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.
Books reviewed in this blog which have the word 'Golden' in their title include:
- Golden Hill by Francis Spufford: a historical novel set in New York in 1746
- The Golden Strangers by Henry Treece: a historical novel for children set in neolithic times
- The Golden Isthmus by David Howarth, an absorbing history of Panama
- The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing: a classic feminist novel of the 1960s