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The Kingmaking (The Pendragon's Banner Trilogy Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Helen Hollick
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Book One of the Pendragon's Banner Trilogy. The Arthurian legend retold by USA Today bestselling historical fiction author Helen Hollick. Arthur – the boy who became a King... who became a legend. 450 AD, and Britain is in chaos. Arthur, the next Pendragon, is to serve a hard apprenticeship before he can take his rightful place as King.

Product Description


I am so completely and thoroughly obsessed with this author right now. This trilogy is just beautiful. I love how the author turns King Arthur into a man and then the King of legend. The amount of research Ms. Hollick must have done is astounding because the detail in this book is wonderful.

Hollick's writing is one of the best I've come across - her descriptions are so vivid it seems as if there's a movie screen in front of you, playing out the scenes.

Helen Hollick is an author who is conquering the world one country at a time with her intricate way of bringing the past to life. --Suite 101 Romance

Helen Hollick brings history to life... she weaves fact with fiction in such a way that keeps you spellbound and turning the pages as quickly as you can to find out what will happen. From love and loyalty to fighting raging battles there is never a boring moment.


Arthur is a young boy, revealed as the new Pendragon. He must serve a hard apprenticeship under his enemy if he is to succeed. Gwenhwyfar is his childhood sweetheart who finds herself a political pawn in a deadly struggle. This is the first volume in the "Pendragon's Banner" trilogy.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1739 KB
  • Print Length: 429 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 190623664X
  • Publisher: SilverWood Books (2 Nov. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00634TM0G
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #186,274 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Hello, welcome to my Amazon Author Page.

I am Helen Hollick, I live in Devon, England, with my husband Ron and adult daughter Kathy and her husband, Adam.

I write historical fiction, getting to the nuts and bolts of the 'what might have really happened' story of King Arthur in my PENDRAGON'S BANNER Trilogy. There is no magic or fantasy. No Merlin, no Lancelot, knights in armour, round table or holy grail - just the story of a war lord who has to fight hard for his kingdom and even harder to keep it.

'Helen Hollick has it all! She tells a great story, gets her history right and writes consistently readable books!' (Bernard Cornwell)

My Lost Kingdom Saxon Series - HAROLD THE KING (I AM THE CHOSEN KING is the US title of the same book) and its prequel,A HOLLOW CROWN (The FOREVER QUEEN is the US title of the same book) tells the story of the twilight years of Anglo Saxon England immediately before the Norman Conquest.
Stripping the Norman propaganda from what we think we know of that most famous date in English history - 1066 and the Battle of Hastings, my novels portray all the honour and dignity that history remembers of its fallen heroes.

I am also co-scriptwriter for the UK movie 1066 which is in development.

To balance the serious books I have my SEA WITCH VOYAGES: pirate-based adventure fantasy. A fine blend of Sharpe, Hornblower and Indiana Jones all stowed in the one boat.
Voyage One - SEA WITCH
Voyage Two - PIRATE CODE
Voyage Three - BRING IT CLOSE
Voyage Four - Ripples In The Sand

"In the sexiest pirate contest, Captain Jesamiah Acorne gives Johnny Depp's Jack Sparrow a run for his money" (Sharon Penman)

Charismatic and a charmer of a rogue, trouble follows Jesamiah Acorne like a ship's wake. His "girl" Tiola, is a white witch, one of the Wise Women of the Old Ones of Light. She is loyal and faithful to Jesamiah - but does he deserve her?

If you liked the Pirates of the Caribbean movies and enjoy a good sailor's yarn, then in the words of author Elizabeth Chadwick "You'll love this to pieces of eight".

And coming soon: Jesamiah Acorne's early adentures as a young pirate: The Mermaid Voyages

Browse my books and 'Lege Feliciter' (read happily)
p.s. Why not take a look at the book trailer videos opposite?

