A little, forgotten jewel
! first read The Mistletoe and the Sword several years ago, and remember enjoying it. I just finished re-reading it, as part of my current quest of reading (or re-reading) all of Anya Seton's books. I cannot praise this book enough. The setting - first century Britain and the war between the native Britons under Queen Boadicea and the Romans -- is a period I am drawn to, and Seton's crafting of the story is superb. I remember seeing somewhere, this book referred to as a work for young adults. Perhaps that is why it is so clean, with not even the mildest profanity or a hint of sex.
However, whether it was intended for young adults or not, this little book is among Seton's finest, with all the elements -- plot, characterization, storytelling, dialogue -- finely-crafted and flawless. And of course, being a Seton work, it is based on actual historical events, centers on a "romance" -- in this case between a young Roman soldier and a teenage Celtic girl -- and has plenty of historical detail woven in.
It is unfortunate that this book has been lost and forgotten among Seton's works. If you are an Anya Seton fan, you owe it to yourself to read this one. It is a short book that you can easily finish in a few hours, and is highly satisfying. Perfect for a rainy day, combined with a comfortable chair and a cup of coffee!