The Winter King Epub Ð The Winter Kindle -

The Winter King Epub Ð The Winter Kindle -


The Winter King ✯ [PDF] ❤ The Winter King By Bernard Cornwell ✼ – Capitalsoftworks.co.uk Uther the High King has died leaving the infant Mordred as his only heir His uncle the loyal and gifted warlord Arthur now rules as caretaker for a country which has fallen into chaos threats emerge f Uther the High King has died leaving the infant Mordred The Winter Kindle - as his only heir His uncle the loyal and gifted warlord Arthur now rules as caretaker for a country which has fallen into chaos threats emerge from within the British kingdoms while vicious Saxon armies stand ready to invade As he struggles to unite Britain and hold back the enemy at the gates Arthur is embroiled in a doomed romance with beautiful Guinevere Will the old world magic of Merlin be enough to turn the tide of war in his favour.

  • Paperback
  • 433 pages
  • The Winter King
  • Bernard Cornwell
  • English
  • 07 November 2016
  • 9780312156961

About the Author: Bernard Cornwell

Cornwell was born in London in His father was The Winter Kindle - 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.



10 thoughts on “The Winter King

  1. Petrik Petrik says:

    455 StarsDepending on the rest of the trilogy this could be the most original and the best Arthurian legend retelling of all time out of all mediumA 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’s a legend in ‘Historical Fiction’ genre but nothing ever truly pushed me into starting his books until last March when I finished binge reading the entire ‘The Faithful and the Fallen’ series Both the series and the author John Gwynne since then have been included in my favorites of all time lists I decided back then to do an interview with Gwynne and one of my uestions was“If you have to recommend one book or series for everyone what came into mind and why?” His answer was 'The Warlord Chronicles' by Bernard Cornwell and that’s how I stumbled upon this series and how I finally decided to give his work a try Click this link for my full interview with Gwynne for anyone who’s interested to the review even though this is still only the first book out of a trilogy I can already see why Cornwell is named as a legend in the genre He managed to make my most disliked narrative omniscient narrative into something that worked wonderfullyTold in the similar style with Kvothe from Kingkiller Chronicles we follow Derfel Cadarn the main character and the narrator now old and a monk recounts his journey with Arthur his best friend The King that Never Was The Enemy of God and The Lord of Battles “The bards sing of love they celebrate slaughter they extol kings and flatter ueens but were I a poet I would write in praise of friendship” Most of the stories told here took place in the past going back to the present times only five times in total throughout the entire book This also means that Derfel pretty much knows all the events that will happen already during his narration and he reminded us over and over again about this with sentences like “it’s not until later that I find out what he meant” This usually doesn’t work in my fantasy read but damn it worked so well in this storyThe Winter King mostly focused on Arthur’s struggle to unite Britain during the Dark Ages in the midst of Saxon’s inevitable invasion Cornwell’s retelling of Arthur is magnificent contrary to usual Arthurian legend; Cornwell erased every magical aspect at least here anyway Sure there’s a hint of magic in the world but they’re not actual magic per se just superstitions that the population back then heavily believed Cornwell has stated that The Winter King is a tale of the Dark Ages in which legend and imagination must compensate for the lack of historical records as there’s no conclusive evidence on Arthur’s legend and he did it with greatnessArthurian legend has always been one of my favorite retellings it’s been done countless times already in any medium but I’ve never once experienced a retelling as original and fantastic as this one Cornwell’s storytelling and prose ualities are top notches So many emotions were felt and delivered throughout my times reading this thought provoking and realistically poignant such as this “And at the end of life what does it all matter? We grow old and the young look at us and can never see that once we made a kingdom ring for love” or philosophical like this “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” Not only the storytelling and prose are fantastic Cornwell’s versions of the characters that we’ve known in the legend are very uniue Arthur in particular is amazing felt like a real person that truly existed in the past despite this being written as a historical fiction Also a huge plus in originality towards Lancelot and Guinevere for they have completely take on a direction that I never thought I would ever see in their characterDo note however that this is a slow paced book we only get a little taste of Cornwell’s big battle scenes another factor that he’s highly praised for in the last 60 pages of the book if you love Shield Wall you’re going to love the battle scenes for sureHonestly this could’ve been an easy 5 star book for me if it wasn’t for the first half of the book The minor con I had with the book is that during the first half the pages are very dense a paragraph could last an entire page with a minimum amount of dialogues To give you a clear picture of what I’m talking about here’s a picture of a paragraph I took from the book non spoiler of courseThe first half of the book mostly looked like that as you can see there’s almost no heavy dialogue section and this means you’re going to have to read tons of details and descriptions Plus the long chapters 15 chapters for 490 pages made this book not an easy read I felt my progress reading this book became very slow because of these situations These can be a good or bad thing depending on your preferences but personally I prefer it to be balanced The second half however fixed this problemOverall I truly enjoyed reading The Winter King and I thank John Gwynne for recommending this book to me I will definitely continue with this trilogy and I highly recommend it to any fans of historical fiction and Arthurian legendBonus Picture My beautiful editions of The Warlord Chronicles You can find this and the rest of my Adult EpicHigh Fantasy Sci Fi reviews at BookNest

