The Lantern Bearers is a life changing book about a man called Aquila who, after an unfortunate event, loses everything he loves and becomes very lonely. He travels around alone, without really knowing what to do, and many things happen, but he eventually stops and settles somewhere, where he is finally respected and cared for. All the while, he has a desire to kill, or at least harm, a person who caused him all this pain and caused him to hate. He joins a group and gets more friends, and gets caught up in many things, including with a certain historical figure who may or may not have been real.
What can I say about this book? It has a mixture of everything you could want. No other book has affected my life so much, and I will remember this forever. Sutcliff’s usual style is all the way through this masterpiece, and it tells the story with great skill (beyond anything I can imagine). The scenes that are meant to make you feel something make you feel it very strongly, and everything about this book will linger in your mind. There is no way you will put this book down, and when you do, when you have finished it, you will just have to sit there and think about it. If you are even the slightest bit emotional, you will cry. I’m not that kind of person, but I could cry right now if I tried. I won’t try though.
Every single character in the book is believeable and real. You will love every single one of them, as much, or more, as you did for Justin and Flavius in The Silver Branch. Aquila is such a… haunted person, and his flaws make him better. He does not love, but so wishes to, and he tries. He is quite quiet, always thinking to himself and obeying orders, but he is independent. He is totally perfect. All of the other characters are the same, but they have slightly different personalities; this does not make them worse, it makes them different but still someone you care about. Even the bad people, although they are portrayed as bad, still affect you.
This book is haunting, affecting, moving, beautiful and life changing. The whole review of mine can be summed up in this amazing quote:
It may be that the night will close over us in the end, but I believe that morning will come again. Morning always grows again out of the darkness, though maybe not for the people who saw the sun go down. We are the Lantern Bearers, my friend; for us to keep something burning, to carry what light we can forward into the darkness and the wind.
You can’t compare this book to any other, and you just have to read it to experience it. Again, I will not give it a rating.
Now the Eagle of the Ninth Chronicles are done, and they may be closed, but I will surely read them again.
Your moved blogger, Jaz