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The Singing Sword (Arthur the Legend #2)

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  5,625 Ratings  ·  145 Reviews
We know the legends: Arthur brought justice to a land that had known only cruelty and force; his father, Uther, carved a kingdom out of the chaos of the fallen Roman Empire; the sword Excalibur, drawn from stone by England's greatest king.

But legends do not tell the whole tale. Legends do not tell of the despairing Roman soldiers, abandoned by their empire, faced with the
ebook, 384 pages
Published May 17th 2002 by Forge Books (first published 1994)
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The Singing Sword is a book of connections. It is very much a sequel to The Skystone, but it’s also the book truly beginning to turn The Camulod Chronicles into a work of Arthurian legend.

The withdrawal of the Roman legions from Britain is as good as complete. Varrus and Britannicus lead their little Colony into the future, a legendary sword is forged, and through intermarriage with the local Celts, the two Romans are gifted with a grandson each: one named Uther Pendragon, the other Merlyn.

The s
*Absorbed in Countless Worlds*
Nothing much to say here for me apart from this : Just the perfect book.
Mark Halse
Jul 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
With this third reading of THE SINGING SWORD I am reminded of all of the reasons that I love this series. Deep and lovable characters, sweeping storyline and twisted drama.

In this installment we follow ol' Publius Varrus as he truly creates the very roots of King Arthur. The idea of mounted knights are created, a round council is formed, Uther and Merlin are fathered and most importantly Excalibur is born!

This book and series are a slow burn. Possibly the slowest burning series that I've ever re
Carrie Slager
Feb 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-bought
I’m the sort of person that loves doing jigsaw puzzles, which is part of the reason why I loved The Singing Sword. It’s a lot like a jigsaw puzzle, what with tiny, barley recognizable pieces of the Arthurian legends slowly being dropped into place. We got the outline or the edge pieces in the first book in A Dream of Eagles (formerly known as The Camulod Chronicles), The Skystone, and now we’re starting to fill in the easy parts.

Publius is obviously more mature than he was in the first book and
Tim Mcdougall
Apr 17, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Whyte starts with a great concept -- an alternative view of the Arthur mythos, this time with Arthur's ancestors as Roman soldiers. And he does some of the best battle scenes in the business. He does his research, choreographs them well, and generates real tension when he's focusing here.

So ... why he decides to go on for hundreds of pages at a time while his main characters do nothing but extol the virtues of farming, or the beauty of his wife, or the virtues of working hard as a blacksmith is
Oct 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love the way these books retell the King Arthur story in a totally plausible way. Absorbing writing too!
Don Maker
Jan 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rather than the romantic, fantastical versions of Camelot, this is the story of how it all might have really come about. This is book two of at least nine in the Camulod Chronicles, and I have ordered books one and three after reading this. Because the story begins at the tail end of the fourth century, it is very much about the Roman influence on Britain, and how the two cultures merged together as the Roman Empire was disintegrating. It seems Mr. Whyte did his research, as the lifestyles and e ...more
Benjamin Thomas
The second book in the “Camulod Chronicles” picks up shortly after the events of the first book, The Skystone. It continues the tale of Caius Britannicus and Publius Varrus (both great grandfathers of the future King Arthur of Briton) as they continue to build the colony of Camulod during the turn of the 5th century AD, when Rome was pulling out of Briton and leaving the Brits, the Celts, and other assorted peoples to deal with various invading groups such as the Saxons and the Northmen.

I love t
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Apr 23, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Historical Fiction
This is the second book in the Camulod Chronicles, which began in The Skystone. The book deals with the legend of King Arthur, but unlike other treatments of the material I've read, it's entirely realistic, with none of the fantastical--that, in fact is it's fascination. I haven't read the series by Bernard Cornwall or Stephen Lawhead, so maybe they're in that vein, but even the novels by Mary Stewart that put the stories in the Dark Ages Romano-British context had elements of fantasy--let alone ...more
Feb 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-but-unowned
This is the second book in Whyte's Camulod Chronicles, a saga of the Arthurian Legend. These are historical novels, as opposed to the fantasy books that generally populate the Arthurian genre.

