The Lantern Bearers

1 Mar

“The Lantern Bearers” by Rosemary Sutcliff is set in Britain at the time on Rome’s withdrawal.

Aquila is a decurion who deserts, unable to leave his family, hiding as the boats leaving Britain pull away.

Returning home, the family’s small homestead is attacked by Saxons, everyone killed except for Aquila and his sister Flavia.  Made a thrall, Aquila bides his time until he can escape, and join Ambrosius in Cymru (Wales).

Rosemary Sutcliff’s writing has stood the test of time.  Evocative, atmospheric, and enthralling.  I read the book all the way through in one sitting.  I was not going to bed until I had finished it.  It was simply that good.

Recommended for anyone with an interest in Romano-Celtic Britain.  It also plays nicely into Arthurian legend.

Though the book is what we would today call ‘Young Adult’, there is no talking down to the reader.   “The Lantern Bearers” is readable by all ages.

Highly recommended.

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