A historical novel set in the 6th century that depicts the development of an adolescent boy up through the age of 26.
Together with his father and older brother, 14-year-old Owin goes to battle against the Saxons, who are conquering more and more areas of Britain. Owin is the only survivor and is seriously injured. He is joined by one of the British war dogs, who from then on remains his devoted friend. Soon the two meet the orphaned, almost starved twelve-year-old Regina. In order to save the sick girl’s life, Owin brings her into the care of a peasant family and buys her survival by hiring himself out as a slave to one of the warring Saxons, who takes him to his far-off estate.
It is a long time before he sees Regina again. The book describes Owin’s close relationship with horses, dogs and his fellow human beings, all of whom he feels obliged to help. Owin is fearless and selfless; he remains true to himself and his ideals in all situations.
By always making the best of his serf situation and doing every job conscientiously, he wins the trust and esteem of his master and “owner” who finally releases him and gives him his freedom.
This book has something for boys and girls alike. Rosemary Sutcliff knows how to depict, in addition to action and fighting, the sensations, feelings and inner struggle that comes with it in a very moving way.
Ages 12 and up.