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Il re d'inverno (Il romanzo di Excalibur, #1)
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Il re d'inverno (The Arthur Books #1)

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  27,954 Ratings  ·  1,201 Reviews
Il grande Uther, re della Dumnonia, è morto. Come erede ha lasciato un bimbo di pochi mesi, nato nel cuore dell'inverno, debole e inerme: il nipote Mordred. Solo Artù, generoso guerriero, potrà proteggerlo dalle forze avverse e condurlo al regno. Solo lui potrà opporsi con la magica spada all'assalto dei Sassoni da oriente. Ma quando il valoroso reggente rifiuta un matrimo ...more
Mass Market Paperback, I faraoni, 403 pages
Published 1998 by Arnoldo Mondadori (first published January 1995)
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Bryan Forsyth The 'magic' is purely in the minds of the characters. Its source is superstition, irrationality, ignorance, and religion.

You will not see thunderbolts…more
The 'magic' is purely in the minds of the characters. Its source is superstition, irrationality, ignorance, and religion.

You will not see thunderbolts fly from staffs or supernatural healing of deadly wounds.(less)
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Community Reviews

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Jul 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Historical fiction & Arthurian fans
Recommended to Petrik by: John Gwynne
Shelves: owned-physical
4.5/5 Stars

Depending on the rest of the trilogy, this could be the most original and the best Arthurian legend retelling of all time, out of all medium.

A little background before I start my review; this is my first dive into Bernard Cornwell’s work and only my second time reading a historical fiction, so this is totally out of my comfort read but I’m delighted with my decision to go out of my usual read. I’ve heard of the name Bernard Cornwell several times until now, all pretty much claimed he’
Apr 03, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: see review
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 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, whi
Jul 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, historical
Full review now posted!
Original review can be found at Booknest.

Here lies a book that didn’t enthrall me, but somehow fascinated me. I wasn’t filled with longing to pick it up and continue reading, but every time I did I was given incredibly interesting theories and historical information. This was likely the most probable telling of the Arthurian legend that I’ve come across. The mythos of Arthur and Merlin and Excalibur and Camelot has always intrigued me, but it’s always remained in the realm
Bookdragon Sean
Nobody does this quite as well as Bernard Cornwell. He is quite literally the master of this genre. He creates a vivid warrior culture time and time again, and I will never get bored of it. This is saying a lot because Bernard Cornwell has written a huge amount of novels over the years and a few are similar in ways, but I don’t care because they’re just so good. This time Bernard Cornwell tells the story of Arthur, though not from the perspective of Arthur; he tells it from the point of view of ...more
Daniel Ionson
This is my favorite Cornwell series (it's Cornwell's too), for it covers my favorite historical era--that mysterious gap in between the Roman departure and the Saxon Invasion. This retelling of Arthur works so well because it's divorced from Mallory.

I love BC's ability to pull me into the muddy, primitive Dark Age Britain world. He's one of the very best at avoiding anachronisms, a skill which gets so little praise. None of his characters feel like modernistic men and women dressed up in 5th Ce
Mayra Sigwalt
Apr 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Primeira leitura: 2008
Releitura: 02/2016

Acho que essa é uma leitura muito recomendada para os fãs de As Crônicas de Gelo e Fogo. Com a vantagem q os livros são mais curtos e você só tem um ponto de vista, então a história anda bem mais rápido.
Acho q os fãs das lendas Arturianas talvez amem ou odeiem, pois esse é um retrato muito mais cru e humano de Artur. Eu amo. Mas aqui toda a magia e romance medieval é substituído por um retrato muito mais provável do que realmente teria acontecido naquela
The horn sounded a third time, and suddenly I knew I would live, and I was weeping for joy and all our spearmen were half crying and half shouting and the earth was shuddering with the hooves of those Godlike men who were riding to our rescue.

For Arthur, at last, had come.


Presenting a saga so epic it needs three pages to list the characters, two pages to mention the places and another two pages of maps! And you know what? The story was so involving, I never once glanced at any of th
Firstly I'd like to thank Craig for an awesome first buddy read and for putting up with me in general. I look forward to reading with you again, if you'll have me.

The Winter King is a tremendously well written book. Cornwell is an amazing author and I can't wait to give some of his other books a go. Looking at you Last Kingdom!

This one gets a 3 star rating from me. I think 3 stars adequately represents my overall enjoyment of the book. I liked the story, loved the writing. But found it hard to
4.5 stars

The legend of Arthur has been told time and again over the centuries. From ancient British folk tales to 5 season of 'Merlin', from 15th Century French verse to 'The Mists of Avalon'. With this book Cornwell has left his mark on that tradition. He's taken a tale examined from almost every angle and made it his own. Most of all he's written a story filled with complicated characters, visceral battles and ambitious intrigues in a brutal, immersive setting.

The protagonist of this story i
This is a mix of legend and History, and, King Arthur will probably always be that way since there's so much info. missing.

In this tale the focus is open the original Britons fighting the influx/invasion of Saxons and dealing with the petty British kingdoms. All want to rule and there are a number of very detailed and well-written battles.

