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 ver...moreI 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 read.
Who would I recommend this book to? If 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 more action . . . If you loved watching the movie Braveheart but wish it was a little more 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 required 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 means.
It 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'Arthur and the many hundreds of others, film and book.
Oh, and I don't know who wrote the description which accompanies this book (probably someone at [www.amazon.com] 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 quite English. What they may have meant to say is that it is "readable". Why they didn't just say that I have no idea.(less)