's dirty and grimy and takes you to [...]

    19. The culminating book in a series on post-Roman Britain for young adults--pretty much; does that make me young?--but can also stand alone as a dead-on capturing of the real, difficult, scruffy truth that might have inspired the Arthurian legend. I first read this at 15, and again a couple of years ago. It was even more stirring and poignant through adult eyes.

    20. I really liked this Book. Am a huge fan of historical fiction and this is one of the finest books of that genre I have ever read. Ms. Suttcliffe has a beautiful style of writing. You feel as if you have lived the story.

    21. The legend of King Arthur is one that has been retold many times down the centuries. Most are rehashes of the original Morte D'Arthur. Some rise above the crowd and bring a new perspective. For me the best retelling of the classic "chivalrous" legend is TH White's The Once and Future King. But what Rosemary Sutcliffe does with Sword at Sunset is set Arthur (or Artorius as he is here) in a historical context, specifically post-Roman Britain at the time of the Saxon invasions. And it works brillia [...]

    22. I enjoyed this very much, despite it being a story that I knew and knew well how it ends. After all, how many books have been written about King Arthur?! The tactical skill and maneuvers of the battles were my favourite. They were very satisfying, like the strategy in the battles in Ender's Game. Often when you read about large armies coming together, the focus is on mass confusion and disarray and frustrating incompetence, but not here; whether it was just Artos' instinct as a war leader, or so [...]

    23. I liked this the best of all the Arthur stories. She describes a realistic man who lead a realistic group of men. They had falling outs, envy and pride just as humans do. She puts in some archaeological finds that remain rather inexplicable but she finds a use for them. This Arthur is a real man who dies a real death. Great story.

    24. Was this the first "likely actual history" treatment of Arthur? It might still be the best. Completely convincing setting and characterization that resonates with tragedy, hope, heroism, and (British) patriotism.

    25. Date of FIRST reading. The Arthur story set in the reality of post-Roman Britain following on from her "Eagle of the Ninth" trilogy, but this is not young-adult fiction.A big influence on me

    26. I had not heard of this work or of Rosemary Sutcliff until I found this at a bargain charity shop, and I already had my favourite Arthurian novels and series : Nancy McKenzie's Guinevere books, the Mists of Avalon, Mary Stewart , and Benard Cronwell.Written in a style that needs concentration and focus to absorb it is nonetheless rewarding and enriching as it places Arthur firmly in the Romano-Celtic tradition dispensing with the anachronistic medieval knight and chivalry affair.Sutcliff did her [...]

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