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Enemy of God (The Arthur Books #2)

4.37  ·  Rating Details ·  11,421 Ratings  ·  405 Reviews
The balance of King Arthur's unified kingdom is threatened by Merlin's quest for the last of Britain's 13 Treasures; by the conflict between the ancient religion and the new Christianity; and by Britain's war with the Saxons. A master storyteller continues his retelling of the Arthurian legend.
Paperback, 397 pages
Published March 15th 1998 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published 1996)
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Vagner Stefanello
Jun 18, 2016 Vagner Stefanello rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: physical
Review in Portuguese from Desbravando Livros:

Uma obra-prima da literatura estrangeira! Um dos melhores livros já lidos na minha vida! Uma obra sem comparação! Esse é o único jeito possível de começar a resenhar esse livro magnífico de Bernard Cornwell. Com uma narrativa absurdamente leal aos fatos descobertos pelo autor, somos transportados novamente para a Britânia de antigamente, onde seus habitantes tentam defender suas terras dos invasores saxões.

Dessa vez, além dos problemáticos saxões, nos
Aug 10, 2015 Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

A slight improvement on the previous novel but definitely a feel of a second book in a trilogy. I enjoyed the first book but it took some time to get into and there were a hell of a lot of names to take on board (only for the majority of them to die or no longer be involved after 50 pages). This one was a little slow at the start and it took me a while to get back into the flow of the style and era but when things got going then the pages flew by.

Derfel and Arthur are two very well rounded c
Mar 18, 2013 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, fiction, library
Enemy of God Enemy of God (The Arthur Books, #2) by Bernard Cornwell is a solid 4 stars, maybe even 5 stars. I took a little away because I wanted Arthur to be a little more cunning and realistic. He comes across too naïve in areas where he should not be. The portrayal of Christianity and how it spreads conflict is a major theme and isn’t pretty. But it is probably realistic. While this Arthurian tale is not like any others, if you are looking for a “Grail” quest, you will find it here…kind of. This part of the tale is told in the warm summertime, ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Allow me to open this review by apologizing to my friends on Goodreads for spamming so many reviews of Cornwell stuff lately, I don't know what my problem is. I hate to be that guy but the man's stuff is entertaining. Anyways...this book was a very pleasant departure for Cornwell. It's less about stuff like gathering levies, shield walls, and efficient military maneuvering and more about the struggle between paganism and Christianity, the relationships of the characters in the book and how they ...more
Mar 18, 2013 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Want an Arthurian legend with grit? With raw human emotion? With unexpected betrayals and intrigue? Here you go.

This is the second in the Arthur/Warlord trilogy and keeps the same momentum started in The Winter King.

It could almost have ended here. You could stop after this and have a satisfying saga.

But who would want to? There's still one book to go.
Kate Quinn
May 14, 2010 Kate Quinn rated it it was amazing
Cornwell's splendid trilogy of King Arthur continues in the second novel, "Enemy of God" - and it's altogether a darker, dirtier, more brutal world than the Arthur myths most of us remember growing up, with new twists to many familiar characters. Lancelot in this setting is a preening poser, Merlin is a teasing prankster as well as a powerful wizard, and the seasoned Derfel is Arthur's greatest warrior. Arthur now rules as regent for the child king Mordred, his enemies subdued - but chaos is ...more
Aaron Dembski-Bowden
Everything I said in my much longer review of The Winter King ( applies to Enemy of God, as well, except ramped up to 11.

The story was tighter, Christianity and Druidism both came across as more sinister and yet somehow more pitiable, and the characters plunged into that old truth of how everything goes wrong in Act II, when things are darkest before the dawn.

My only criticism (of a book as close to flawless as humanly possible) is that towards the end,
This was a reread for me after having read it first over a decade ago. Wow time flies.
I couldn't really remember the book and as I read it, it didn't look familiar. only had the occasional de ja vu. I am wondering if that is because it can be a little boring at times and therefore it never stuck in my head all those years ago.
A 4 star rating for it. I dropped a star because while at times it was a 5 star read, there were other times when Bernard Cornwell needed to stop over writing and get on
Rob Bradford
Oct 31, 2010 Rob Bradford rated it liked it
I have yet to read a really good book by Bernard Cornwell; but he's never failed to entertain me, either.

Every book of his that I've read could fit into this one generic Cornwell review:

Characters: good, but curiously blind in the places where the plot calls for them to miss something.
Historical Detail: excellent, immersive, impressive.
Plot: frustratingly obvious.
Pacing: excellent, if predictable.
Style: solid, literate, unchallenging.

I guess it's the way it's going to be, if you write as many b
Oct 23, 2014 Truncarlos rated it it was amazing
Empiezo a pensar que Bernard Cornwell no tiene comparación a la hora de escribir ficción histórica. No es sólo que no haya bajado un ápice la calidad de esta novela respecto de la primera entrega de la trilogía, sino que logra un efecto que muchas novelas prometen y luego no logro experimentar en casi ninguna: empatizas profundamente con los personajes, quieres que triunfen, quieres que fracasen, quieres que se recuperen cuando se encuentran mal.

