The Mark of the Horse Lord (Rediscovered Classics #21) (Paperback)
“There was a smell of blood mingling with the smell of burning that still clung about scorched timber and blackened thatch, and a great wailing rose from the watching crowd. The old High Priest dipped a finger in the blood and made a sign with it on Phaedrus’s forehead, above the Mark of the Horse Lord.”
So began the ceremony that was to make young Phaedrus, ex-slave and gladiator, Horse Lord of the Dalriadain. Phaedrus had come a long way since the fight in the arena that gained him his freedom. He had left behind his old Roman life and identity and had entered another, more primitive, world—that of the British tribes in the far north. In this world of superstition and ancient ritual, of fierce loyalties and intertribal rivalry, Phaedrus found companionship and love, and something more—a purpose and a meaning to his life as he came fully to understand the significance of the Mark of the Horse Lord.
First published in 1965, The Mark of the Horse Lord, set in second-century Britain, has been acclaimed by many readers as the finest of Rosemary Sutcliff’s many novels, imparting true insight into the nature of leadership, identity, heroism, loyalty, violence, and sacrifice.
About the Author
Rosemary Sutcliff wrote more than 40 novels for young adults, including Black Ships Before Troy, The Wanderings of Odysseus, and The Eagle of the Ninth; five adult novels, including Sword at Sunset; and several books of nonfiction. Scott O'Dell wrote over thirty books, mostly historical fiction, including the perennial bestseller Island of the Blue Dolphins.
“The total assurance of the writing indicates an author fully in command of her power.” —Times Literary Supplement
“All that has been so much admired in Miss Sutcliff's writing—her concern with the nature of courage, the marvellous ease with which she moves within an historical situation, the power and beauty of her style—flower together to produce a single astonishing experience. . . . Here is a story that unfolds perfectly, scene by marvellous scene, in a sort of controlled mounting storm of narration, great tenderness and great savagery (there are wonderful battles) twining together under the story’s superbly colored and sensitive surface.” —Guardian
“Miss Sutcliff has told one of her most powerful stories. Always her protagonists are strong, believable characters; but Phaedrus stands forth with exceptional brilliance, an unforgettable hero.” —Horn Book
“Winner of the very first Phoenix Award, it’s a perfectly paced, thrilling, emotionally engaging foray into that time period that Sutcliff made her own: the Roman occupation of Britain.” And “Sutcliff’s prose style is a joy to read, and beautifully creates an atmosphere and a mood without distracting from the drive of the narrative. Every word begs to be read and savored.” —The Emerald City Book Review