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Extended Audio Sample The Shining Company Audiobook, by Rosemary Sutcliff Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (434 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Rosemary Sutcliff Narrator: Johanna Ward Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2015 ISBN: 9781504627177
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A white stag and a dagger transform the life of Prosper, a Welsh chieftan’s son. With Conn, his bodyservant, he leaves his isolated valley and joins the war band of King Mynyddog the Golden as a shieldbearer. For the Saxons have returned to threaten the northern tribes of Britain, and the Shining Company—a brotherhood of three hundred chosen warriors—must make a desperate attempt to repel invaders.

And with the Company travels the minstrel Aneirin, who will keep their names and their glory alive forever more.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The Shining Company deserves a place with Adam of the Road , The White Stag and other classic adventure stories.” 

    Publishers Weekly

  • Shining Company was written for young adults but the narration by Johanna Ward will reach many an adult audience.” 

    Reviewer’s Bookwatch

  • “The story will appeal to readers of historical fiction or fantasy, as the rich language and strong Welsh dialect give the story a mythic air.”

    AudioFile

  • “Readers willing to surrender to Sutcliff's demanding yet hypnotic language will be drawn into a truly splendid adventure, containing powerful themes of heroism, friendship, loss, betrayal, and sacrifice.” 

    School Library Journal

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sc | 2/11/2014

    " She writes wonderfully about Dark Ages Britain. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Simina | 2/11/2014

    " This is yet another Sutcliff masterpiece. The book almost reads itself and in many ways it is written in a simpler style than she uses in her other works - most certainly in a far simpler style than Sword at Sunset, also written in the first person, but then again Prosper is not Artos. The story itself was very good, albeit slightly heartbreaking, but then again this is part of Sutcliff's talent, to speak in an alomst matter of fact way about tragic things. The idea that these events are written from the point of view of a humble shieldbearer is again another of the appeals of this book. Extra points go also to the relationship between Prosper and Conn which is slightly reminiscent of the one between Marcus and Esca from the Eagle of the Ninth. It does seem at times that Sutcliff is writing the same story over and over again, but always finding fresh ways to do so. I also like the fact that she referenced Frontier Wolf as well at some point.It was a strange feeling, almost like finding familiar elements in an unfamiliar story. And now to find the Gododdin in a translated version that I can actually understand. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kate | 1/31/2014

    " I had to give it up because it was so boring! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Skye | 1/24/2014

    " Enjoyable. Some of the battle stuff was a little dry, but the story was good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Scott | 1/23/2014

    " Very good historical fiction about a young pre-British post-Arthurian warrior who eventually becomes involved in an epic (and somewhat historical) last stand. Very cool. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lara Lleverino | 1/20/2014

    " I read a lot of books to find stuff for my 11 year old son and this is one I think he will read when he finishes blasting through the Harry Potter Series. It was a great story that had vivid descriptions that were child appropriate about life as a middle ages soldier. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gwen Burrow | 1/14/2014

    " Ties with The Lantern Bearers for being my favorite Sutcliff book. Here Sutcliff takes what might have been a sentence or two in some ancient recording and turns it into a novel of duty, honor and sacrifice. Beautiful. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rebecca | 12/23/2013

    " I'm pretty sure it was this one I read...all the Rosemary Sutcliff books blend into each other but they are all great! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christa - Ron Paul 2016 | 12/19/2013

    " I love this book. I read it every year. It is full of the adventures and the trials of a 16 yr boy and his servant. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jamaica Hale | 12/10/2013

    " couldn't really get into it, not really that interesting in the first few chapters. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tammy | 11/11/2013

    " The story started out well and then got lost somewhere along the way. The ending was rushed and I was glad the book was done. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gracie | 8/23/2013

    " i gotta read it for school "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tootles | 8/23/2013

    " it was a good book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Caitlin | 7/11/2013

    " Beautiful and sad. Trully heroic. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pippa | 5/4/2013

    " I didn't read all of it. But I liked it, from what I read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Megan | 7/9/2012

    " An interesting look at eighth century Britain. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 E | 6/2/2012

    " Historical fiction in early Britain. I loved this book as a child, and still pull it out to reread occasionally. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robert Treskillard | 12/26/2011

    " This is an excellent novel that carries the deep aroma of all things ancient and heroic. Highly recommended, as Rosemary Sutcliff says, for anyone aged 9 to 90. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sara | 6/15/2011

    " A great historical novel, though not quite as compelling, to me, as some of Sutcliff's other books. Possibly because Prosper, the main character, while very involved in the action, is in most ways an observer or follower. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elizabeth | 1/29/2011

    " a tour de force. Incredibly tragic. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Microchiroptera | 1/10/2011

    " Real in its refusing to pander to the wishes of our imaginations. I longed naturally for a different resolution, but this echoed deeper. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sc | 7/12/2010

    " She writes wonderfully about Dark Ages Britain. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ron | 2/18/2010

    " Good. Very good. Juvenile perhaps, but well-conceived and well-written. A good read.

    Taking a epic from Britain's dark ages, Sutcliff weaves a tale which the reader has little trouble immersing himself in and going with Rosemary's flow. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Microchiroptera | 7/22/2009

    " Real in its refusing to pander to the wishes of our imaginations. I longed naturally for a different resolution, but this echoed deeper. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gwen | 6/12/2009

    " Ties with The Lantern Bearers for being my favorite Sutcliff book. Here Sutcliff takes what might have been a sentence or two in some ancient recording and turns it into a novel of duty, honor and sacrifice. Beautiful. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 E | 1/30/2009

    " Historical fiction in early Britain. I loved this book as a child, and still pull it out to reread occasionally. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gracie | 10/15/2008

    " i gotta read it for school "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Caitlin | 10/7/2008

    " Beautiful and sad. Trully heroic. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pippa | 8/9/2008

    " I didn't read all of it. But I liked it, from what I read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lara | 7/8/2008

    " I read a lot of books to find stuff for my 11 year old son and this is one I think he will read when he finishes blasting through the Harry Potter Series. It was a great story that had vivid descriptions that were child appropriate about life as a middle ages soldier. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elizabeth | 7/5/2008

    " a tour de force. Incredibly tragic. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tootles | 6/5/2008

    " it was a good book. "

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About the Author
Author Rosemary Sutcliff

Rosemary Sutcliff (1920–1992) was born in Surrey, England. A voracious private reader, she left her regular studies at fourteen to attend art school. In 1950 her first children’s book was published, and from then on, she devoted her time and talents to writing children’s historical novels. Many of her books are set in Roman Britain, a period that particularly interested her. She received the OBE in 1975 and, in 1992, was awarded the CBE. She was still writing on the morning of her death at the age of seventy-two.

About the Narrator

Johanna Ward (a.k.a. Kate Reading) is an Audie® Award–winning narrator and has received numerous Earphones Awards from AudioFile magazine. She is also a theater actor in the Washington, DC, area and has been a member of Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company since 1987. Her work onstage has been recognized by the Helen Hayes Awards Society, among others. She and her husband live in Hyattsville, Maryland, with their two children.