In this his ninth volume of poetry, Rienzi Crusz takes on the nineteenth-century Sri Lankan Robin Hood figure, the legendary Sardiel. Through documentary historical extracts and poetry in a variety of voices, styles and rhythms, Crusz creates a composite portrait of the man, who emerged from humble and despised origins and went through rebellion and inspiration to become an outlaw both celebrated and reviled, at once charitable and cold-blooded and murderous, and who following his capture converted to Crhistianity before going to meet the hangman's rope. Sardiel's is a moving saga of colonial times, of a man pitted as much against an unjust social order as against his better nature.
"A moving and provocative portrayal. The historical and imaginative work wonderfully together. Through the many voices of history and the imagination, Crusz's dramatic tale unfolds in all its lyrical power, bringing together the postmodern and the postcolonial in exciting new ways."
- Linda Hutcheon.
"Arguably the best living Sri Lankan poet in English . . . Crusz belongs to the older postcoloial generation, including such writers as Walcott and Soyinka, prepared to appropriate the colonial legacy of Shakespeare and English . . ."
- World Literature Today
"I can't think of a single Canadian poet who, groin-ticked and happy, could achieve such delirium on paper. The raw passion is there despite the control the poems insist on."
- Irving Layton