The Winter King

The Winter King

A Novel of Arthur

Book - 2011
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In the dark ages, a legendary warrior struggles to unite Britain . . . Uther, the High King of Britain, has died, leaving the infant Mordred as his only heir. His uncle, the loyal and gifted warlord Arthur, now rules as caretaker for a country which has fallen into chaos - threats emerge from within the British kingdoms while vicious Saxon armies stand ready to invade. As he struggles to unite Britain and hold back the enemy at the gates, Arthur is embroiled in a doomed romance with beautiful Guinevere. Will the old-world magic of Merlin be enough to turn the tide of war in his favour? The first of Bernard Cornwell's Warlord Chronicles, The Winter King sheds new light on the Arthurian legend, combining myth with historical accuracy and the brutal action of the battlefield. 'Spellbinding realism.' The Times 'Of all the books I have written these three are my favourites.' Bernard Cornwell
Publisher: London : Penguin Books, [2011], c1995.
ISBN: 9780241955673
024195567X
Characteristics: viii, 494 p. : maps. --

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u2squirrel
Apr 23, 2018

This is my favorite series of all time. I think people have their own thoughts about Arthurian Legends. They might come into this liking or disliking certain characters which might set them on a pre-decided opinion, but to me this became my only Arthurian legend. Seeing all the old characters from an outsider's eyes, and even better; I came to care about the narrator so much. It's just a great book, with intense emotions and epic battle scenes. It's been great following these characters across their lives and three books. It's a series I continue to revisit.

c
crazygerbillady
Aug 19, 2015

I really enjoyed this whole series. It does a really good job of making the dark ages seem dark. Everything and everyone (for the most part) is dirty and and disgusting and horrible.

I also really appreciate the way magic is treated in the series. Cornwell never lets magic unequivocally be real. However, nor does he delve into scientific explanations which might spoil the mystery. This is complicated by the fact that not all the characters believe in all the magic all the time, and yet it is a very important plot device. There is a wonderful balance between reality and superstition.

The story, however, is not a happy one. It covers basically all of Arthur's life, and throughout the series, there is a strong sense of loss, from the abandonment of England by the Romans to the encroachment of Christianity to the eventual conquest by the Saxons.

It's not an uplifting story, but it is enjoyable and very well told.

p
PatrickT
Jul 25, 2011

I like Bernard Cornwell as a writer. This one took a little while to get going but a good read.

cloudni9e Jun 04, 2011

Warlord Chronicles series:

1. The Winter King: A Novel of Arthur (1995)

2. Enemy of God (1996)

3. Excalibur: A Novel of Arthur (1997)

Classic Cornwell. One of my favourite series. Historically accurate, descriptive, and gory at times.

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FavouriteFiction Oct 01, 2009

In this tale Mordred, Uther's infant grandson, is the rightful king and Arthur is merely one of his guardians, sworn to hold the kingdom against the Saxon warlords.

Book #1 in the Warlord Chronicles

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