THE SHIELD RING by Rosemary Sutcliff

This is the story of the last stand (or shield ring) that the Vikings made (with their Saxon friends) against the Normans who’d conquered England in 1066, and now wanted to make all of it under their control. This shield ring was created in what we now know as the Lake District, near Buttermere, named after Jarl Buthar, one of the characters in the story.

Ms Sutcliff writes stories of day-to-day life set a long time ago, either in the time of the Romans (as in the case of EAGLE OF THE NINTH, her most famous book) or in the early Middle Ages (as in this book). But what sets her books apart and prevents them from being dull is her superlative prose, which raises her novels above the mundane. 5 stars.