The Winter King

his is an alternate cover version of he book- ISBN 13:

Uther, the High King, has died, leaving the infant Mordred as his only daughte. His daughter, 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?
Year of the Publication
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Original Title of the Book
The Winter King
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Published 1996 by Penguin Books Ltd (first published 1995

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NascencyThe tale of King Arthur, Guinevere and Lancelot, the Knights of the Round Table, Sir Galahad and his quest for the Holy Grail, Excalibur, Merlin and his sorcery, and the age of chivalry are the ingredients of medieval fantasy and folklore.

Thi resulting novel creates an imagined tale that feels legitimate and historical.The story is explaine in the third person looking back in time, from approac of Dervel, a soldier and monk, who fought at Arthur ’ s side.

I haven ’ t read enough of his other works to ake hat comparison but if they ’ re better than this – well I have a lot to look forward to.This is an outstanding example of the historical fantas genre and the best take on the iconic Arthur story I ’ ve read or watched.

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Not oft, actually hardly ever, do I read th second series by an author set in a diffo historical period for fear of more of the same but jus a diffo setting ( its happened with others) but here I am giving Bernard Cornwell a go with his Arthurian saga – Its only a short series& having heard many good things, I ’ m trying to bang the lot of in one go ( 3 books) to complete my Summer read.It ’ s also one of my favourite legends so I hope he does it justice! The story ends with a scribe ( Derfel) at a desk who is writing the story of Arthur, the Warlord who should have been King so it goes ...........

Derfel himself, Morgan, Mordred& Merlin ’ s court ( minus Merlin) at Glastonbury soon follow all being familiar names in the lore of Arthur.

The politics are involved with petty rivalries, jostling for power& certain kings trying to be top dog of all the kingdoms of the Britons as all the while the Saxon threat becomes more prevalent as they encroach from the East.

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his time Bernard Cornwell tells the tory of Arthur, though not from the erspective of Arthur; he tells it from the point of view of one of his footman.

Anothe interesting take on the Arthurian myth Derfel is a spearman in the service of Arthur and he narrates Arthur ’ s tal.

I emphasise the word mistakes because this is howeve the usual Camelot fairy tale; this is a gritty realistic approach to the legend.

In his version Lancelot is a fraud and Guinevere is quite possibly a complete whore who entrapped Arthur for power, not love; thus, this is far from the usual fairy tale.

Tha ives the boo a more realistic setting, a more historical setting, rather than the usual fantastical nature of tales surrounding Arthur Pendragon.

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Another is a land of warring factions and a plethor of kings, and tha is where Cornwell has planted his version of Arthur.

Here, Arthur ’ s stor is told by Brother Derfel, an aging monk who wasn ’ t actually a Christian.

And trying to reconcile Derfel himself, the aging Christian monk and the young pagan warrior, is not one of my favourit theme of book.

How radically people can change always intrigues me.There were some people Cornwell portrayed here that were at complete odds with almost everything I ’ ve ever read or heard.

I don ’ t hink I ’ ve ever read a nove that contained this much spitting.

One of main reasons I ’ ll be continuing the trilogy at some later date is to explain how Derfel transitioned from one faith to the other.Even though I have a deep appreciation for both the story and Cornwell ’ s writing, I have to dmit that I truggled reading this.

And if you just can ’ t get enough of battlefields, I fee I found your new favorite book.I read this because Petrik loved the series so much.

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world is vast and mysterious.

Highly suggest this series, as well as most of BC 's work.

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4.5/5 StarsDepending on the whol of the rilogy, this will be the most original and the best Arthurian legend retelling of all time, out of all medium.A little background before I tart my review; this is my first dive into Bernard Cornwell ’ s work and only my second time reading a historical iction, so tha is totally out of my comfort read but I ’ m impresse with my decision to com out of my usual read.

I ’ ve heard of the name Bernard Cornwell several times until now, all pretty much claimed he ’ s a legend in ‘ Historical Fiction ’ genre but nothing ever truly pushed me into starting his books until last March when I finished binge reading the entire ‘ The Faithful and the Fallen ’ series.

He anaged to kee my most disliked narrative, omniscient narrative into something that worked wonderfully.Told in the similar style with Kvothe from Kingkiller Chronicles, we follow Derfel Cadarn, the main haracter, and the narratio, now old and a monk, recounts his journey with Arthur, his best friend, The King that Never Was, The Enemy of God and The Lord of Battles.

Cornwell has stated that The Winter King is a story of the Dark Ages in which legend and imagination must compensate for the lack of historical records, as there ’ s no conclusive evidence on Arthur ’ s legend and he did it with greatness.Arthurian legend has always been one of my favourit retellings, it ’ s been done numerou times already in any medium but I ’ ve never once experienced a retelling as original and fantastic as this one.

Similarly, a huge plus in originality towards Lancelot and Guinevere, for they have completely take on a direction that I actuall felt I would ever see in their character.Do note however that this is th fas paced book, we actuall get a little taste of Cornwell ’ s big battle scenes ( another factor that he ’ s highly praised for) in the last 60 pages of essa, if you love Shield-Wall, you ’ re oing to love the battle scenes for sure.Honestly, this ca ’ ve been an easy 5-star book for me if it wasn ’ t for the irst half of he bestselling.

Thi econd half however fixed this problem.Overall, I ruly enjoyed reading The Winter King and I thank John Gwynne for recommending this book to me.

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© Nicole Waggonner