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The winter king : a novel of Arthur
Bernard Cornwell
Adult Fiction CORNWEL

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Arthurian literature may be a worldwide cottage industry, but Cornwell, author of the Sharpe series of historical military adventures (Sharpe's Battle, etc.) stands out from the crowd with this exemplary kickoff to a trilogy about the legendary warrior-king. Cornwell's Arthur is fierce, dedicated and complex, a man with many problems, most of his own making. His impulsive decisions sometimes have tragic ramifications, as when he lustfully takes Guinevere instead of the intended Ceinwyn, alienating his friends and allies and inspiring a bloody battle. The secondary characters are equally unexpected, and are ribboned with the magic and superstition of the times. Merlin impresses as a remarkable personage, a crafty schemer fond of deceit and disguise. Lancelot is portrayed as a warrior-pretender, a dishonest charmer with dark plans of his own; by contrast, Galahad seems the noble soldier of purpose and dedication. Guinevere, meanwhile, no gentle creature waiting patiently in the moonlight, has designs and plots of her own. The story of these characters and others is narrated forcefully and with dry wit by Derfel Cadarn, one of Arthur's warriors, who later becomes a monk. Cornwell knows his history‘the battle scenes are particularly fine‘but not once does it get in the way of people of flesh and blood meeting on a darkened field of combat. Author tour. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

The Arthurian legend has seen countless renditions over the centuries. The Winter King is a retelling that is reminiscent of Mary Stewart's "Crystal Cave" series (e.g., The Crystal Cave: The Legend of Merlin, Dove Audio, 1989). Characters are rearranged, resulting in a vain and unpopular Lancelot, an ambitious and scheming Guinevere, a Merlin who is more absent Druid than mystic magician, and a Mordred who is Uther's grandson and legitimate heir. The tale is told by the Saxon-born monk Derfel Cadarn for Igraine, a young queen. He relates his childhood in Merlin's compound, his years soldiering with Arthur, and the deeds he witnesses. This gritty tale is well read by Tim Pigott-Smith. Author Cornwell is perhaps best known for his Sharpe military fiction series. Recommended.‘Denise A. Garofalo, Mid-Hudson Lib. System, Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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more titles about

main characters Arthur Pendragon
Male
Christian
Pledged his loyalty to his infant nephew, Mordred, the heir to the throne.

Derfel Cadarn
Male
Foundling child raised by Merlin.
Warrior



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