I WAS delighted to receive this review copy of one of the best novels of the Arthurian period, first published in 1963.

Rosemary Sutcliff is really regarded as a children’s author but her work is for children of all ages. This is particularly evident in this novel. The Romans have left Britain and it seems defenceless in the path of the invading Saxons but they have not reckoned on Arthur and his ability to rally his countrymen and lead them to repel the invading hordes and save his beloved country from being plunged into the darkness that could come with a Saxon victory.

Sutcliff combines myth and reality to give us a novel of fine writing that brings the characters and their backgrounds very much alive so that we live, love and bleed with them. You might find it a little slow at the beginning but keep going, because this is a novel that should be read for the pleasure it can give on a number of levels Atlantic Books are to be congratulated on bringing it to our bookshelves again.