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The Mark of the Horse Lord Paperback – February 2, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
The book follows the life of a gladiator slave, Red Phaedrus, who takes on the role of Prince of the Dalriads through a scheme to regain power from the Royal Woman of the Caledones.
This book hovers on the border of being epic with many rituals and battles being described in detail. The illustrations are not of the traditional form, yet their stark beauty helps provide a unique understanding of the story.
I would readily recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in fictional history - particularly of Northern England and Ireland.
Previous reviewers have provided a plot summary of this book; please see their comments on the story.
Like much of her work, TMOTHL is based on real events. Sutcliff is perhaps the finest children's historical novelist. Folks of all ages enjoy reading her work. She could research an episode in Britain's past and add memorable people and descriptive period language. The resulting tale would be true to history and her characters' humanity. As other reviewers have stated, "She makes you believe it happened just this way."
I hope Front Street Publishing succeeds with Horse Lord, and decides to bring back more Sutcliff books currently out of print.
I don't usually see "spoilers" as necessary, but this time I believe it is, because it is the end that ruins the book. It ends with the main character committing suicide. Now, granted, he was faced with being paraded in Rome with the possibility of crucifixion or else handing most of the young men of his tribe over to become Roman soldiers. Plus, in that time (especially in the Roman mind) taking ones one life was more honorable than letting others take it from you, which explains why he did what he did. This is a work of fiction, however, and much as I admire her historical accuracy, I certainly wish Sutcliff would have drawn her story in a different direction. For other than the end, it was a wonderful story (which is why I gave it two stars instead of one). From the very first lines I sighed in contentment, ready for the beauties that were sure to come. Here was a story of a man learning to love, learning the ways of the harsh tribe he was thrust into. I could feel the wind on my face as he rode over the highlands! Then the end came. As I began the last chapter, I wondered how Sutcliff was going to pull this off. As I got to the last pages, I was repeating, "Please don't do this to me, please don't do this to me,"; but he did, and "He never felt the jagged stones in the ditch [below]"; but I did. When I put the book down, I felt that I never wanted to look at that book again. Since than I have learned to love it for the beauties that came before; still it holds a nightmare for me, and I would not recommend reading it. You might think that now that you are at least warned, you'll read it anyway; but I would not advise it, for you will fall in love with the character only to have him die.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am a great Sutcliff fan and can't imagine how I missed reading this book long ago. It is fascinating from beginning to end, and the ending is very moving. Read morePublished 2 months ago by J. Mattingly
I have enjoyed Rosemary Sutcliff books for years. Having run across this title recently I had to order it. Enjoyed reading this story very much. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
The Mark of the Horse Lord will etch itself into a reader's memory---vivid, potent, and captivating in its story of a slave who becomes a King--not just in name but deed. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Loves2Read
Historical fiction at its best,Ms Sutcliffe was a master on this genre. Vivid tale of a time bygone . A classicPublished 7 months ago by Charles Drabo
By the time of her death in 1992, Rosemary Sutcliff had left a sizeable legacy of historical fiction behind. Her most famous works include numerous ones set in Roman Britain. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Teen Reads
I like this era of history and I enjoy Sutcliff's presentation of it. There is heartache in her stories and she really brings the people and their time to life. Read morePublished 14 months ago by tgg
This is one of those books that I read to the end because it feels like a college assignment to read it. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Flat Lander