19 April 2005

Big-boned as a Jute's - Sword at Sunset

I don't own this copy, but the picture on the cover hints that the illustrator might well have read at least the opening pages of the book. It fits in with: '... my face looked back at me, distorted by the curve of metal, but clear enough in the light of the dribbling candles, big-boned as a Jute's, and brown-skinned under hair the colour of a hayfield when it pales at harvest-time." (page 15, 1963 edition) In addition, the sword on the left of the cover looks like a long-bladed spatha, which is actually correct for the period!

Sword At Sunset, US, Tor, Paperback, 1987


Debra Kemp said...

Thanks for setting this up, Sandra! Sword at Sunset was one of the earliest Arthurian novels I ever read. (Possibly the second, right after Once and Future King) Ms. Sutcliff's novel ranks as one of my personal favorites. Even decades later I still recall the poignant scene of Artos grieving the death of his little daughter, Hylin.


Sandra said...

You're welcome, Debra!

The scenes that move me most are those to do with the death of Ambrosius. He chooses to go to his death much as a king-sacrifice. It spurred me to find out much more about the historical Ambrosisus, who is mentioned in a lot of the sources, including the earliest one (Gildas) who calls him 'a modest man'

vortigernstudies said...

Not only is that sword correct, the artist even remembered to draw the amethist jewel that comes loose in one of the scenes.

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