The Perfect Sword: Forging the Dark Ages

Birlinn Limited. Nov. 2022. 272p. ISBN 9781780277844. $29.95. ARCHAEOL
The co-authors of Warrior: A Life of War in Anglo-Saxon Britain have teamed together again to carry the reader down the winding river that defines the evolution of the sword in the medieval age. To do so the authors use the Bamburgh sword, one of the finest ever, which was uncovered during a dig for which Gething was the lead archaeologist. Readers will learn how and why every part of a sword is made, what metals are used, and how the time period and cultures surrounding a sword shaped it as much as the smith’s hammer. Important people, sites, and other swords are highlighted during the journey, expanding the book’s scope.
VERDICT This book focuses on the informative and archaeological aspects of swords, not violence. It will likely please readers who are fascinated by weapons and by those who would normally be hesitant to pick up a book about tools of war.
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