Received to review via Netgalley
My ears pricked up as soon as Sherwood Smith’s introduction mentioned Rosemary Sutcliff. I loved Sutcliff’s books as a kid, and anything that had the same flavour sounded great to me — and the good news is that there was some of that realism, some of that taste and smell of another era (even though this is also fantasy).
I hadn’t heard of it before, so it was all new to me… sort of. It feels familiar and mythic in its structure, in the way that Will’s destiny plays out, but with a touch of that earthiness that I associate with Sutcliff, grounded in small details of everyday life. Will’s a likable protagonist, someone who generally wants to do the right thing even though he is not, in himself, particularly heroic. He sees something he can do, should do, and he does it — but not without thinking about the inconvenience of whatever it is.
It’s not a super-complex story, but there’s a virtue in the simplicity of it and the straight-forwardness of its protagonist. I enjoyed it very much.