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Shadow of the King (Pendragon's Banner Trilogy) Paperback – 30 Oct 2006
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"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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
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.
As much as I did enjoy this book, I also found it to be very slow paced at times and definitely the weakest in the trilogy. Also, the author's prose was very reminiscent of Penman's early works but by the third book those short sentences and oddly placed commas were getting a bit tiresome. 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. A generous 4/5 stars.
The series in order,
Shadow of the King