First person POV.

The typical cast isn't what it appears to be. For instance, Lancelot is a coward and villain whose bards paint him differently.

The interp
Scott  Hitchcock
A different take on the tales of Camelot and Arthur. Book one deals with the early struggles to start building the kingdom and bringing the Britons together. I enjoyed this darker version which made me think Lancelot or some relative of his must have pissed in one of Cornwell's relative's Cheerios once upon a time. He and Guinevere definitely take a battering in this version. This version makes more sense in many ways than the more romanticized version of the tale.

Galahad on the other hand come
Mar 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
TWK The Winter King (The Arthur Books, #1) by Bernard Cornwell is easy 5 stars for bringing this oft-told tale to us in a completely new (and I do mean new) way. WARNING! Do Not read this book if you like your Arthur legend gauzy, frilly, magicky and cheesy. All previous Arthurian tales pale in comparison to Mr. Cornwell’s version. All of the usual suspects are present here but you will not see many of them portrayed in the standard ways. You will also meet a host of new companions and enemies. It is safe to say that you will never look at Lancelot, G ...more
These are the tales of Arthur, the Warlord, the King that Never Was, the Enemy of God and…the best man I ever knew.

What I loved about reading this tale for the first time is that I had no expectations. Of course, I did have a little knowledge of Arthur, but nothing that would give me an impression of who he should be. I knew he was a king and possibly a Christian (not in this version). And I had also heard of Galahad, Lancelot, Merlin and Camelot, but basically, this was all new to me.

Jan 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first of a trilogy in a magnificent telling of the Arthurian legend. Yeah, that one: Arthur, Merlin, Uther Pendragon, Guinevere, Morgan, Mordred, Lancelot, Galahad — the whole cast, as far as I know (well, Morgause appears to be missing).

I haven’t read any of the others Arthurian books, so I can’t comment on any linkages between this and the agglomeration of other tellings. My knowledge of this history/legend/mythos comes mostly from what I’ve picked up here and there, with a heavy d
I haven't read all of Cornwell's books but from what I've read this is my absolute favorite so far. It's a fantastic vision of what Arthur's life might have really been like. The typical idea that seems to stick in people's heads is of this romantic story with gallant knights, fair maidens and all that boring stuff but when you think about it, there really was no room in the post-Roman Dark Ages Britain for that kind of shit. Don't get me wrong, there's plenty of heroism in this book but it's mo ...more
Jul 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent novel. Cornwell has truly taken the Arthurian legend and made it his own. All the old names are here, but often in much different forms than expected.

This tale is told by one of Arthur's warriors, Derfel. In his old age, Derfel has become a monk. While serving as such, he is writing the story of Arthur, who he knew personally.

Cornwell's Arthur is a delight. While maintaining a degree of the larger-than-life qualities we come to expect of this character, Cornwell makes him human. Gives
Kate Quinn
May 06, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hands down the best King Arthur fiction ever written. "The Winter King" begins Bernard Cornwell's trilogy of Arthur, the king who may have lived in early Britain, driven back the invading Saxons, and inspired a legend. Interestingly enough, Arthur is not the central hero of the book - that role falls to Derfel, a Saxon boy who escapes a Druid death pit to be raised by Britons and eventually become Arthur's right-hand man. Derfel is a very old man when the story begins, a monk in a Christian mona ...more
Dec 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

It took a while for me to get into this, I was overwhelmed with the amount of names thrust at me from the off. From the start you've learnt more characters names in the first few pages than most series will have in their entire run only for the majority of these to be killed off before you've remembered who they are! Luckily, things steadied after a while and you had a core group and things became more focused and the story was able to really progress.

I guess the story of King Arthur and M
Apr 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
'The Bards sing of love, they celebrate slaughter, they extol kings and flatter queens, but were I a poet I would write in praise of friendship.'

This was an adventure. This was unique. Can't lay a finger on it but I know i've never read anything quite like this. I remember getting jarred at the start because of this, fearing this may not be my cup of tea after all, but even while contemplating whether to continue or not I knew deep down I was already hooked. I got used to the narrative, develope
Apr 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An Amazing Novel!

This is a book about King Arthur (not King, but Warlock). It's written by Derfel, one Merlin's collected orphans.

Derfel, who was one of Merlin's Tor and who became most trusted, brother-like to Arthur and Gallahad and many such good men, now is a follower of Christianity.