  2. Peter Peter says:

    NascencyThe tale of King Arthur Guinevere and Lancelot the Knights of the Round Table Sir Galahad and his uest for the Holy Grail Excalibur Merlin and his sorcery and the age of chivalry are the ingredients of medieval fantasy and folklore Bernard Cornwell writes his account which feels the most authentic version I’ve encountered and turns many of these former images on their head The resulting novel creates an imagined tale that feels legitimate and historicalThe story is told in the first person looking back in time from the perspective of Dervel a soldier and monk who fought at Arthur’s side As he starts to write his account his loyalty to Arthur is apparent “These are the tales of Arthur the Warlord the King that Never Was the Enemy of God and may the living Christ and Bishop Sansum forgive me the best man I ever knew How I have wept for Arthur” The wonderful opportunity this structure provides is that the story of Arthur can be told from an onlooker seeing the positive and negative attribute of Arthur his wins and his mistakes through a lens with less emotion and the benefit of distance It also enables the location and existence of a lowly person to be painted in beautiful sensory detail and the issues he faced dealing with many of the extensive iconic characters in this storyThe period is set in the late fifth century shortly after the Romans left Briton and the country is split into several regions each ruled by their own king The Saxon conflicts are escalating and war from every side is commonplace Cornwell creates an amazing atmosphere of medieval Briton that permeates through every aspect of the novel The politics and machinations between the multiple power hungry and warrior leaders are deep rooted and persistent and every engagement is judged with caution and an expectation that ruthless and instant changes can and will occur It is also a period where priests and druids battle with the conflict of Christianity and the old gods The era of Merlin magic and sorcery is coming to an end but they still hold considerable influenceArthur is the bastard son of Uther the Pendragon very accomplished in battle although not always given the credit Uther’s legitimate grandson Mordred The Winter King has a twisted foot which is taken as a bad omen It's not the only thing that's twisted as he's a ruthless evil and unforgiving personality that he doesn’t hide and unfortunately with an astute and cunning mind may become a formidable force Arthur still upholds his allegiance to Mordred even though his vision of peace and justice is a polar oppositeBernard Cornwell claimed that this trilogy was his favourite and best piece of work I haven’t read enough of his other works to make that comparison but if they’re better than this – well I have a lot to look forward toThis is an outstanding example of the historical fiction genre and the best take on the iconic Arthur story I’ve read or watched I would highly recommend this book and series

  3. Ryan Ryan says:

    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 readWho 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 action If you loved watching the movie Braveheart but wish it was a little 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 reuired 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 meansIt 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'Arthurand the many hundreds of others film and bookOh and I don't know who wrote the description which accompanies this book probably someone at www 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 uite English What they may have meant to say is that it is readable Why they didn't just say that I have no idea

