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Shadow of the King (Pendragon's Banner Trilogy) [Hardcover]

Helen Hollick
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

21 July 1997 Pendragon's Banner Trilogy
In this final part of the historical retelling of the Arthurian legend, Arthur Pendragon is dead! Or so the cry goes up from the battlefields of France. His widow, Gwnehwyfar, left at Caer Cadan faces overthrow by the powerful council headed by Arthur's uncle, and a power struggle with his ex-wife.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 576 pages
  • Publisher: William Heinemann Ltd (21 July 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 043400233X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0434002337
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16.2 x 4.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,223,122 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.
Book One - The KINGMAKING
Book Two - PENDRAGON'S BANNER
Book Three - SHADOW OF THE KING

'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)
Helen
p.s. Why not take a look at the book trailer videos opposite?

Product Description

Review

"If only all historical fiction could be this good." --Historical Novels Review

"Uniquely compelling... bound to have a lasting and resounding impact on Arthurian literature." --Books Magazine

"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 --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Helen Hollick is a USA Today bestselling author. She lives in northeast London on the edge of Epping Forest with her husband, adult daughter, and a variety of pets, which include several horses, a cat and a dog. She has two major interests: Roman/Saxon Britain and the Golden Age of Piracy - the early eighteenth century. Her particular pleasure is researching the facts behind the small glimpses of history and bringing the characters behind those facts to full and glorious life. She has an honours diploma in early medieval history and may one day, if ever she finds the time, go on to obtain her full degree. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Arthurian series ever! 7 Sep 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I have to agree with the previous reviewer. Helen Hollick has managed to create the best portrayal of Arthur, Guinevere and the rest of the characters that I have ever read. And again, I have read a lot (Arthurian legend being probably my favourite genre). I was glad that she chose to exclude Lancelot from the story although I did miss Merlin a little. The ending of this book is far superior to any other ending of this legend. The only other series that comes close is Bernard Cornwell's Warlord Chronicles although these are much darker and and concenrate on the battles. Helen Hollick's is a brilliant tale of Dark Age politics and humanity. You will not regret buying this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Arthur and Guinevere as it may have happened. 16 Mar 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
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 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Arthur to top all Arthurs! 12 April 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Final entry in The Pendragon Trilogy 12 Dec 2008
By Misfit TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Shadow of the King takes up where Pendragon's Banner left off, as Britain is at peace and Arthur and Gwenhyfar live at Caer Cadon with their young daughter Archfedd. Arthur is convinced by the Roman Emperor to sail for Gaul and defend it against the barbarians who wish to destroy it, along with Arthur's lands in lesser Britain. Once there, the campaign becomes mired in politics, backbiting, intrigues and treachery and Arthur is there much longer than originally intended. Once the battle is engaged, it does not go well and Arthur is presumed dead and left to Morgaine's care to see to his burial.

Arthur's uncle, Ambrosius, now governs Britain with his council, but they are not strong enough to fight off the Saxon threat, including Arthur's wicked ex-wife Winifred and her son Cerdic. Gwenhyfar grieves for Arthur's loss, but she must marry and have a husband to look after her interests. Not happy with Ambrosius' choice she looks to Arthur's younger cousin Bedwyr who has been in love with her since he was a young boy. They become lovers but something always holds Gwenhyfar back from the marriage ceremony, until one day when rumors come from The Place of the Lady that sends Gwen in search of.......

Well I won't tell since I am not into spoilers, although those familiar with the legends know how the story goes. The rest of the story details how Hollick envisions the politics and history of the time, the growing threat of the Saxons as the Britains battle to keep them at bay and the struggles for power between Arthur's sons Cerdic, Medraud (Mordred) and Cynric (or is he Cerdic's son?), until the final fateful battle that threatens to end Camelot once and for all.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the best ever 13 Jun 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
this is the last of a trilogy - the best EVER that I have read I was in tears at the end It's a big book but I read it through in three days - I just couldn't put it down. If you are a fan of Arthurian or historical fiction then read these books!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Arthur to top all Arthurs! 12 April 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars SHADOW OF THE KING (THE PENDRAGON'S TRILOGY)
I just love the way Helen Hollick writes -she sets the scenes so well and makes it really interesting. On the second book now!
Published 2 months ago by Anne
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Had a job to put down wanted to know what happened next. Got to love Arthur. But you need to read the first books to get the feel of the love his people had for him and his... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Mrs. J. Chappell
5.0 out of 5 stars The Final Book in Helen Hollick's Fantastic Trilogy of the Arthurian...
The final book of the series is just as brilliant as the previous two. Any reader who enjoys the Arthurian legends must read this first class fantastic epic trilogy. Read more
Published 14 months ago by L. M. Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars All good things must come to an end!
I have to confess that my favourite telling of the Arthurian legend is still Rosemary Sutcliff's Sword at Sunset but I also have to say that Helen Hollick's Pendragon Banner... Read more
Published 14 months ago by David Ebsworth
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read
I love Helen Holicks style of writing and will work my way through all her books.This is part of the Pendragon trilogy and as ever is a great entertaining read.
Published 15 months ago by Geoff5314
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic trilogy
This is the third novel completing the Pendragon Trilogy by Helen Hollick. Without question this is an outstanding trilogy, brilliantly researched, brilliantly presented. Read more
Published on 19 Jun 2011 by Hiraethus o Gymru
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the best 'Arthur' I've read.
I have just finished reading the Pendragon trilogy and I found it was hugely enjoyable. It was a refreshing slant on the Arthurian legend with no Lancelot, no knights in shining... Read more
Published on 3 Feb 2011 by joolsuk
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