Rosemary Sutcliff cross-over book The SiIver Branch loved by Scottish Amazon customer | Rosemary Sutcliff Review of the Week

Rosemary Sutcliff’s historical novel The Silver Branch was much admired and enjoyed by Amazon Scottish customer Robert Livingston, who gave it five stars a few years back.

When I was just old enough to start taking an interest in ‘real’ books, a wise librarian suggested to my mother that I might like The Silver Branch. I have loved it ever since and have read and reread it many times. Later books in Sutcliff’s Roman series–The Lantern Bearers and above all the magnificent Sword at Sunset–are perhaps greater, but there is a special quality to this book. It has such an extraordinary sense of time and place, and the story of conflicted loyalties and true friendship is so powerful and timeless.

We are used, since Pullman’s His Dark Materials, to the idea of ‘cross-over’ books, written for teenagers, but read by adults. Sutcliff’s best books, like this one, pulled off that trick forty years ago, and they are still a marvellous read–for any age–today. Generations of later historical authors owe much of their success to Sutcliff’s model. Read ‘The Silver Branch’ and find out why.

Author: Anthony Lawton

Chair, Sussex Dolphin, family company which looks after the work of eminent children’s & historical fiction author Rosemary Sutcliff (1920-92). Formerly CEO, chair & trustee of various charity, cultural & educational enterprises in UK.

One thought on “Rosemary Sutcliff cross-over book The SiIver Branch loved by Scottish Amazon customer | Rosemary Sutcliff Review of the Week”

  1. Like Robert Livingston, I have lost count of the times I have read The Silver Branch. Its characters, its places, somehow in her witchery Rosemary Sutcliff brought to life and they continue to live for me. The characters are family and the book is home.

    As Miss Sutcliff herself said in Frontier Wolf:

    ‘Lucius and his Gregorics!…He must know it by heart, but when Alexios had once said that to him, he had said in his quiet, rather serious way that he knew the taste of honey by heart, too, but it still tasted sweet on barley-bannock…’

    Like

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