The Lantern Bearers (The Roman Britain Trilogy)

By Rosemary Sutcliff

The final of the Roman military have set sail and left Britain eternally, forsaking it to civil warfare and the specter of a Saxon invasion. Aquila, a tender Legionnaire, abandoned his regiment to stick in the back of along with his family members, yet his domestic and all that he loves are destroyed. Years of problem and battling persist with, and in any case, there's just one factor left in Aquila's life―his thirst for revenge . . .

The Lantern Bearers is the winner of the 1959 Carnegie Medal in Literature.

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Aquila’s hand tightened at the bridle. For the golden sister to carry him the visitor Cup in welcome, to bid him in and promise hot water after the dirt of the adventure, used to be not more than the obligation of the mistress of the home towards the stranger inside of her gates; yet, in a few strange means, for the brown sister to take his mare and rub her down appeared a extra own factor. “Cannot one of many males take her? ” he acknowledged. “Did you no longer listen Rhyanidd my sister say that our father and the boys have ridden searching? ” “All the lads of the village? ” “All who're no longer busy in alternative ways. Shall I name Kilwyn from his shoeing, or Vran from his personal hut the place he nurses a damaged ankle? ” “Ness, how will you? ” the elder lady installed in gentle misery, yet neither paid any heed to her. “I will take and have a tendency her myself, for those who will inform me the place i could locate the stable,” Aquila acknowledged. “And permit it's stated that during my father’s condo a stranger needs to reliable his personal horse on the journey’s finish? this is often so terrible and outlandish a spot that we needs to kill a pig to feed the Prince of Britain—though I daresay that pigs were killed for him before—but a minimum of no visitor desire have a tendency his personal horse. ” He discovered that she was once indignant with him simply because he had laughed at her sister concerning the pig—no, no longer simply because he had laughed, as a result manner he had laughed—and he beloved her the higher for that. Her hand used to be beside his at the head-stall now, and he had no selection yet to allow his personal hand drop. “Then it sounds as if i will be able to simply thanks and provides you your will,” he stated stiffly. He stood a second observing as she led the pink mare away, then became again to Rhyanidd. She used to be nonetheless flushed foxglove crimson, and he puzzled if she have been going to make a few type of apology for her sister. yet she didn't. She stated in simple terms with light dignity, “And now come you in and relaxation, whereas we make all issues prepared for Ambrosius. ” They have been dependable to one another, these . At cow-stalling time, Ambrosius and the looking occasion arrived nearly jointly. And that evening there has been feasting in Cradoc’s corridor, and subsequent day they rode out after wolves—Cradoc used to be happy with the searching in his runs—and introduced domestic 3 grizzle carcasses to be proven to the ladies and hung up for trophies within the corridor earlier than they have been flayed and the beef given to the hounds. That evening, whilst the feasting used to be over and the time got here for sleep, Ambrosius despatched for Aquila to wait him, rather than his armour-bearer, who, being younger and weak-headed and happy with his half within the wolf hunt, had inebriated an excessive amount of of the skinny, heather-flavoured mead, and used to be asleep below one of many corridor benches. The visitor position reminded Aquila of the little beehive hut of Brother Ninnias, the place he had slept with the gall of the Saxon thrall-ring nonetheless smarting on his neck. merely there have been high-quality roe-deer skins at the bed-place, and feather-stuffed pillows of blue and violet fabric; and somebody had set a bowl of apples at the stool beside it; apples whose gentle gold was once flecked and feathered with coral color, and the smell of them mingled with the fragrant breath of the herbs burning within the white, honeywax candle.

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