This book follows Publius Varrus, as did the last one. He's a blacksmith, but also the leader of the army at the Colony. They run into a spot of trouble at the Colony, thanks to an old foe, but once that is cleared up, they make some very powerful friends. The threat of Saxon raiders comes closer to home in
Jun 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Secondo e sempre più avvincente capitolo delle Cronache di Camelot, segue per i tre quarti della trama le sorti del fabbro Publio e della sua Colonia, dando un magnifico spezzone della vita in Britannia nel 400 d.C., contemporaneamente alla decadenza dell'Impero Romano. Nell'ultima parte Publio forgia una spada molto speciale, trait d'union per le storie che seguiranno.
Trama avvincente, facilmente accessibile a chiunque (a parte qualche termine tecnico), scorrevole. Ottima lettura. Unico neo: al
Chuck Slack
Oct 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Singing Sword is the second of a three book series and it kind of reads like it. The first book sets up the storyline and I imagine the third finishes it making the second a gap filler. This book dedicates a lot of pages to not much action but rather "fleshes out" the overall story. It presents the foundations of a new form of government, new methods of warfare, new weaponry, all happening near the end of the Roman Empire. This is what makes this book an interesting read.

Jack Whyte is a ver
Jan 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's also told from the first person view of Publius Varrus, although it shows more nuance and duality to him than the first book. In the first book, he was more pure and heroic than this book, in which we find him dealing with the intricate relationship issues that come with marriage, lust, love, alliance, and teacher. Whereas the first book has a lot of dialog dealing with the philosophy of society, this book contains a decent amount of dialog regarding spiritual roles of God and Man in relati ...more
I really enjoyed this second book in Whyte's Arthurian series. It gave a great feel of life in Roman Britain as things are deteriorating (at least if you're a Roman). I appreciate his giving the characters motivations that 21st century people can relate to. It's a little heavy on the military/battle detail than I usually read, but it works in this context. The story does follow military men after all. And I adore all the Roman epithets! I will definitely be ordering the 3rd book from my library ...more
So the Chronicles of the Roman Preppers continues to be unintentionally hilarious as old war buddies band together to prepare for the coming of the Roman Apocalypse. Still fairly entertaining although not much happens. I would have given it 3 stars if I had not become weary of the women's roles in this story and totally offended by the way he describes gay men. I haven't decided whether to continue my rereading of this series (as prelude to finally finishing the last volumes) or spend my time on ...more
Not as good as the first. I really like Whyte's writing style, but this book meandered too much without enough purpose, and just didn't further the plot of the series enough. The ending was very fast and abrupt. I liked it (and the first) sufficiently to continue the series, though.
Sep 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
great book
Nov 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read 3 times!
This is the second in a series that most Canadians know as the 'a Dream of Eagles', and though this book gets more into depth about the Colony that becomes known as Camulod, this renaming doesn't happen until much, much later on when tragedy strikes the community.

I was first drawn to this series because of its Arthurian ties, and though I was wary of the first book, I found that I enjoyed the Skystone to the point that I binge bought the series in its entirety from the library's monthly book sal
-Ya se ve hacia dónde apunta el autor en realidad.-

Género. Novela histórica (con mucha ficción, sin serlo exactamente, pero la calificación orienta mejor que otras).

Lo que nos cuenta. El abandono de la Antigua Roma de sus conquistas en Britania es un hecho, y mientras diferentes facciones van tomando esos territorios, Gayo Publio Varrón y Cayo Cornelio Británico luchan por mantener su pequeña colonia a salvo y con independencia, pero se están haciendo mayores y ellos mismos lo notan. Segundo lib
Oct 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing book. Very interesting characters, history, storytelling. Looking forward to reading the next book in the series.
Marc Dorval
Sep 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
Not quite as strong as the first, but the second half held my attention and closed with a bang. A great new retelling of the legend of Excalibur.
Oct 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Avvincente continuo del primo libro della saga Le cronache di Camelot, avventura e intrigo alla vigilia del ritiro delle legioni romane dalla Britannia. Si legge d'un fiato!
(Due to the rather weird, unhelpful way the reissues are listed, I am reading this as book two in the Legends Of Camelot series as that is how they work out chronologically in terms of the story arc - so this book should only be read after 'The War Of The Celts')

Don't get me wrong, there are a few good things in this book, but for the most part this is a remarkably tedious & turgid affair.

