Warrior Scarlet

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Warrior Scarlet
Warrior Scarlet cover.jpg
First edition cover
Author Rosemary Sutcliff
Illustrator Charles Keeping
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre Historical novel
Publisher Oxford University Press
Publication date
1958
Media type Print
Pages 218 pp
ISBN 0-19-271133-4

Warrior Scarlet (1958) is a historical novel by Rosemary Sutcliff. It was first published by Oxford University Press and illustrated by Charles Keeping.[1] It was soon published in the USA by Henry Z. Walck, New York, later in 1958.[2]

Plot introduction[edit]

In Britain during the Bronze Age (about 900 BC) a young boy, Drem by name, dreams of becoming a warrior. He has first to overcome the fact he has a crippled arm and pass the tribe's test of manhood. This test is killing a wolf, on his own. Should he fail, he will be doomed to farm sheep for the rest of his life. When his friend and blood brother, named Vortrix watches him nearly die on his wolf slaying attempt, he cannot help himself but intervene. He attacks the wolf, meaning that the kill is void, as Vortrix has had a hand in the killing. Although Drem is badly injured by the wolf, he survives. Apparently Drem will never be a warrior, nor wear the scarlet cloth reserved only for warriors. He contemplates suicide, rather than face the shame of telling his family that he has failed. However, he goes to the sheep, and lives for a year with his friend Doli, a farmer. However the next winter, he kills his first wolf as it attacks the sheep flock. It bites him in the same place, removing his old scars, so removing the record of the old failed slaying. As the mark of his first attempt is still visible on the wolf, it is accepted as a legitimate kill. He is allowed to become a warrior, and passed through the terrifying initiation ceremony, which apparently involves all the candidates being knocked out. [3]

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