The Kingmaking (Pendragon's Banner Trilogy) Paperback – 30 Jan 1995
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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. --bibliophilicbookblog.com
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. --passagestothepast.com
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.
--peekingbetweenthepages.blogspot.com --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
From the Author
Thankyou to everyone for your kind comments on my books, I very much appreciate your support and enthusiasm. Visit my website helenhollick.net for excerpts from all my novels and up-to-date informationSee all Product description
Top customer reviews
Arthur is at times very unlikeable: no modern man in fancy dress here but a man of his time - and that time was brutal. As for Gwenhyfar, I thought she was a brilliant heroine, at times strong, at times horribly vulnerable. Their relationship is compelling and feels true - no sickly romance here either!
Pendragon's Banner, the second in the trilogy, dropped through my letterbox this morning (actually they put it in the wheelie bin but I managed to rescue it!) and I can't wait to start reading it.
Disclosure: the author is known to me as we are both SilverWood authors. However this is my honest opinion of the book.
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!
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.
If you're looking for another glorified, romantic version of Arthur with honorable knights, magic and ladies in constant peril waiting for her knight to rescue her then this series is not for you. However, if you're looking for something more down to earth and realistic you might want to give this a whirl - just be warned the battle scenes are brutal and bloody. Interesting side note, apparently Sharon Kay Penman was a friend and/or mentor of Hollick and the book is dedicated to her. I found Hollick's style and sentence structure to be very similar to Penman's earlier work, The Sunne In Splendour, it's a bit different and does take getting used to. Out of print (and some versions quite spendy), but being republished in early 2009. Next up in the series, Pendragon's Banner (Pendragon's Banner Trilogy). 4.5/5 stars.
In her own words the author stated that she made a conscious decision to leave Merlin and Lancelot out of the books. There was to be no magic or myths in the book. What she did not know was that her writings on the subject would not just fill one book, but three.
Personally I found the book very refreshing and forward looking, if that can be said about a book that covers a period of time well over a thousand years ago. It coincided closely with my own feelings on what the Arthurian period may have been like. The book was certainly a million miles away from the Hollywood image of the period. Showing `knights' in full plate tournament armour. Something that was not invented for another several hundred years after the period that Arthur, or someone like him may have lived.
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I am a fan of the genre but not of the medieval romance stories. This was a much more down to earth, believable telling.Read more
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