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Can Arthur unite the Britons against the English? 16 Mar. 2001
By A Customer
Don't read this book (or any of the trilogy) expecting a tale of mystery, magic and Merlin. Rather a historian's view of what the real Arthur and Britain in the post-Roman, pre-Saxon age might have been like. This is a time when Rome has deserted the British and the English are only just arriving from 'Germany' bringing with them upheaval and a constant struggle for power. A time when 1000 soldiers is considered a major force and tribal and ethnic loyalties are constantly shifting. As in real life many people are looking to the past and the glory of Rome while others want to look to the future. Not as clear a distinction as it sounds. Dirt, death, tragedy and a nicely dispassionate view of life and death keeps the books rocking along even though they are quite substantial. I did manage to put it down but it did certainly keep me popping back as often as possible.
If I did have one criticism it was that Guinevere (spelt in the more realistic Welsh fashion in this book) was possibly a little bit more of a modern feminist action hero than I feel reasonable. But then again what is a novel without a challenging interpretation of life and love.
I found it very interesting that the origin of the sword from the stone could be because the Latin for 'out of a stone' (ex saxo) is similar to 'from a Saxon' (ex saxone). Sounds reasonable!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Earthy and historically accurate re-telling... 21 Aug. 2000
The Arthur and Guinevere of the fairy-tale legend is firmly buried in the past, the moment you pick up Book One of this brilliant trilogy. This tale is packed full of historical earthiness and truly transports the reader back to those early years of Britain, when life was not full of gallant knights and pretty castles, but a harsh world where the British-born struggled against the invaders of the isle, the Saxons, Jutes and Angli, not forgetting the hostile North lands thrown in for good measure. The "Gwenyhfar" and "Arthur" of this tale are solid and believable - the reader cannot help but get caught in these shadowy times and catch a historical glimpse of this dark, far-away age. The characters spring to life through the pages, creating an exciting identity of their own whilst their lives are gradually mapped out through the chapters. There are no love-lorn Lancelots, no gushing Guineveres or awful Arthurs, here you can believe in an age-old legend to the extent that the myths fade, and the real history is like The Kingmaking...yours for the taking.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Arthur to top all Arthurs! 20 April 2001
By A Customer
By far the best version of the Arthur legend I have read so far - and I've read a few! Helen Hollick combines fact with fiction to create a very real and credible Arthur. Her trilogy is packed with suspense, passion and pathos and is totally addictive! I defy anyone who does not fall in love with at least one of her beautifully developped and fully rounded characters, be it with her headstrong Gwenhwyfar or with her rugged Arthur.
Unlike most contemporary Arthurian novels, Helen omits the characters of Lancelot and Merlin, and rationalises the magical elements of the legend, one would think to the disappointment of the reader. Without a shadow of a doubt however, poor Merlin and Lancelot were not missed by me in the slightest, despite my being a lover of all these magical and romantic elements in previous novels. 'The Kingmaking', 'Pendragon's Banner' and 'Shadow Of The King' are all absolute 'musts' for anyone who enjoys a damn good read, and the sooner a film maker puts them on the big screen, the better!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Misfit TOP 1000 REVIEWER
The Kingmaking begins in post Roman Britain as the exiled Uthr Pendragon lands in Gwynedd, Wales to join Cunedda in an attempt to overthrow Vortigern and drive the Saxons out of Britain. The battle does not go well, and fifteen year old Arthur is revealed as Uthr's son and heir. Too young and inexperienced to make his claim, Arthur eventually throws in his lot with Vortigern as he learns the arts of war and builds his own army and cavalry. Arthur is in love with the Prince of Gwynedd's daughter Gwenhwyfar, but she is promised to another and he marries Vortigern's delightfully wicked daughter Winifred for her dowry. As Vortigern's pact for peace with the Saxons fails due to treachery, Arthur's time has come to defeat the Saxon Hengest and claim the crown of Britain with Gwenhwyfar as his queen.

Although you'll find pretty much the usual characters as you do in other books on the Arthurian legend, what sets this one apart is Hollick's take -- no knights in shining armour, no Merlin and his magic, no Lancelot -- this is a gritty down to earth version as the author envisions Arthur. Even whilst still young and with a young boy's ideals, Arthur is far from being pure as the driven snow. He drinks, he wenches and when he does lead his army into battle he is a fearsome and ruthless warrior. Winifred and her equally wicked mother schemes both together and behind each other's backs in bids for power were priceless, as well as Winifred's constant plots to get herself back into Arthur's bed, and keep Gwenhwyfar out of it. Gwenhwyfar was nicely portrayed as a young girl growing up a bit of a tomboy in Gwynedd, and while I enjoyed her portrayal as a strong woman there were times she was just a tad bit too independent and feminist.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Kiungmaking (The Pendragon's Banner Trilogy)
Yet again, a really good engrossing read. Just love the way the author makes the pages come alive with great storytelling.
Published 10 months ago by Anne
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping story
Excellent book. Cannot put the book down. Helen Holliick must have spent months or years researching the background of the subject, as a result she has ended up with a fine... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Guern
5.0 out of 5 stars Breath-taking!
Spell-binding, magnificent, gutsy, heartbreaking, raw with bloodshed, triumphant! Helen Hollick's Arthurian trilogy quickly draws you into the world of legend. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Highlander
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely the Best
From the very first page I was hooked! I loved this book, the first of a trilogy. I'm a great fan of Arthurian Legends in general, but Helen Hollick brings such realism to her... Read more
Published 23 months ago by L. M. Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable, intelligent read
First time with this author and I've enjoyed it. I don't have a lot of time to read but the book was worth it.
Published on 23 April 2013 by Mrs. K. Hunter
2.0 out of 5 stars Bad Characterization
I love arthurian legends and had been recently looking for adaptations that challenge the old 'damsel in distress' theme for gwen. Read more
Published on 17 Mar. 2013 by Tisha
5.0 out of 5 stars Reality meets legend
This novel,the first in a trilogy recommended and endorsed by Sharon Penman, an historical novelist of undisputable quality and literary experience, is by an author who shows the... Read more
Published on 13 May 2011 by Hiraethus o Gymru
5.0 out of 5 stars An Exquisite Portrayal
Helen Hollick was born 1953 in Walthamstow, North East London. When she came of age to seek employment she had always yearned to be a journalist, but her careers advice was... Read more
Published on 20 Sept. 2007 by J. Chippindale
5.0 out of 5 stars An Exquisite Portrayal
Helen Hollick was born 1953 in Walthamstow, North East London. When she came of age to seek employment she had always yearned to be a journalist, but her careers advice was... Read more
Published on 17 Sept. 2007 by J. Chippindale
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for all fans of Arthurian fiction!
I am an avid collector of Arthurian fiction and Helen Hollick's Pendragon's Banner trilogy is one of the best fictional accounts of Arthur in Roman times that I have ever read. Read more
Published on 29 Aug. 2000
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