Me flipa esa sensación tan fuerte que experimentas
Mayank Agarwal
Apr 21, 2015 Mayank Agarwal rated it really liked it
Much better than the first book in the trilogy, this has more exciting plots and made me want to know what happens next. The beginning was fun, the middle bore and the ending page turner, with Cornwell’s writing style already established in the previous book i knew not to expect fantasy and magic. The portrayal of religion and the importance and implication during the dark ages seem real and the way Cornwell uses it in the book is brilliant.

The book is solidly written and well-paced although th
Bookworm Sean
Nov 07, 2016 Bookworm Sean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading this, I have decided I don’t want to read the third book in the series because if I do, it will end. But no seriously, I will read it but I won’t be happy to finish it; it’s just one of those epic series’ that you come across every so often that is that good you don’t want to read it because when you have you can never read it again for a first time.

This novel is fantastic, the character development strong and the plot action packed. It’s just great! For fans of Arthur and his knig
Jul 04, 2015 Cindy rated it it was amazing
The story of Arthur, the king that never was and the enemy of God, continues in the great sequel.
It finally seems like Arthur has his order. Mordred’s throne is safe and after a final battle with the Saxon’s there will be a time of peace.
But Arthur forgot that the Gods thrive on chaos and so his peace will never last.

This is the last day of the old year. The bracken on the hill has turned brown, the elms at the valley’s end have lost their leaves and the winter slaughter of our cattle has begun.
Mar 18, 2013 Magdalena rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic book. I liked it slightly less than its prequel The Winter King, but still deserves a 5 star rating and its place on my Favorites shelf.

The story continues as Merlin is still looking to complete the Thirteen Treasures of Britain, Derfel Cadarn is hopelessly in love with princess Ceinwyn, Lancelot's ambition wants to devour all, Cerdic and Aelle continue to make war upon the british kingdoms, Christianity is as violent as ever against paganism, and Mordred grows to become an unfit king
Feb 05, 2012 Ensiform rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, historical
The second book in the Arthur series, this book tells of how Arthur’s fragile peace was broken by Lancelot’s deal with Cerdic, the Saxon raider, and how Arthur discovered Lancelot’s treachery with Guinevere. The narrator Derfel’s story is also fraught with drama; Cornwell knows how to make the reader hate villains (treachery is the trick, it seems, judging from this and the Sharpe series) and yearn for their comeuppance.

Again, this is a very expertly realized historical guess at “Camelot” (a wor
Oct 15, 2013 Rhonda rated it it was amazing
An absolute page turner. Derfel is a wonderful central character. I really like the way the story is written as a memoir. Because of that, we have a bit of a glimpse of his future. I keep reading to discover how he winds up in such a situation as an old man. Of course, that's not the only reason. Mr. Cornwell has developed wonderful characters and plots that kept me wondering what would happen next and astounding me when I found out!

I don't remember reading another book or series that i thought
kostas  vamvoukakis
από έναν μετρ του ιστορικού μυθιστορηματος, ίσως το καλύτερο βιβλίο του είδους.... εκπληκτική ατμόσφαιρα, δράση πολύ ίντριγκα.... Γενικά άψογο....
Enemy of God stunned me. I thought I knew what to expect from a Bernard Cornwell novel: a solid, irreverent hero with a talent for fighting, enticing and dramatic narration of historical battles, and a lot of wry commentary thrown in. And Enemy delivered that, but it’s a much different beast than I anticipated. Second in his King Arthur trilogy, it sees Cornwell flirt with the realms of fantasy and horror. Although I opened it planning to continue an thrilling historical series, Cornwell ...more
Feb 20, 2014 Jana rated it liked it
An interesting take on the main period of Arthur's reign that doesn't suffer from the middle book syndrom. I learned a lot about the post-Roman Britain and the earlier less-fancy version of the Arthur legend from this book. It is a period of confusion, a melting pot of religion and uneasy alliances.

I thoroughly enjoyed the battle descriptions which were never drawn out too long and actually fairly quick and to the point giving them a realistic feel. The magic in the book still has me thinking wh
Mar 18, 2013 Billy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So continues Derfel's tale of Arthur...,

Again, as in The Winter King, book 1 in this trilogy of Arthur, Cornwell presents part 2 of the history of Arthur from a very different point of view and with a very different spin on the tale. This is not the magical tale of a sword in a stone or of a round table and a grail quest. What this is, is a tale told by Lord Derfel Cadarn, Derfel 'the mighty'. He is, as he tells this tale, an old monk in the service of the king and queen of the Britons. But he w
Mar 17, 2014 Chris rated it really liked it
Still good. I said most of it in the first book's review, but this is an amazing series.

