I've discovered that Rosemary Sutcliff books seem to fall into three categories: happy endings (Flame-Coloured Taffeta, The Eagle of the Ninth, The Silver Branch), sad endings (Knight's Fee), and bittersweet endings. The Lantern Bearers, which I've just finished reading, fell into the bittersweet category. Now ordinarily I'm not much for bittersweet books and might have abandoned such a book, having once realized what I was reading. (Yes, I admit it, I peeked at the ending!) But Rosemary Sutcliff has a way of grabbing me by the throat and dragging me along, whether I think I want to go or not, and I admit that in the end, The Lantern Bearers was worth the ride. (And goes into my "keepers" collection, whether I ever actually read it again or not.)
Intrigued by the time period of The Lantern Bearers, I picked up for my next read The Amber Treasure, by Richard Denning, after reading an interview with the author on the I Am a Reader, Not a Writer blog. The Amber Treasure takes place slightly after the time period of The Lantern Bearers, but near enough for the two to still be related historically. Alas, I have already discovered that Richard Denning is no Rosemary Sutcliff. But then, neither am I. (Darn!) Nevertheless, onward I press. Here's the back cover blurb for The Amber Treasure:
“I will take care of the body of my lord and you can carry the sword, story teller. For all good stories are about a sword.”
Cerdic, the nephew of a warrior, dreams of the glories of battle. When war comes for real, his sister is kidnapped, his family betrayed and his uncle's legendary sword stolen.
Cerdic is thrown into the struggles that will determine the future of 6th century Britain.
Stop by on Tuesday to read a Tuesday Teaser from The Amber Treasure.