SKU: 9780374469849.
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Sword Song

$16.99

At sixteen, Bjarni is cast out of the Norse settlement in the Angles’ Land for an act of oath-breaking and spends five years sailing the west coast of Scotland and witnessing the feuds of the clan chiefs living there.

  • ISBN: 9780374469849
  • Author: Rosemary Sutcliff
  • 271 pages
  • Ages: 8-12, 12+

Historical fiction for 10+

At sixteen, Bjarni is cast out of the Norse settlement in the Angles' Land for an act of oath-breaking and spends five years sailing the west coast of Scotland and witnessing the feuds of the clan chiefs living there.

As the story opens, 16-year-old Bjarni Sigurdson is banished for five years from Rafnglas (for killing a man who kicked his dog), a Viking settlement in the Lake Country of present-day England. Bjarni becomes a mercenary swordsman, first shipping out to Dublin with a merchant, then attaching himself to various historical Viking leaders as they raid, fight and carouse (the Norsemen drank a lot of ale) through the Hebrides, Orkney Islands and northern Scotland. Shipwrecked in Wales, he is rescued by and in turn rescues the healer Angharad, whom he ultimately brings home to Rafnglas as his bride.

This may be best suited for more mature readers, but adolescents, especially boys, will likely identify with the protagonist, whose hot temper is his worst enemy, and fans of Viking lore will not be disappointed.

"Sutcliff 's careful handling of how a young man, influenced by hero-worship and the force of custom, deals with the difficult choices that lead to maturity is nothing short of masterly. An unexpected and most welcome gift." --The Horn Book

Weight 0.3 kg
Dimensions 12.7 × 1.8 × 20.3 cm
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