Quote from Rosemary Sutcliff’s award-winning historical novel The Lantern Bearers

For a moment they stood looking at each other in the firelight, while the old harper still fingered the shining strings and the other man looked on with a gleam of amusement lurking in his watery blue eyes. But Aquila was not looking at him. He was looking only at the dark young man, seeing that he was darker even than he had thought at first, and slightly built in a way that went with the darkness, as though maybe the old blood, the blood of the People of the Hills, ran strong in him. But his eyes, under brows as straight as a raven’s flight-pinions, were not the eyes of the little Dark People, which were black and unstable and full of dreams, but a pale clear grey, lit with gold, that gave the effect of flame behind them.
from The Lantern Bearers, quoted at Goodreads

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.

2 thoughts on “Quote from Rosemary Sutcliff’s award-winning historical novel The Lantern Bearers”

  1. I haven’t read every novel about Late Roman Britain, but “The Lantern Bearers” is certainly my favorite, and the best I have read so far. This great quote about Artos (it is about him, isn’t it?) is a wonderful example of what I love so much about Sutcliff’s writing. This is the grace I wrote about in my comment on her physical disability. Her eloquence never seems forced, her meaning is never obscured, her emotion is never absent. In my opinion, hers is the gold standard of prose styles.

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  2. The Lantern Bearers is the best novel about Late Roman Britain ever. Not only because of the period in which the story is set (which most writers skip to get to the Arthurian Age), but especially because of the atmoshere.

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