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The Winter King review î eBook or Kindle ePUB ☆ [BOOKS] ⚣ The Winter King Author Bernard Cornwell – Johns-cycling-diary.co.uk It takes a remarkable writer to make an old story as fresh and compelling as the first time we heard it With The Winter King the first volume of his magnificent Warlord Chronicles Bernard Cornwell fHeroic a man of honor loyalty and amazing valor a man who loves Guinevere passionately than he should a man whose life is at once tragic and triumphant As Arthur fights to keep a flicker of civilization alive in a barbaric world Bernard Cornwell makes a familiar tale into a legend all over again. 45 stars The legend of Arthur has been told time and again over the centuries From ancient British folk tales to 5 season of 'Merlin' from 15th Century French verse to 'The Mists of Avalon' With this book Cornwell has left his mark on that tradition He's taken a tale examined from almost every angle and made it his own Most of all he's written a story filled with complicated characters visceral battles and ambitious intrigues in a brutal immersive setting The protagonist of this story is Derfel Cadarn A humble straight forward soldier Derfel is in a position to observe the complicated characters involved in the military and political struggles to decide the fate and faith lol puns of Britain Derfel also gives us an engaging insight into the terror and exhilaration of fighting in a shield wall These sections which bring to life the mud blood exhaustion fear and pain of frontline combat are some of the most intense of the book The framing device with Derfal now an old monk telling his story created some extremely poignant momentsArthur is extremely well written although his character sometimes feels too noble especially given how bleak the rest of this world is To be fair Arthurian legend usually holds Arthur up as the pinnacle of all that is right and in this series Cornwell portrays him as the one hope for goodness in a world filled with evil For all of his saintliness although saints in this book are often knobs Coughs Sansum Coughs Arthur's vanity ambition and occasional reckless idealism made him than a 2 D representation of heroism and instead showed him to be a flawed realistic character making his struggles all the powerful In the early stages of this book I found Owain the old king's champion to be a brilliantly written character a complex villain and a great source of conflict On one hand Owain was a great warrior who was generous and kind to the men under his command including Derfal on the other hand he was openly corrupt raped a captive woman this was a disturbingly freuent occurrence in the story at times the freuency of rape went beyond realistic in this setting and into being gratuitous and mercilessly slaughtered a defenceless village to line his own pockets view spoiler Due to his scummy actions I didn't find him an overly sympathetic character as a result his death pretty early on didn't really affect me However as the book progressed I felt his absence keenly especially as a bunch of much less compelling villains began to appear I also thought that Derfal suddenly siding against him and his abrupt death cut out what could have been a really interesting contest for Derfal's loyalty between Owain's pragmatism represented by his faith in the shield wall and Arthur's idealism his love of heavy cavalry hide spoiler

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It takes a remarkable writer to make an old story The Winter eBook #224 as fresh and compelling as the first time we heard it With The Winter King the first volume of his magnificent Warlord Chronicles Bernard Cornwell finally turns to the story he was born to write the mythic saga of King Arthu. I really can't say enough about this book There are a lot of reasons to enjoy books and this one scores highest in so many categories It is just very fun to readWho would I recommend this book toIf you loved The Lord of the Rings but the smallest part of you that doesn't care about poetry kind of wished it had a little action If you loved watching the movie Braveheart but wish it was a little accurate historically If you were excited about the 2004 movie King Arthur which although was advertised to be the real story of King Arthur had Arthur and his band of Mongolians defending the Scottish border against Saxons The hell kind of sense does that make Saxons invaded the South west coast the region of England now called Saxony the people Arthur would have fought on the Scottish border were yes you guessed it Scotts If you were excited ditto Tristan and Isolde If you loved Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series but don't have the eons reuired to read each with a 1000 pages per volume I'll break down the idea behind the book Yes it's about King Arthur And I know what you are thinking it's a magic book No there are no fairies no pixie dust no Crystal Cave sorry Mary Stewart I loved your books too but for slightly different reasons The book does a real researched job in telling a story which might have happened Many of the characters believe in magic and things happen which might be interpreted as such but they might also be explained by realistic meansIt portrays Arthur as a warlord in around 500 AD right after the Romans abandoned their foothold in the British Isles and right before the Anglo Saxon invasion turned the Celtic land of Britain into Angl land England History indicates something stopped the Saxon invasion for about 50 years and most historians believe that might have been Arthur There is also no jousting a sport popular about 700 years later The story is different from the traditional Arthur Legend but similar enough to make it enjoyable to people who also liked The Crystal Cave The Once and Future King Le Morte d'Arthurand the many hundreds of others film and bookOh and I don't know who wrote the description which accompanies this book probably someone at www but they say it is written in flat American diction I don't believe Bernard Cornwell a native of Britain would appreciate that He might live in America currently but is still uite English What they may have meant to say is that it is readable Why they didn't just say that I have no idea

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The Winter KingRThe tale begins in Dark Age Britain a land where Arthur has been banished and Merlin has disappeared where a child king sits unprotected on the throne where religion vies with magic for the souls of the people It is to this desperate land that Arthur returns a man at once utterly human and truly. Nobody does this uite as well as Bernard Cornwell He is uite literally the master of this genre He creates a vivid warrior culture time and time again and I will never get bored of it This is saying a lot because Bernard Cornwell has written a huge amount of novels over the years and a few are similar in ways but I don’t care because they’re just so good This time Bernard Cornwell tells the story of Arthur though not from the perspective of Arthur; he tells it from the point of view of one of his footman An interesting take on the Arthurian myth Derfel is a spearman in the service of Arthur and he narrates Arthur’s story I’m glad that we weren’t privy to Arthur’s thoughts and emotion because it helped to create an idea about him being an untouchable being What I mean is that Arthur is better than the common man and by telling the story like this it assumes a sense of distance between someone like Derfel who in himself is honourable and someone who is in essence a man beyond measure It created an Arthur that was as enigmatic as he was courageous and noble I think it was a great idea This is an awakening change to what I thought would be the predictable route of a novel like this We see the events and people that surround Arthur’s life from a different perspective One that holds Arthur in high esteem but in spite of this we also see the mistakes Arthur makes as a commander He takes the wrong bride in a moment of selfish passion and almost dooms himself in the process I emphasise the word mistakes because this is not the usual Camelot fairy tale; this is a gritty realistic approach to the legend More historical than legend This is a tale that has been told countless times but to make it stand out Cornwell had to make his retelling uniue In his version Lancelot is a fraud and Guinevere is uite possibly a complete whore who entrapped Arthur for power not love; thus this is far from the usual fairy tale The characters are realistic and not without their flaws so they are human and fallible This is a far shot form the knights of the round table and the pure virtuous that Arthur represents This made this novel not remotely predictable or a simple regurgitation of a tale we already know The movement of Christianity through the reduction of the druids is also apparent It is intriguing to see the rivalries created by these religious differences I like the way the Druid’s though relying on and believing in magic appear to have no magical abilities but are driven by what they perceive as their magic powers and knowledge I think Cornwell has been very subtle here because without openly suggesting that their magic was impossible he does show us that their magic is slowly fading This gives the novel a realistic setting a historical setting rather than the usual fantastical nature of tales surrounding Arthur Pendragon I enjoyed this novel but not as much as those in the Saxon Stories Derfel lacks the charisma and will of Uhtred And for that reason I gave this a four star rating rather than the five it could have earnt