Anthony's Reviews > Excalibur

Excalibur by Bernard Cornwell
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's review
Apr 09, 2008

liked it
bookshelves: historical-fiction
Recommended for: Those who have enjoyed The Warlord Chronicles and have to know how it ends
Read in May, 2008

Bernard Cornwell’s, The Warlord Chronicles, is Arthur as you have never seen him before. No shining knights in plate armor, no ‘round table’, no magical sword or quest for the mystical Holy Grail. Many of the names you know are here but these are not the tired characters you have seen again and again in other media. This is probably the most historically accurate representation of the mythical fifth century British warlord, Arthur, you have ever heard. This is also the least ‘historical’ of Cornwell’s historical fiction (in my library), of necessity because there is really so little record of the figure that has become the King Arthur of current mythology. Even so the reconstruction of the culture, people, religions, and ‘magic’ of the era are fascinating, and I believe, probably pretty accurate. My investment in the characters, and need to know how the story ended, made me persevere in finishing EXCALIBUR, the final chapter in this series. Even so, I felt it was perhaps the weakest of the many Cornwell novels I have read. There were times when I felt it was dragging on and really just needed to end. As with all of Cornwell’s work, the brutality and cruelty of the time are faithfully reproduced in this series, accordingly this is probably a series best reserved for adults, probably a mature seventeen or older.

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Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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message 1: by SueAnn (new)

SueAnn This book is much more your style, it's not surprising that you couldn't appreciate the passionate and tragic love story of The Time Traveler's Wife, as it does not contain any of your requirements for an engaging plot or the essential details that appeal to your intelect. I completely agree that it is absolutely lacking in swords, horses, explosions, and scantily clad women, the exact aspects you deem necessary for any well written book of depth and meaning. :)

Anthony Now, now darling, you know I love passionate and tragic love stories, with or without swords, horses, explosions, and scantily clad women.

message 3: by SueAnn (new)

SueAnn Really? I guess I am not familiar with those books, please do share them with me, darling.

Anthony Hello! How about The Notebook?, The Bourne Supremacy? Where The Red Fern Grows? Wheel of Time? Mistborn?, to name just a few. All tragic love stories. Some with an occasional sword, horse, or explosion thrown in, but you can't blame me for that! :)

message 5: by SueAnn (new)

SueAnn Thank you for clarifying those novels which qualify as 'tragic love stories'. Perhaps your definition, as scholarly as it may be, is a bit divergent (the Notebook excepted) from that of the general literature community. Possibly it is about perspective, certainly the admirable Robert Jordan also believed he was writing a fasinating 'love story'.

Anthony Glad we could finally agree on this. :)

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