They make the book feel like a real look at a gritty time. Plot: Five Stars I generally have developed an aversion to Arthruan re-tellings, after countless and countless experiences of it. Then he saw Morgause watching him, standing as straight and stiff as the single mast. One of the most stand out aspects of this story is Arthur's relationship with the women in his life - his mother, his father's mistress, Gwenwhyfar, and Winifred- his first wife. She tells a great story. They were scheming, mean and some were killers. This is the first installment of Helen Hollick's Pendragon's Banner Trilogy, about the legendary King Arthur.
Hollick does a wonderful job of balancing the narrative with the different characters, and not just keeping it to one person as is common in other Arthurian sagas. Here we are presented with an Arthur who is a product of these dark times, a complex man who is, in turn, both a brilliant strategist with touching compassion for his people and a Hollick acknowledges the guidance of renowned historical fiction author Sharon Kay Penman in her forward - indeed the book is dedicated to her - and the influence shows. Plus of course, now you have to read Mists of Avalon!! Spell-binding, magnificent, gutsy, heartbreaking, raw with bloodshed, triumphant! Arthur, however, hates Winifred and is in love with Gwenhwyfar throughout the book. The Red Dragon on the Pendragon's banner is the Welsh national symbol even today. Many talented writers have spun the tale of Arthur and his knights of the Round Table Mary Stewart notably comes to mind here , but it took author Helen Hollick The Kingmaking is Book One of The Pendragon's Banner Trilogy, by Helen Hollick, re-released by Sourcebooks on March 1. Instead, Hollick creates a window into the brutal Fifth Century, a time where Rome has left Britain and created a power vacuum where the native British and the Saxons fight for supremacy.
This review is a bit different, I read this book at the same time as Aarti from Booklust, and we discussed the book together. Arthur even thinks what is the best way to hurt this woman before me. Perhaps one day I might finish it. Arthur wants Gwenhwyfar for his own, he vows to marry her one day. I will also be posting an interview withHelen Hollick. I had time on my hands and so I started writing my idea of Arthurian Britain.
This is the tale of Arthur flesh and bone. Hollick manipulates a large cast of characters with a deft hand. Now, he lay only with Morgause, youngest sister to his God-possessed wife. Except, this isn't the King Arthur you're familiar with from Mort D'Artur and other legends. There is no sword in the stone, or magic. Instead, Fortuna followed the boy.
Someone would have to know how to do the things Gwen did or nothing would get done at all. Tremulously Gwenhwyfar said, 'I have something else to give, Lord. He makes decisions based on his own desires with little thought to future consequences, making enemies left and right. I highly recommend this book and I can't wait to start the next book in the trilogy! This novel includes stinking latrines, rape, pillaging, decapitations, wenching often by Arthur and other unsavory aspects of the period. A man trying to find footing in a rapidly changing world, a complex world that included those that clung to Roman ways, followers of the Goddess and the druids, and the vast, spreading tide of Christianity.
Keep it close, tucked well behind the shield of calm expression. I liked how gritty the story was- it seemed very true to what life would have been like in post-Roman Britain. This is the unexpected story of the making of a king — the legend who united all of Britain. Here, there are are no knights in shining armor, no Merlin the magician, and no chivalry. It seems that only one person brings balance to Arthur's character: Gwenhwyfar. I mean this is historical fiction at its' best and I was entranced.
I know I will enjoy it, once I get into it. She fights to be with him at all times and then complains of the conditions of their marriage. Arthur wants Gwenhwyfar for his own, he vows to marry her one day. And then the girl would get a coin for her troubles, but she'd oftentimes have to either abort a baby or raise it. I highly recommend The Kingmaking! I couldn't care less what happened to any but two of them; Arthur was a pig of a man. Ah, but it was good to be out in the open! He tossed his head high, back, bracing his body with his hands against the leap and plunge of the deck, and laughed with the pure energy of unequalled pleasure. I like the way that this book is historical fiction without any of the magic that is often associated with King Arthur, but while it doesn't have those elements, Hollick did a great job of finding a way to integrate those parts of the legend into this re-telling.
His eye sought the furl of the Dragon Banner flying proud from the masthead. This is Historical Fiction at its best. For those female readers, you will love our dear Gwen. So think of this as a novel about King Arthur which only vaguely resembles the king of myth. Why did the Lord Uthr need bring her? I have never liked the character of Gwenhwyvar, in any Arthurian tale, so I went into the story biased against her. After a second reading of the book, I have a much more developed opinion on this first of three books in what promises to be the most amazing rendition of Arthurian history I have ever read. Vortigern was supposed to be the bad guy but I feel Arthur was the bad guy in this story.
If you like a good novel about any average tribal war chief in Britain at the time of the Saxons then they book will appeal to you. Yes it is cruel in places, but they were cruel times. She held Arthur's eyes, and her voice, young though it was, carried clear and bold. Arthur isn't a legend - he's a young man, scared, and questioning who he is, wanting to find a place in the world. But perhaps her most impressive strength as an author lies in her development of character, specifically the Pendragon himself. Also we love being beaten up. He refuses to acknowledge this son.
Sourcebooks is releasing the other two in the Arthur Pendragon series. Hollick explained that she took what scanty material there is on King Arthur and created a plausible story. B: In a way I liked this more realistic version because it was a it should be, no magic, no Merlin and no shining knights at a round table. There is no cohesive story here, but rather a series of battle descriptions and sexual conquests that have been loosely strung together, shuffling characters from one scene to another. But Uthr was always jesting, always making fun of her aspirations. Gwenhwyfar winds up being bethrothed to another and Arthur ends up having to marry Princess Winifred in order to keep the peace.