Welcome to our Anniversary Blog by resident blogger Jake Hope. Jake will be reading and reviewing all of the past CILIP Carnegie Medal winning books during the anniversary year. We are also asking shadowers to "Adopt a Book" and join in reading and discussing the anniversary titles in their shadowing groups.

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"The decision was there in the face staring at him - the beautiful painted face of the stern mother-goddess protecting her people. The will behind the decision was there in the proud carriage of her tall form. Anu would kill Fand herself rather than let her bring about the disaster Nectan's downfall would spell for the tribe!"

The Stronghold

Carnegie winner: 1974
Author: Mollie Hunter

Based on the Orkney islands, the novel opens with a gathering of the Men of Boar, pulled together by Nectan, their Chief.  Nectan suggests that the warriors end their opposition of Roman raiders as a means for self-preservation.  Domnall, the druid, believes they must continue to fight ot maintain their name and belives.

Driven by the death of his father by the Romans, teenage Coll has devised plans for a circular stronghold that would protect the tribe.  He believe this offers a third option but finds it difficult to persuade the tribe of this.  Chief Nectan and druid Domnall vie for power with tragic consequences.  Following this, the decision is made to build Coll’s stronghold and plans devised to oppose the Romans.  

The novel builds a convincing origin story, rich in historic detail, around the Brochs that occur on the Orkney Islands.


brochs / courage / Orkney / resiliance /