About Me

My photo
Having reviewed over 1200 books on this blog, I have now written two myself. Motherdarling is a story about a search for a missing Will which reveals long-hidden family secrets. The Kids of God is a thriller set in a dystopia ruled by fascist paramilitaries. Both are available as paperbacks and on Kindle through Amazon. I live in Canterbury, England. I lived for more than thirty years in Bedford. Having retired from teaching; I became a research student at the University of Bedfordshire researching into Liminality. I achieved my PhD in 2019. I am now properly retired. I love reading! I enjoy in particular fiction (mostly great and classic fiction although I also enjoy whodunnits), biography, history and smart thinking. Follow me on twitter: @daja57

Sunday, 12 July 2020

"The Golden Strangers" by Henry Treece

Not so much a historical novel as a prehistorical novel, The Golden Strangers are Bronze Age men arriving in England to take the land from the Stone Age black haired men. There are slaves and magic and sacrifices to the gods because the Earth Mother needs blood for the barley to grow. There are wolf hunts and cattle raids; fisherfolk, hunters, pastoralists and farmers, there are jealous women and aggressive men. This is sword and sorcery but told with vivid detail and sadomasochistic relish. It is poetic and violent and weird.

When I was a kid I read Henry Treece's Viking books: Horned Helmet; and the trilogy Viking Dawn, the Road to Miklagard, and Viking Sunset. I also read his book about the arrival of the Roamns to Britain, Legions of the Eagle, and his book about the Children's Crusade, The Children's Crusade. I was a fan! I never knew about his adult novels. Or his poetry. He was a very prolific man.

Some great moments from this novel:

  • "This was the place of the long silence, where the most important of the People of the Hill went, to lie in their rows,back into the womb of Earth Mother, painted with bright red ochre to represent the blood of birth." (C 1)
  • "I speak in a hurry, like a man with a she-bear scratching his backside." (C 15)
  • "They were as contented as warriors could be ... They lived in the present; it was unwise to do anything else." (C 16)
  • "'Men will never forget us, my comrades'. ... Men were saying such things all the time on a war journey, but of course, men did forget them, quite soon after they had fallen; for in wartime a warrior must not keep on remembering his dead friends, how they looked, what they said, or he would lose his own courage and soon be dead and grinning like them." (C 16) That last image, in which 'grinning' sticks out as being so wrong in the context of death, until it conjures up the image of a skull, is brilliant. 
  • "Do not trust what a dog tells you. They are born liars" (C 24)
  • "A sad little song of the Hunters, as dark as the bramble-fruit, as bitter as the crab-apple, and almost as old as the chalk hills." (C 24) The last sentence is a whole part is a way of summarising the atmosphere of the book.
July 2020; 210 pages

Books reviewed in this blog which have the word 'Golden' in their title include:

No comments:

Post a Comment