  4. Celeste Celeste says:

    Full review now postedOriginal review can be found at BooknestHere 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 of myth For the first time in my life I read something that convinced me of the possibility of Arthur’s existence Not its likelihood mind you but its possibility which is still an astonishing change for me regarding a mythCornwell sets his tale in the 5th century after the Roman occupation of Britain has ended Saxons are invading and Britons are warring amongst themselves This is a land of warring factions and a multitude of kings and this is where Cornwell has planted his version of Arthur Here Arthur’s tale is told by Brother Derfel an aging monk who wasn’t always a Christian In his youth Derfel was a pagan and a warrior who fought alongside Arthur In the framework of Cornwall’s story Derfel is writing out the true story of Arthur for Igraine the young ueen over the realm that houses the monastery Witnessing Arthur’s story from an eyewitness and one who isn’t one of the names we’re familiar with was a uniue perspective And trying to reconcile Derfel himself the aging Christian monk and the young pagan warrior is actually one of my favorite aspects of the novel How radically people can change always intrigues meThere were some people Cornwell portrayed here that were at complete odds with almost everything I’ve ever read or heard Particularly his representation of Guinevere and Lancelot Even though they were pretty people neither of them seemed to have much goodness within them Guinevere here is a catalyst for war much like Helen of Troy I will never be able to fathom shattering a kingdom in the name of love though I know it’s one of the most ancient of justifications for declarations of war And Lancelot is just awful though I’m still not sure how many of his failings are truth and how many are exaggerated through the eyes of our narrator However a hero he is not though he knows how to twist events in the minds of poets to ensure his legacyThe presentation of the Druid belief system was my other favorite aspect of this book Their superstitions and “spell casting” were absolutely fascinating And disturbing I don’t think I’ve ever read another book that contained this much spitting Or urine flinging Or cow dung as hair product And the Druid’s view of the Christian interlopers and the way those opposing faiths both widened the rift in their land and how the people banded together in battle in spite of those opposing faiths was captivating One of the main reasons I’ll be continuing the trilogy at some later date is to understand how Derfel transitioned from one faith to the otherEven though I have a deep appreciation for both the story and Cornwell’s writing I have to admit that I struggled reading this It was just so dense The information was interesting for sure but sometimes I felt so glutted by the outpouring of information that I couldn’t digest uickly enough to keep reading Cornwell did an insane amount of research and it really shows I feel like I learned so much about the Druid faith and ancient Britain but that learning sometimes overwhelmed the story The book reminded me of some of the really amazing history books I read in college Well written and fascinating but too dense to read for simple enjoyment Also it felt a little like the vast majority of the book was either preparing for battle engaging in battle or the aftermath of battle Which is fine but is something I get really bogged down inIf you love historical fiction this is definitely the book for you If you’re obsessed with Arthurian legend you owe it to yourself to give this a read And if you just can’t get enough of battlefields I think I found your new favorite bookI read this because Petrik loved the series so much

  5. Sean Barrs Sean Barrs says:

    Nobody does this uite as well as Bernard Cornwell He is uite 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 one of his footman An interesting take on the Arthurian myth Derfel is a spearman in the service of Arthur and he narrates Arthur’s story I’m glad that we weren’t privy to Arthur’s thoughts and emotion because it helped to create an idea about him being an untouchable being What I mean is that Arthur is better than the common man and by telling the story like this it assumes a sense of distance between someone like Derfel who in himself is honourable and someone who is in essence a man beyond measure It created an Arthur that was as enigmatic as he was courageous and noble I think it was a great idea This is an awakening change to what I thought would be the predictable route of a novel like this We see the events and people that surround Arthur’s life from a different perspective One that holds Arthur in high esteem but in spite of this we also see the mistakes Arthur makes as a commander He takes the wrong bride in a moment of selfish passion and almost dooms himself in the process I emphasise the word mistakes because this is not the usual Camelot fairy tale; this is a gritty realistic approach to the legend More historical than legend This is a tale that has been told countless times but to make it stand out Cornwell had to make his retelling uniue In his version Lancelot is a fraud and Guinevere is uite possibly a complete whore who entrapped Arthur for power not love; thus this is far from the usual fairy tale The characters are realistic and not without their flaws so they are human and fallible This is a far shot form the knights of the round table and the pure virtuous that Arthur represents This made this novel not remotely predictable or a simple regurgitation of a tale we already know The movement of Christianity through the reduction of the druids is also apparent It is intriguing to see the rivalries created by these religious differences I like the way the Druid’s though relying on and believing in magic appear to have no magical abilities but are driven by what they perceive as their magic powers and knowledge I think Cornwell has been very subtle here because without openly suggesting that their magic was impossible he does show us that their magic is slowly fading This gives the novel a realistic setting a historical setting rather than the usual fantastical nature of tales surrounding Arthur Pendragon I enjoyed this novel but not as much as those in the Saxon Stories Derfel lacks the charisma and will of Uhtred And for that reason I gave this a four star rating rather than the five it could have earnt

  6. Daniel Ionson Daniel Ionson says:

    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 Century garb They fear the powers of magic gods and fate The majority of the people are ignorant living in dirty hovels with no boots The world is vast and mysterious The line by line writing is excellent as are the story arcs of this tale Highly suggest this series as well as most of BC's work

