Sword Song, by Rosemary Sutcliff

This is a book about a teenager, Bjarni, who gets kicked out of his viking tribe for killing a man of the White Christ (a monk). He is told he must stay outlaw for five years. Bjarni decides to join a tribe led by Onund Treefoot, a man with a stout oak leg. After two summers worth of seafaring, Bjarni’s new dog, named Hugin, almost gets killed, but doesn’t. Onud expels Bjarni from his tribe, and Bjarni, and Bjarni gives his service to Thorstein the Red, a man with flaming red hair. During his time with Thorstein’s tribe, Bjarni witnesses Thorstein’s death. Later that summer, Thorstein’s wife, the Lady Aud, gives Bjorni his sword-service back, and she gives him a new sword. Bjarni sets sail with an old friend who almost gets shipwrecked. Bjarni saves himself and meets a nice young lady whom he takes home and marries, for the five years of outlaw have passed.

This was a good book. I think others will like it, especially adventurous kids and those who like history.

A Child’s Christmas in Wales, by Dylan Thomas

This book is a boy (really the author) telling a story of Christmas within a story of Christmas. He tells his friends all about Christmases in Wales. He talks about his uncles, who sit around and talk, and about his silly aunts who sing outside and always say the right things. He also talks about all the presents that they get, their traditions, and so on. I liked this book. I think that everybody will, too, but especially readers who like history and Christmas.

The High King, by Lloyd Alexander

This book is about a boy named Taran who destroys evil magic. This time we meet Taran in Caer Dallben, receiving a warning message from Gwydion, saying that the power-sword Dyrnwyn is gone. Taran and everybody else in Caer Dallben, except for Dallben, round up a war-band. Taran, under the Banner of the White Pig, gets many common folk to join him. They journey to Caer Dathyl and do battle, but lose, destroying Caer Dathyl. Taran and his band of common folk delay the Cauldron-Born from coming ot Annuvin, but they don’t slow the Cauldron-Born enough. All would be a disaster if Taran had not found the sword Dyrnwyn and unsheathed it. Taran strikes down the Lord of Annuvin, then sets out to make the world better.

This was the fifth and last book in the Chronicles of Prydain series. I love it. It is good for all ages, but especially happy-yet-strange ending lovers.