He is one of the last of people left who remember King Arthur, other than the Saint who's Bishop of the Church he's sworn to stay in- Sansum. And he is only one who can write about the most hated by Christians,
Vagner Stefanello
Apr 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: physical
Review in Portuguese from Desbravando Livros:

Depois de tanto tempo, finalmente consegui começar a ler As Crônicas de Artur e descobrir se os livros são realmente bons como as pessoas falam por aí. O Rei do Inverno é o primeiro livro da trilogia de Bernard Cornwell e nos coloca na pele de Derfel Cadarn, filho de uma escrava saxã e atualmente aos cuidados do druida Merlin. Derfel (pronuncia-se Dervel) é introduzido em um cenário de guerra e várias disputadas pelo poder dentro da própria Grã-Bretan
Eric Lin
Apr 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Let's talk about bad fantasy, because to go north, you must go south. To reach the west, you must go east. To go forward you must go back, and to talk about good fantasy, you must first talk at length about bad fantasy. Ok, maybe that's a bit melodramatic, but so much of the fantasy I've read lately has been disappointing that The Winter King was like a gust of fresh air in the icy, poorly ventilated chamber of my hating heart.

Let's talk about why this book was good.

- Arthur is a real person. No
rating: 5.5/5

Cornwell uses what little historical facts there are regarding the originator of the Arthurian legends and plays around with history to show us what could have been (meaning no magic). He freely admits that he had a lot of room to play and that this is just one interpretation, but damn, it's a brilliant interpretation. All the well knows characters are included (Arthur, Merlin, Lancelot, Guinevere, King Uther, Morgan, Galahad, etc.) but not necessarily as the legends describe them.
*Please don’t label ME an Enemy of God for only rating this 3 stars.

I’ve been a fan of Bernard Cornwell for some time now and believe him to be one of the best historical fiction writers out there. While I enjoyed this book, something about it just felt off to me, lacking that distinct Cornwellishness that I’ve come to love. The Winter King is a slow build, to be sure, but has some interesting payoffs along the way.

The debate on whether or not Arthur ever existed is still undecided, but Cornwell
Mark Halse
Apr 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
THE WARLORD CHRONICLES is easily the most original and interesting re-telling of the Arthurian myth. In THE WINTER KING we meet Derfel Cadern a saxon orphan whose greatest aspiration is to become one of Arthur's sworn men.

The thing I liked best about this re-telling is that Arthur and company are more Celtic Britons as opposed to the Romanized versions we normally see in Arthur stories. It makes the story more mystic and mysterious. The one draw back to this slant is getting used to the ugly Wel
May 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An Arthurian "Gone with the Wind" - A fictional historic account of a bloody civil war by a not-so-innocent youth. Loved it!
Alex Telander
Apr 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There have been many books written about the legend of King Arthur, the knights of the Round Table, Lancelot and Guenevere; a story that is known the world over and been talked about for more than a millennium. Some of those stories have tried to remain true to the original myth — though it still remains unknown whether there really was a man who went by that name — and others have gone off into their own world, using these familiar characters. Bernard Cornwell’s Warlord Chronicles is one that r ...more
✌ Adam  Mendez ✌
Wow! Well bugger me! Now that's what I call a great beginning to a trilogy.

'The Winter King' is book 1 in the 'Warlord Chronicles' trilogy and is a unique retelling of the stories surrounding King Arthur and his legendary companions. The Arthurian legends that we all know and love are those of myth, and this adaptation is told through the eyes of an elderly monk named Derfel Cadarn. It may seem an odd perspective to tackle this epic tale, but Derfel wasn't always a religious man, he was once a b
Mar 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The winter king is the first novel in the acclaimed Warlord chronicles trilogy that is set around the myths & legends of King Arthur and Merlin from the Dark Ages. It is a book that sheds new light on the Arthurian legend which combines myth with historical accuracy and the brutal action of the battlefield with such spellbinding realism. You can tell that this book is going to be good just by basing it on the background of the author and how utterly sucsessfull he was with the no.1 bestselli ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Pendragon's Banner (Pendragon's Banner Trilogy, #2)
  • The Fort at River's Bend (Camulod Chronicles, #5)
  • Sword at Sunset
  • The White Raven (Oathsworn, #3)
  • When the Eagle Hunts (Eagle, #3)
  • Firelord (Firelord, #1)
  • Hawk of May  (Down the Long Wind, #1)
  • Sons of Avalon: Merlin's Prophecy
  • The Child of the Holy Grail (Guenevere, #3)
  • The Road to Avalon (Dark Ages of Britain, #1)
  • Khan: Empire of Silver (Conqueror, #4)
  • Insurrection (The Insurrection Trilogy, #1)
  • Fire in the East (Warrior of Rome, #1)
  • Grail Prince
  • Pendragon (The Pendragon Cycle, #4)
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 n ...more
More about Bernard Cornwell...

Other Books in the Series

The Arthur Books (4 books)
  • Enemy of God (The Warlord Chronicles, #2)
  • Il cuore di Derfel
  • Excalibur (The Warlord Chronicles, #3)
“But fate, as Merlin always taught us, is inexorable. Life is a jest of the Gods, Merlin liked to claim, and there is no justice. You must learn to laugh, he once told me, or else you'll just weep yourself to death.” 204 likes
“I do understand that you can look into someone’s eyes,” I heard myself saying, “and suddenly know that life will be impossible without them. Know that their voice can make your heart miss a beat and that their company is all your happiness can ever desire and that their absence will leave your soul alone, bereft and lost.” 74 likes
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