  7. Melki Melki says:

    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 rescueFor Arthur at last had comeDun da da daPresenting 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 themI loved loved loved this bookHere is a familiar tale made fresh and exciting Here we have Arthur the just and fair brave Galahad and cowardly Lancelot hiding behind his mother's skirts All the old favorites get to mix it up with some new characters And of course Merlin gets all the best linesThat's why the Gods made it such a pleasure to engender children because so many of the little brutes have to be replaced One of the things I can't stand about Christians is their admiration of meekness Imagine elevating meekness into a virtue Meekness Can you imagine a heaven filled with only the meek? What a dreadful idea The food would get cold while everyone passed the dishes to everyone elseHappily there are two books in the Arthur seriesCornwell I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship

  8. Will.J.R. Gwynne Will.J.R. Gwynne says:

    My BookNest review “The bards sing of love they celebrate slaughter they extol kings and flatter ueens but were I a poet I would write in praise of friendship”If you love stories consisting of memorable characters you love and despise fantastic storytelling stunning action seuences and moral lessons then you will adore this historical telling of the chronicles of Arthur and the story of his lifeThe Winter King is the first book in The Warlord Chronicles which is a uniue take on the story of Arthur during the dark ages I have always loved the tales of Arthur and his warriors and this is not an exception It is the best book I have read which has the story of Arthur as its main concept“Fate is inexorableCornwell chooses certain aspects and adapts others from the common stories so the reader cannot predetermine the events which shall occur and so the story which is told is a new one He produces this book in a masterful style overflowing with immersive action and fantastic charactersThe sole point of view is Derfel was born a Saxon but raised a Briton in the kingdom of Dumnonia which is a kingdom residing in southern Briton He features as the main character in the Winter King He is a man who values loyalty and kindness and proves it many times It is hard not to fall in love with him as the stories progress and you witness his faults and virtuesThe prose of Bernard Cornwell is superb as the description and storytelling flows brilliantly It is fluid and smooth making it an easy job to continue reading this large book as the plot line constantly develops in a manner which disallowed me from being bored at any pointThe Winter King is a definite five star rating in my opinion due to one of my favourite writing styles I have encountered and the way it captured many of my favourite aspects in storiesImpending exams are absorbing most of my leisure time but almost every moment of freedom I have gained in the last few days consisted of me reading this It took a serious level of self control to resist devouring this novel with a few long sittingsThis is one of if not my favourite historical fiction novel I have had the pleasure to read and I shall be instantly be borrowing my father’s copy of Enemy of God which is the second book of this series

  9. Conor Conor says:

    45 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 is Derfel Cadarn A humble straight forward soldier Derfel is in a position to observe the complicated characters involved in the military and political struggles to decide the fate and faith lol puns of Britain Derfel also gives us an engaging insight into the terror and exhilaration of fighting in a shield wall These sections which bring to life the mud blood exhaustion fear and pain of frontline combat are some of the most intense of the book The framing device with Derfal now an old monk telling his story created some extremely poignant momentsArthur is extremely well written although his character sometimes feels too noble especially given how bleak the rest of this world is To be fair Arthurian legend usually holds Arthur up as the pinnacle of all that is right and in this series Cornwell portrays him as the one hope for goodness in a world filled with evil For all of his saintliness although saints in this book are often knobs Coughs Sansum Coughs Arthur's vanity ambition and occasional reckless idealism made him than a 2 D representation of heroism and instead showed him to be a flawed realistic character making his struggles all the powerful In the early stages of this book I found Owain the old king's champion to be a brilliantly written character a complex villain and a great source of conflict On one hand Owain was a great warrior who was generous and kind to the men under his command including Derfal on the other hand he was openly corrupt raped a captive woman this was a disturbingly freuent occurrence in the story at times the freuency of rape went beyond realistic in this setting and into being gratuitous and mercilessly slaughtered a defenceless village to line his own pockets view spoiler Due to his scummy actions I didn't find him an overly sympathetic character as a result his death pretty early on didn't really affect me However as the book progressed I felt his absence keenly especially as a bunch of much less compelling villains began to appear I also thought that Derfal suddenly siding against him and his abrupt death cut out what could have been a really interesting contest for Derfal's loyalty between Owain's pragmatism represented by his faith in the shield wall and Arthur's idealism his love of heavy cavalry hide spoiler