I did want to address two characters who I think fall a bit into Cornwellian stereotype. They are Lancelot, and Bishop Samson. Lancelot is portrayed as a whiny, cowardly, vain, treacherous piece of garbage. In theory, I'm fine with this. I'm all for throwing a wrench into the traditional narrative, it's just that this character isn't far off from a lot of Cornwell villains, especially in the Sharpe series. Sa
James Swenson
Jan 13, 2014 James Swenson rated it it was amazing
The second volume of the Warlord Chronicles: begin with The Winter King.

Bernard Cornwell recontextualizes the familiar episodes of the Arthurian legend within a plausible fictional history. The central characters are intelligently reimagined: none more so than Lancelot, whose villainy is thorough and multifaceted. While Arthur is animated by the quest to unite Britain (Wales) against the looming threat of the (English) Saxons, his fifth-century world is being reshaped by the waning of Druidic pa
Feb 03, 2015 Kenny rated it it was amazing
Every few years I look around the bookshop for something medieval/dark ages. And/or fantasy. Something that will be a rollocking tale, battles, kingdoms rise and fall and all that. Possibly - but not necessarily magic. Then after about ten minutes I think "Sod it, I'll read Bernard Cornwell's Arthur trilogy again".

So this is not the first time I've read this. Nor the second. It's the best series Cornwell has done - with source material this good, second rate writers do well, so a first rate hist

Read By: Edmund Dehn
Genre: Audiobook
Series Name: The Warlord Chronicles
Position in Series: 2 of 3
Abridged: No

Blurb: The second book in a trilogy telling the story of Arthur. After one last battle, Arthur will rule a peaceful land. But, unlike Merlin, Arthur has forgotten the Gods, who thrive on chaos. Arthur's plans are thrown into turmoil, as the search for the 13 sacred objects to restore the Gods begins.

This is a amazing book which really takes you back to the times of King Arthur. Told b
Jun 03, 2013 Olethros rated it liked it
-Continuación exitosa de los usos y formas del primer libro de la serie.-

Género. Novela histórica (por más que trate una época y un lugar con pocas referencias).

Lo que nos cuenta. Tras vencer en la terrible batalla del valle del Lugg donde Derfel tuvo que resistir ante fuerzas muy superiores, Arturo sigue trabajando por la estabilidad y la unión de los reinos en la isla, con los sajones como único obstáculo en su tarea. Pero Merlín sabe que hay otro enemigo, el cristianismo, que socaba la fuerz
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 10, 2015 Jake rated it liked it
Grading on a bit of an unfair curve as this was much better than most 4-star books I've read. But considering how much I enjoyed The Winter King, I expected this to be slightly better than it was. There was a lot of fluff and stalling, at least more than I remember from the first book. Also, the female characters are not well-created, a common problem for most male authors. Still, the moments of good writing and excitement Cornwell builds (there's always three or four scenes from Cornwell's book ...more
Jun 09, 2016 SergioBv rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excelente, igual que el primer volumen, tanto por la historia como por lo personajes.
La primera parte quizá algo lenta, pero va de menos a más. El último tercio del libro es apasionante y donde vemos las intenciones reales de algunos de los personajes importantes.
Sin descanso a por el tercero...
Apr 03, 2015 Amanda rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2014
I don't understand my ratings anymore. Maybe the Uhtred books should have been 5 stars, 3 doesn't seem enough for this one. I enjoyed it, took me a while to get back into the story though. Definitely appreciated the story more after having read the Uhtred booos and the first book. So maybe 3.5 stars. Ah hell just give it 4.
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Cornwell was born in London in 1944. His father was a Canadian airman, and his mother, who was English, a member of the Women's Auxiliary Air Force. He was adopted and brought up in Essex by the Wiggins family, who were members of the Peculiar People, a strict Protestant sect who banned frivolity of all kinds and even medicine. After he left them, he changed his name to his birth mother's maiden ...more
More about Bernard Cornwell...

Other Books in the Series

The Arthur Books (3 books)
  • The Winter King (The Warlord Chronicles, #1)
  • Excalibur (The Warlord Chronicles, #3)

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“But when you have order, you don't need Gods. When everything is well ordered and disciplined then nothing is unexpected. If you understand everything,' I said carefully, 'then there's no room left for magic. It's only when you're lost and frightened and in the dark that you call on the Gods, and they like us to call on them. It makes them feel powerful, and that's why they like us to live in chaos.” 28 likes
“To hear the tales told at night-time hearths you would think we had made a whole new country in Britain, named it Camelot and peopled it with shining heroes, but the truth is that we simply ruled Dumnonia as best we could, we ruled it justly and we never called it Camelot. Camelot exists only in the poets' dreams, while in our Dumnonia, even in those good years, the harvests still failed, the plagues still ravaged us and wars were still fought.” 6 likes
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