Rejected by the only life he knew, the boy turns to his own people, but Rome too rejects him. Lost, bewildered, a captive in his father's land, he escaped from slavery only to be captured again and condemned to labor on the rowing benches of a galley of the Rhenus Fleet. Will Beric ever find ultimate happiness?
Rosemary Sutcliff provides a fine and exciting story with a background of Roman Britain that rings true from the first page to the last.
©1955 Rosemary Sutcliff; (P)2001 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"Outcast comes to life under Johanna Ward's smooth reading..." (Reviewer's Bookwatch)
My 10 and 11 year old son and daughter listened to this in the car over the course of several weeks. They are learning about Britain in the Middle Ages, so I thought this could help bring the time period to life. Like most, my kids are captivated by fast-moving flashy movies and video games so I wasn't sure if they would connect with the older more sophisticated language and the comparatively slower pace of an audio book. Boy, was I pleasantly surprised. Every time we got in the car, I would hear, "Can we see what's happening with Beric?!?" We finished it today, and they are eager to see what our next audio adventure might be...
Rosemary Sutcliff is an excellent writer, and this book of hers is once again supported by one of the premier audio book narrators in Johanna Ward - a great combination making an excellent book. Not sure why Audible considers this part of Audible Kids - its great literature for all ages. The story lines are complex and rich, and the historical detail that is always part of her stories makes it not only interesting but also a learning opportunity. She was obviously fascinated with the period of time when the Roman empire was in decline and the Germanic people were beginning to assert themselves on the culture of the island. I highly recommend this book and also her classic the lantern bearers.
I was introduced to Rosemary Sutcliff's novels in a college class about children's literature, but after listening to all of her books offered by Audible and reading a few in print I realized her writing is more suitable for older teens, young adults and adults. She takes what little is known for sure about Ancient Britain and weaves it into a realistic story line, creating characters that tell us who they are through their actions without wasting words or using unnecessary explanatory narrative. What she doesn't do is add unbelievable chance encounters, romances, complicated plot twists, or head-case characters to keep readers going, so if you like that sort of historical fiction it may feel a little slow. Her style is very lyrical and Johanna Ward has the perfect voice for narrating her books. This story is interesting because it deals with cultures in both Ancient Britain and Ancient Rome, exploring the ugliness of slavery and the resiliency of the human spirit.
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