  10. Andy Andy says:

    Not oft actually hardly ever do I read a second series by an author set in a diffo historical period for fear of of the same but jus a diffo setting its happened with others but here I am giving Bernard Cornwell a go with his Arthurian saga – Its only a short series having heard many good things I’m intending to bang the lot of in one go 3 books to complete my Summer readIt’s also one of my favourite legends so I hope he does it justiceThe story begins with a scribe Derfel at a desk who is writing the story of Arthur the Warlord who should have been King so it goes The story proper starts conventionally with Uther Pendragon the birth of a son called? Derfel himself Morgan Mordred Merlin’s court minus Merlin at Glastonbury soon follow all being familiar names in the lore of Arthur The lay of the land is set illustrated by a map of the time C 480 AD in the land of the Britons The story flows into birthrights succession and politics across the kingdom the ensuing war with the interloping Saxons from the East Real place names of the time are used which are on the map its authenticity is great to follow making you feel part of the setting as you soon get used to them It helps no doubt if you live in the region in uestion so it’s familiarity is already imbedded I’m hooked from the start enjoying the tale the characters the period which is portrayed in a feasible way so much is still really unknown about post Romano Britain The characterisations of the players of Arthurian lore are spot on for me make for an excellent read The politics are involved with petty rivalries jostling for power certain kings trying to be top dog of all the kingdoms of the Britons as all the while the Saxon threat becomes prevalent as they encroach from the East There is also a tie in with Brittany which is still part of the British sphere of influence The battle scenes are expertly told easy to visualise epic in their contentWill the Britons unite? Will the Saxons prevail? That is the crux of the story EnjoyA clear 5 stars for me as I can’t fault it plus Ive hardly given any 5’s this year

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10 thoughts on “The Winter King

  1. Petrik Petrik says:

    455 StarsDepending on the rest of the trilogy this could be the most original and the best Arthurian legend retelling of all time out of all mediumA 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’s a legend in ‘Historical Fiction’ genre but nothing ever truly pushed me into starting his books until last March when I finished binge reading the entire ‘The Faithful and the Fallen’ series Both the series and the author John Gwynne since then have been included in my favorites of all time lists I decided back then to do an interview with Gwynne and one of my uestions was“If you have to recommend one book or series for everyone what came into mind and why?” His answer was 'The Warlord Chronicles' by Bernard Cornwell and that’s how I stumbled upon this series and how I finally decided to give his work a try Click this link for my full interview with Gwynne for anyone who’s interested to the review even though this is still only the first book out of a trilogy I can already see why Cornwell is named as a legend in the genre He managed to make my most disliked narrative omniscient narrative into something that worked wonderfullyTold in the similar style with Kvothe from Kingkiller Chronicles we follow Derfel Cadarn the main character and the narrator now old and a monk recounts his journey with Arthur his best friend The King that Never Was The Enemy of God and The Lord of Battles “The bards sing of love they celebrate slaughter they extol kings and flatter ueens but were I a poet I would write in praise of friendship” Most of the stories told here took place in the past going back to the present times only five times in total throughout the entire book This also means that Derfel pretty much knows all the events that will happen already during his narration and he reminded us over and over again about this with sentences like “it’s not until later that I find out what he meant” This usually doesn’t work in my fantasy read but damn it worked so well in this storyThe Winter King mostly focused on Arthur’s struggle to unite Britain during the Dark Ages in the midst of Saxon’s inevitable invasion Cornwell’s retelling of Arthur is magnificent contrary to usual Arthurian legend; Cornwell erased every magical aspect at least here anyway Sure there’s a hint of magic in the world but they’re not actual magic per se just superstitions that the population back then heavily believed Cornwell has stated that The Winter King is a tale of the Dark Ages in which legend and imagination must compensate for the lack of historical records as there’s no conclusive evidence on Arthur’s legend and he did it with greatnessArthurian legend has always been one of my favorite retellings it’s been done countless times already in any medium but I’ve never once experienced a retelling as original and fantastic as this one Cornwell’s storytelling and prose ualities are top notches So many emotions were felt and delivered throughout my times reading this thought provoking and realistically poignant such as this “And at the end of life what does it all matter? We grow old and the young look at us and can never see that once we made a kingdom ring for love” or philosophical like this “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” Not only the storytelling and prose are fantastic Cornwell’s versions of the characters that we’ve known in the legend are very uniue Arthur in particular is amazing felt like a real person that truly existed in the past despite this being written as a historical fiction Also a huge plus in originality towards Lancelot and Guinevere for they have completely take on a direction that I never thought I would ever see in their characterDo note however that this is a slow paced book we only get a little taste of Cornwell’s big battle scenes another factor that he’s highly praised for in the last 60 pages of the book if you love Shield Wall you’re going to love the battle scenes for sureHonestly this could’ve been an easy 5 star book for me if it wasn’t for the first half of the book The minor con I had with the book is that during the first half the pages are very dense a paragraph could last an entire page with a minimum amount of dialogues To give you a clear picture of what I’m talking about here’s a picture of a paragraph I took from the book non spoiler of courseThe first half of the book mostly looked like that as you can see there’s almost no heavy dialogue section and this means you’re going to have to read tons of details and descriptions Plus the long chapters 15 chapters for 490 pages made this book not an easy read I felt my progress reading this book became very slow because of these situations These can be a good or bad thing depending on your preferences but personally I prefer it to be balanced The second half however fixed this problemOverall I truly enjoyed reading The Winter King and I thank John Gwynne for recommending this book to me I will definitely continue with this trilogy and I highly recommend it to any fans of historical fiction and Arthurian legendBonus Picture My beautiful editions of The Warlord Chronicles You can find this and the rest of my Adult EpicHigh Fantasy Sci Fi reviews at BookNest

