Four thousand years ago, a stranger's death at the Old Temple of Ratharryn-and his ominous "gift" of gold-precipitates the building of what for centuries to come will be known as one of mankind's most singular and remarkable achievements. Bernard Cornwell's epic novel Stonehenge catapults us into a powerful and vibrant world of ritual and sacrifice at once timeless and who...more
There was something about Bernard Cornwell's version of these bronze age people and their mystical and monolithic Stonehenge, that captured my imagination and I felt stirred by both them and their pristine, unpolluted environment.
They were innocent and gullible, ignorant and sweet, yes, even at their deadliest or maddest. They are unblemished by a modern world. Their existence is aligned in eve ...more
This story is a bit different from the usual Cornwell yarn. From the books I have read by him, it is apparent he likes to write about war, and is probably one of the best writers out there in describing battle scenes. There is battles in this book too, but the are few and far between. This is more about primitive man, and th ...more
Cornwell creates an eventful, vivid, gory, gripping and spellbinding tale of love and loss, sorcery, hatred, jealousy, greed, ambition and pagan theology.
Traces the story of three brothers, the evil and savage killer, Lengar, the cunning cripple turned sorcerer, Camaban, who ruthlessly sheds blood to build a new stone temple that will ush ...more
But the book doesn't connect. For one thing it lacks the humor which leavens the drama and gore of his Wessex series. (I assume Sharpe has his humorous moments, too.) I never grew to care for Saban as I shou ...more
"Oh," says I, with a lofty wave of the hand, "violence is all right. I can handle THAT."
Turns out, Dad knew what he was talking about. This book was far, far grittier than my usual fare, and there were several times where I had to put it aside and read something as cheery as "Howl's Moving Castle" to settle the emotions. It is not a difficult book stylistically, but the weight of darkness and paganism was so great that it took me over a month to plow through to the end. ...more
No matter how you slice it, the book is about how to build a stone temple in ancient times. There is a story behind this, an interesting and complex tale of people from all over present-day England, surrounding three brothers, sons of a chieftan, and their aspirations, plottings, dreams and failures. There is travel throughout the ancient island with Cornwell's requisite description of place and people, but it still comes back to building the stone temple; so the titl ...more
According to Cornwell, there is an interesting book Stonehenge by R.J.C. Atkinson on this same subject.
Sorry Cornwell but I do prefer your Saxon Stories.
How they raised the lintels is always a matter of controversy and as a warning for some Chariots of the Gods fans, there are no aliens involved, which is good thing. Give the humans some credit for the emergence of intelligence, and application of brute force which would have been their strength in that era.
It's a plausible-sounding method I ha ...more
I enjoyed this story a lot more than I had expected to. It was my first Bernard Cornwell but definitely won't be my last. The narration was by Sean Barrett and initially I found his voice slow and monotonous but I warned to his by the end of the first disc. His dinner tones have an air of gravitas to the reading that was quite appropriate.
The story was set 4000 years ago in the Neolithic age and the author did a wonderful job of describing the way out ancestors lived, their values and their supe ...more
I don't think will get back to Cornwell' s works at the moment.
This book was one of about five books that my 14 year old son gave me for my birthday - all sourced from a bargain bin! I have honestly been doing my best to read some of them and have only given two away to the school fair without even opening the covers . And in fact, I actually thought that I might enjoy this one. Unfortunately not.
I have never read any books by Bernard Cornwell before and won't be back for more. The book started out promisingly enough but somewhere around ...more
I listened to this book on tape. It took me a long time to get through it. My overall impression of the book is that it was OK, but definitely in the "borrow it from the library" category, NOT the "go out and buy it NOW" category.
The sense of place and time was strong & to my ear, realistic. But I found the details involved in the building of Stonehenge became tedious and overwhelming (though this could be ...more
I love good ancient historical fiction whether it is based heavily on fact or just speculation, this is obviously much the latter.
while it took me a while to read, due to other obligations I enjoyed this hefty book quite a bit. it can be somewhat violent and jarring, but there was a realism to it that I enjoyed.
the building of ...more
The characters are well developed and the story placed within the well known archeological information of the site. I particularly enjoyed he's theory on why and how the blue stones were moved more than 200Km - before the invention of the wheel.
I simply loved this book while I did not particularly ...more
I enjoyed skipping ahead to the end of the book and reading Cornwell's notes on his Stonehenge research, which I found far more interesting, particularly his specula ...more
I think the problem was that I just couldn't picture the events or people. I have a pretty good idea 0f the types of clothes people wore in the 1000s but in BCE I lose it a little. Every time I tried to picture the entire village, I found I couldn't. I understand and can picture the early folks in their blue clay, but only the priests (who did paint themselves up) were "real" to me. Also the len ...more
I do recommend regardless of my mechanical sense!!