It says a lot about the mostly tepid feel of a book when a number of massacres drenched in blood and an
Dec 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
The Singing Sword is the second book in The Camulod Chronicles and it canters along at a much faster pace than the first one.

Publius and Varrus still take centre stage here as they continue to develop their growing community. At the same time the Roman presence in Britain is being scaled back and there are increasing numbers of raids and attacks by Franks, Picts, Saxons and a new threat from the North - the North men.

These outside threats to the community are joined by internal threats as morali
Mary Overton
Book 2 of a King Arthur retelling for those who like their legends with hearty dollops of sex & violence. Fascinating conjecture on the possible historical roots of Arthurian romances. Fun, quick read. Dreadful literature. Rosemary Sutcliff's YA historical novels are much superior.

From speeches at the wedding Arthur's grandparents - a Celtic Prince and a daughter of an aristocratic Roman family:
"'Today, we make a new beginning, a complete departure from the ways of old, and yet we will do it
Sep 26, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
#2 Camulod Chronicles historical Arthurian fantasy. It's 360's A.D. and Publius Varrus, the co-leader of the Colony in the western part of what is now England, faces new challenges as ever-bolder Saxon (and other!) raiders threaten his peaceful home. Together with Caius Britannicus, his brother-in-law, who leads the self-sufficient group with him, he steps up to meet those challenges, which include strengthening their defenses and learning a new way to fight with heavy cavalry. Publius, a blacks ...more
Márta Szörnyi
Feb 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book got me so engaged, I basically went back in time and lived around 400 AD for a week. Amazing! I hope it gets even better in the next book!
May 10, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: completed
Another outstanding look at the history of the Roman Empire in a book that is well plotted. Whytte not only sets up the Arthurian saga/legend he is preparing the reader for, but while doing so does a masterful job at describing the changes taking place as Rome prepares to leave the British Isles. He also delves into theological discussion, developing metalurgy, political expedience, and military arms and tactics. In other words, Whytte educates as he writes and causes the reader to actually thin ...more
Aaron Althuizen
Another amazing series by Jack Whyte. If you enjoy being immersed into the story, these tales will certainly provide you with the right tools.

From Wikipedia:
'The novels are a rendition of the Arthurian legend that attempt to propose a possible explanation for the foundation of Camulod (an alternate spelling of Camelot), Arthur's heritage and the political situation surrounding his existence. The setting series begins during the Roman departure from Britain and continues for 150 years ending duri
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Goodreads Librari...: things 2 18 Jul 04, 2014 08:58AM  
  • Sword at Sunset
  • The Knight of the Sacred Lake (Guenevere, #2)
  • Arthur (The Pendragon Cycle, #3)
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  • The Wicked Day (Arthurian Saga, #4)
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  • Bard: The Odyssey of the Irish (Celtic World of Morgan Llywelyn)
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  • In Winter's Shadow
  • The Coming of the King (Books of Merlin, #1)
  • The Forever King (Forever King, #1)
  • Beloved Exile (Firelord, #2)
  • Born of the Sun (Dark Ages of Britain, #2)
Jack Whyte is an author and writer born and raised in Scotland, but has been living in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada since 1967.

Whyte's major work to date is the A Dream of Eagles series (as it is titled in Canada, but known as The Camulod Chronicles in the United States and elsewhere). This series of historical novels presents the tale of King Arthur set against the backdrop of Roman Britain.
More about Jack Whyte...

Other Books in the Series

Arthur the Legend (2 books)
  • The Skystone (Camulod Chronicles, #1)