  2. Peter Peter says:

    NascencyThe tale of King Arthur Guinevere and Lancelot the Knights of the Round Table Sir Galahad and his uest for the Holy Grail Excalibur Merlin and his sorcery and the age of chivalry are the ingredients of medieval fantasy and folklore Bernard Cornwell writes his account which feels the most authentic version I’ve encountered and turns many of these former images on their head The resulting novel creates an imagined tale that feels legitimate and historicalThe story is told in the first person looking back in time from the perspective of Dervel a soldier and monk who fought at Arthur’s side As he starts to write his account his loyalty to Arthur is apparent “These are the tales of Arthur the Warlord the King that Never Was the Enemy of God and may the living Christ and Bishop Sansum forgive me the best man I ever knew How I have wept for Arthur” The wonderful opportunity this structure provides is that the story of Arthur can be told from an onlooker seeing the positive and negative attribute of Arthur his wins and his mistakes through a lens with less emotion and the benefit of distance It also enables the location and existence of a lowly person to be painted in beautiful sensory detail and the issues he faced dealing with many of the extensive iconic characters in this storyThe period is set in the late fifth century shortly after the Romans left Briton and the country is split into several regions each ruled by their own king The Saxon conflicts are escalating and war from every side is commonplace Cornwell creates an amazing atmosphere of medieval Briton that permeates through every aspect of the novel The politics and machinations between the multiple power hungry and warrior leaders are deep rooted and persistent and every engagement is judged with caution and an expectation that ruthless and instant changes can and will occur It is also a period where priests and druids battle with the conflict of Christianity and the old gods The era of Merlin magic and sorcery is coming to an end but they still hold considerable influenceArthur is the bastard son of Uther the Pendragon very accomplished in battle although not always given the credit Uther’s legitimate grandson Mordred The Winter King has a twisted foot which is taken as a bad omen It's not the only thing that's twisted as he's a ruthless evil and unforgiving personality that he doesn’t hide and unfortunately with an astute and cunning mind may become a formidable force Arthur still upholds his allegiance to Mordred even though his vision of peace and justice is a polar oppositeBernard Cornwell claimed that this trilogy was his favourite and best piece of work I haven’t read enough of his other works to make that comparison but if they’re better than this – well I have a lot to look forward toThis is an outstanding example of the historical fiction genre and the best take on the iconic Arthur story I’ve read or watched I would highly recommend this book and series

  3. Ryan Ryan says:

    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 readWho 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 action If you loved watching the movie Braveheart but wish it was a little 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 reuired 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 meansIt 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'Arthurand the many hundreds of others film and bookOh and I don't know who wrote the description which accompanies this book probably someone at www 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 uite English What they may have meant to say is that it is readable Why they didn't just say that I have no idea

