Good to find Rosemary Sutcliff’s historical novel Dawn Wind, recently reprinted by OUP, on sale with Sainsburys!
Dawn Wind (1961) (from Tab at top of this blog – Stories)
The last Roman-British wearer of the dolphin ring, Owain is the only survivor of a Viking raid and the great battle of Aquae Sulis. Just fourteen years old, his father and brother die at the battle but he eventually makes his way to a peaceful Saxon settlement where he is made thrall to a Saxon family. Travelling there he meets a half-wild girl whom he cares for but is forced to leave behind when she falls ill. They meet up again after many years apart, still so in tune with each other that they are able to understand each other’s wordless messages. During his years of service he discovers understanding and even friendship, and loyalty for the people who were once his enemies. His freedom earned, he shoulders the weight of the Saxon household rather than betray a promise to his former master.
5 thoughts on “Wonderful historical novel Dawn Wind by Rosemary Sutcliff | Reprinted by OUP | At Sainsburys!”
I believe that it is in The Shield Ring–which takes place in 11th century near Keswick in Cumbria–where Rosemary Sutcliff describes the final appearance of the emerald dolphin intaglio ring. The first appearance of that ring is in The Eagle of the Ninth and the cycle was not written in chronological order.
Oh super! Does it still have those fabulous Keeping illustrations?
It was a long while before I found this one, too, and I find it unusual because it actually portrays the change, rather than the preservation, of loyalties… it shares with “Lantern Bearers” the following of the same character from teens to adult, and I think Charles Keeping did a masterly job of making Owain grow from fourteen to the end of the book convincingly.
This is one I haven’t read, but it really does sound wonderful!