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Customer Review

I read the Warlord trilogy as soon as it was published and I've just finished re-reading all three books ("The Winter King" is the first). I remembered that I had enjoyed the books immensely first time around - and they were no less gripping second time!
I've read two or three of Cornwell's Sharpe novels and his most recent, the Grail Quest trilogy. In my opinion his Arthurian stories are much, much better than the others. So, if you enjoy Sharpe, you ought to enjoy these books - if you don't like Sharpe, don't let them put you off!
I've read plenty of Arthurian literature, and I reckon The Warlord trilogy comprises the best I've encountered. Set in a believable 5th century, with the vestiges of Rome competing with British resurgence, competing with Saxon invasions and with encroaching Christianity, the plot isn't hugely complex, but complex enough to be believable. The battle scenes are gritty and visceral. Most important, as another reviewer has noted, the myth of Lancelot is brilliantly shattered (I love it when authors turn the tables on traditional heroes).
There is also plenty of humour. Cornwell makes Merlin a very funny character, showing a weary cynicism that competes with his fervour to save Britain. Sometimes I felt his humour was inappropriate, then changed my mind as it helped to show that here was a man (druid) who is operating on a totally different level from anyone else.
All in all, an extremely good book, and well worth reading.
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