  4. Celeste Celeste says:

    Full review now postedOriginal review can be found at BooknestHere 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 of myth For the first time in my life I read something that convinced me of the possibility of Arthur’s existence Not its likelihood mind you but its possibility which is still an astonishing change for me regarding a mythCornwell sets his tale in the 5th century after the Roman occupation of Britain has ended Saxons are invading and Britons are warring amongst themselves This is a land of warring factions and a multitude of kings and this is where Cornwell has planted his version of Arthur Here Arthur’s tale is told by Brother Derfel an aging monk who wasn’t always a Christian In his youth Derfel was a pagan and a warrior who fought alongside Arthur In the framework of Cornwall’s story Derfel is writing out the true story of Arthur for Igraine the young ueen over the realm that houses the monastery Witnessing Arthur’s story from an eyewitness and one who isn’t one of the names we’re familiar with was a uniue perspective And trying to reconcile Derfel himself the aging Christian monk and the young pagan warrior is actually one of my favorite aspects of the novel How radically people can change always intrigues meThere were some people Cornwell portrayed here that were at complete odds with almost everything I’ve ever read or heard Particularly his representation of Guinevere and Lancelot Even though they were pretty people neither of them seemed to have much goodness within them Guinevere here is a catalyst for war much like Helen of Troy I will never be able to fathom shattering a kingdom in the name of love though I know it’s one of the most ancient of justifications for declarations of war And Lancelot is just awful though I’m still not sure how many of his failings are truth and how many are exaggerated through the eyes of our narrator However a hero he is not though he knows how to twist events in the minds of poets to ensure his legacyThe presentation of the Druid belief system was my other favorite aspect of this book Their superstitions and “spell casting” were absolutely fascinating And disturbing I don’t think I’ve ever read another book that contained this much spitting Or urine flinging Or cow dung as hair product And the Druid’s view of the Christian interlopers and the way those opposing faiths both widened the rift in their land and how the people banded together in battle in spite of those opposing faiths was captivating One of the main reasons I’ll be continuing the trilogy at some later date is to understand how Derfel transitioned from one faith to the otherEven though I have a deep appreciation for both the story and Cornwell’s writing I have to admit that I struggled reading this It was just so dense The information was interesting for sure but sometimes I felt so glutted by the outpouring of information that I couldn’t digest uickly enough to keep reading Cornwell did an insane amount of research and it really shows I feel like I learned so much about the Druid faith and ancient Britain but that learning sometimes overwhelmed the story The book reminded me of some of the really amazing history books I read in college Well written and fascinating but too dense to read for simple enjoyment Also it felt a little like the vast majority of the book was either preparing for battle engaging in battle or the aftermath of battle Which is fine but is something I get really bogged down inIf you love historical fiction this is definitely the book for you If you’re obsessed with Arthurian legend you owe it to yourself to give this a read And if you just can’t get enough of battlefields I think I found your new favorite bookI read this because Petrik loved the series so much

  5. Sean Barrs Sean Barrs says:

    Nobody does this uite as well as Bernard Cornwell He is uite 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 one of his footman An interesting take on the Arthurian myth Derfel is a spearman in the service of Arthur and he narrates Arthur’s story I’m glad that we weren’t privy to Arthur’s thoughts and emotion because it helped to create an idea about him being an untouchable being What I mean is that Arthur is better than the common man and by telling the story like this it assumes a sense of distance between someone like Derfel who in himself is honourable and someone who is in essence a man beyond measure It created an Arthur that was as enigmatic as he was courageous and noble I think it was a great idea This is an awakening change to what I thought would be the predictable route of a novel like this We see the events and people that surround Arthur’s life from a different perspective One that holds Arthur in high esteem but in spite of this we also see the mistakes Arthur makes as a commander He takes the wrong bride in a moment of selfish passion and almost dooms himself in the process I emphasise the word mistakes because this is not the usual Camelot fairy tale; this is a gritty realistic approach to the legend More historical than legend This is a tale that has been told countless times but to make it stand out Cornwell had to make his retelling uniue In his version Lancelot is a fraud and Guinevere is uite possibly a complete whore who entrapped Arthur for power not love; thus this is far from the usual fairy tale The characters are realistic and not without their flaws so they are human and fallible This is a far shot form the knights of the round table and the pure virtuous that Arthur represents This made this novel not remotely predictable or a simple regurgitation of a tale we already know The movement of Christianity through the reduction of the druids is also apparent It is intriguing to see the rivalries created by these religious differences I like the way the Druid’s though relying on and believing in magic appear to have no magical abilities but are driven by what they perceive as their magic powers and knowledge I think Cornwell has been very subtle here because without openly suggesting that their magic was impossible he does show us that their magic is slowly fading This gives the novel a realistic setting a historical setting rather than the usual fantastical nature of tales surrounding Arthur Pendragon I enjoyed this novel but not as much as those in the Saxon Stories Derfel lacks the charisma and will of Uhtred And for that reason I gave this a four star rating rather than the five it could have earnt

