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Pendragon: A Novel of the Dark Age (Dark Age Book 1) by [Wilde, James]
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Pendragon: A Novel of the Dark Age (Dark Age Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Length: 400 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

"Pendragon has all the hallmarks of a traditional historical adventure story ― there are battles, swords and the bantering of violent men ― and these are all are done with style. However, there is also intellectual heft to this story, with its themes of myth-making and the nature of power." (Antonia Senior THE TIMES)

Book Description

From the bestselling author of the Hereward novels comes an epic new adventure of betrayal, battle and bloodshed set during the darkest of times - a time when civilisation itself was foundering, when Britain was facing a Dark Age and in desperate need of a hero...

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3768 KB
  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Transworld Digital (13 July 2017)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01IQK8BOM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #4,565 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Hardcover
Growing up in the United Kingdom, I’ve always felt that the Arthurian legends are stitched into the very fabric of British society. Everyone knows the names Arthur, Excalibur, Guinevere, Merlin and Camelot. These stories, names and places evoke ideals that everyone should aspire to. The narrative Wilde has created explores these same principles. Lucanus is driven by a sense of honour. He has vowed to ensure the people he cares for remain safe, and it becomes evident as the story progresses that he will do anything to achieve this aim. Like the Knights of Camelot, he feels it is his responsibility to defend the weak and powerless. His resolve is steadfast and contagious. The rest of the Arcani would happily walk into Hell for him and so they are happy to assist in any way they can. This group of scouts are more than just part of the same unit, they are a brotherhood.

Hands down my favourite character is Myrrdin, the enigmatic ‘wood priest’. He appears, some would say as if by magic, and guides Lucanus on his journey. Myrrdin is secretive, prone to mysterious pronouncements and more than likely knows far more than he is letting on. Initially, Lucanus is suspicious, and frustrated, by the priest’s arrival but the further they travel the more he begins to trust this strange man. From a plot standpoint, the character of Myrrdin adds an additional thread to the novel’s narrative. Through him, the author gets to explore differences and similarities between Christianity and the other religions that existed in that period.

The other standout character is Amarina. Not having been born into a life of privilege, she has come to rely solely on herself. Determined and resourceful, she is always focussed on the next opportunity to improve her station.
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Format: Kindle Edition
If you have read James Wilde's Hereward series you will love it. Same style as Hereward - gritty, dark, grim. Harsh environment and an uphill battle throughout. Readers of the author's other works under a different name (The Age of Misrule series) will also like it, probably love it (I don't know how many of them like historical fiction) because they will like seeing the Arthurian legend come to life, although in a very different way from any other book centred on this particular legend. It has the same references to power numbers and old gods and goddesses that are part of Celtic folklore but this is no tale of knights and round tables. It sets the legend at it's very infancy in far darker times.

The story is as old as time itself really. Which is the point. The Arthurian legend is another type of religion - a belief in something that will make life better. Doesn't matter if the King actually comes in to existence - just the belief he will is enough.

It is very much a first book - setting the stage for what is to come. It has enough closure but in no way can it stand alone and it leaves you wanting the next chapter - always a good thing if frustrating as a reader.
Enough of the key characters are developed to keep them interesting. My favourite probably Amarina. There are unexpected twists and a good fast pace which I have come to expect from this author. He also has some really creepy people in the The Attacotti, Wilde's version make you shudder. Grim to think they existed.

It has left me thinking and pondering. I read some other Roman historical fiction last year - a series about Vespasian. This is much better writing, there is a depth to it that makes it stand out more.
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By Parm TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 13 July 2017
Format: Hardcover
Review

Pendragon…. the name just screams Arthur, Genevieve, Lancelot and all that goes with it. Well take that preconception and throw it out the window. Not since Bernard Cornwall took on the Arthur myth has any writer provided such a new and innovative view of the Arthurian story.

James Wilde takes us back to before Arthur, to a time when Rome still clings to power in Britain, but only by its finger nails. The barbarians that have been held back so long by the great wall of Hadrian are probing, looking, change is in the wind, because they can sense a weakness in Rome, a chance to retake the land a chance that has not been there in all the year of Roman occupation.

In a book filled with the history of both Britain and Rome, James Wilde pulls on the tale of Mithras and also the burgeoning power and rise of the Christ religion to provide a back drop of conspiracy and intrigue wrapped around the ever present guidance of the Druids and Myrddin. How can the rise of Arthur be assured, who would be the ones to protect him, who will be his parents/ grandparents. So many questions and ideas are opened up by this story, so many surprises and all delivered with a fast paced action packed book brimming with wonderful characters. If you were making a tv series it has action, fights, love interest, bad guys a plenty, tortured heroes… sometimes mentally often physically, highs, lows, misdirection and utter surprises… so much packed into a book 1.

I love the Arthur myth but always approach a new book with low expectations because there are so very many bad books, this i’m glad to say is not one, its a wonderful tale and i honestly cannot wait for the next one.

Highly recommend this read.

(Parm)
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