Synopses & Reviews
“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.
“Sutcliff has a genius for the re-creation of an historical period.”—Horn Book Reflections
“An unusual blend of stirring action and poetic symbolism. Authentic in background, skillful in plot, and perceptive in characterization.”—Booklist
“Imaginatively conceived.”—The New Yorker
“Decades later, I can still hear echoes of The Eagle of the Ninth in my head: the chink of mail, the tired beat of the legionaries feet.”—The Independent
“What a splendid story it is, compulsive reading!”—Junior Bookshelf
An ALA Notable Book
“The total assurance of the writing indicates an author fully in command of her power.” —Times Literary Supplement
The future of a legion is in Marcuss hands.
In A.D. 119 the Ninth Roman Legion marched north into the wilds of Britain beyond Agricolas Wall and disappeared without a trace. Fifteen years later, Marcus Flavius Aquila, the son of the units commander, embarks on a quest to recover the lost eagle standard of the Ninth, symbol of a legionsand his familyshonor.
The Ninth Legion marched into the mists of Northern Britain—and they were never seen again. Four thousand men disappeared and their eagle standard was lost. Its a mystery thats never been solved, until now . . . Marcus has to find out what happened to his father, who led the legion. So he sets out into the unknown, on a quest so dangerous that nobody expects him to return.
About the Author
Rosemary Sutcliff (1920-1992) wrote dozens of books for young readers, including her award-winning Roman Britain trilogy, The Eagle of the Ninth, The Silver Branch, and The Lantern Bearers, which won the Carnegie Medal. The Eagle of the Ninth is now a major motion picture, The Eagle, directed by Kevin MacDonald and starring Channing Tatum. Born in Surrey, Sutcliff spent her childhood in Malta and on various other naval bases where her father was stationed. At a young age, she contracted Stills Disease, which confined her to a wheelchair for most of her life. Shortly before her death, she was named Commander of the British Empire (CBE) one of Britain's most prestigious honors. She died in West Sussex, England, in 1992.