  6. Daniel Ionson Daniel Ionson says:

    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 Century garb They fear the powers of magic gods and fate The majority of the people are ignorant living in dirty hovels with no boots The world is vast and mysterious The line by line writing is excellent as are the story arcs of this tale Highly suggest this series as well as most of BC's work

  7. Melki Melki says:

    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 rescueFor Arthur at last had comeDun da da daPresenting 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 themI loved loved loved this bookHere is a familiar tale made fresh and exciting Here we have Arthur the just and fair brave Galahad and cowardly Lancelot hiding behind his mother's skirts All the old favorites get to mix it up with some new characters And of course Merlin gets all the best linesThat's why the Gods made it such a pleasure to engender children because so many of the little brutes have to be replaced One of the things I can't stand about Christians is their admiration of meekness Imagine elevating meekness into a virtue Meekness Can you imagine a heaven filled with only the meek? What a dreadful idea The food would get cold while everyone passed the dishes to everyone elseHappily there are two books in the Arthur seriesCornwell I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship

  8. Will.J.R. Gwynne Will.J.R. Gwynne says:

    My BookNest review “The bards sing of love they celebrate slaughter they extol kings and flatter ueens but were I a poet I would write in praise of friendship”If you love stories consisting of memorable characters you love and despise fantastic storytelling stunning action seuences and moral lessons then you will adore this historical telling of the chronicles of Arthur and the story of his lifeThe Winter King is the first book in The Warlord Chronicles which is a uniue take on the story of Arthur during the dark ages I have always loved the tales of Arthur and his warriors and this is not an exception It is the best book I have read which has the story of Arthur as its main concept“Fate is inexorableCornwell chooses certain aspects and adapts others from the common stories so the reader cannot predetermine the events which shall occur and so the story which is told is a new one He produces this book in a masterful style overflowing with immersive action and fantastic charactersThe sole point of view is Derfel was born a Saxon but raised a Briton in the kingdom of Dumnonia which is a kingdom residing in southern Briton He features as the main character in the Winter King He is a man who values loyalty and kindness and proves it many times It is hard not to fall in love with him as the stories progress and you witness his faults and virtuesThe prose of Bernard Cornwell is superb as the description and storytelling flows brilliantly It is fluid and smooth making it an easy job to continue reading this large book as the plot line constantly develops in a manner which disallowed me from being bored at any pointThe Winter King is a definite five star rating in my opinion due to one of my favourite writing styles I have encountered and the way it captured many of my favourite aspects in storiesImpending exams are absorbing most of my leisure time but almost every moment of freedom I have gained in the last few days consisted of me reading this It took a serious level of self control to resist devouring this novel with a few long sittingsThis is one of if not my favourite historical fiction novel I have had the pleasure to read and I shall be instantly be borrowing my father’s copy of Enemy of God which is the second book of this series

  9. Conor Conor says:

    45 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 is Derfel Cadarn A humble straight forward soldier Derfel is in a position to observe the complicated characters involved in the military and political struggles to decide the fate and faith lol puns of Britain Derfel also gives us an engaging insight into the terror and exhilaration of fighting in a shield wall These sections which bring to life the mud blood exhaustion fear and pain of frontline combat are some of the most intense of the book The framing device with Derfal now an old monk telling his story created some extremely poignant momentsArthur is extremely well written although his character sometimes feels too noble especially given how bleak the rest of this world is To be fair Arthurian legend usually holds Arthur up as the pinnacle of all that is right and in this series Cornwell portrays him as the one hope for goodness in a world filled with evil For all of his saintliness although saints in this book are often knobs Coughs Sansum Coughs Arthur's vanity ambition and occasional reckless idealism made him than a 2 D representation of heroism and instead showed him to be a flawed realistic character making his struggles all the powerful In the early stages of this book I found Owain the old king's champion to be a brilliantly written character a complex villain and a great source of conflict On one hand Owain was a great warrior who was generous and kind to the men under his command including Derfal on the other hand he was openly corrupt raped a captive woman this was a disturbingly freuent occurrence in the story at times the freuency of rape went beyond realistic in this setting and into being gratuitous and mercilessly slaughtered a defenceless village to line his own pockets view spoiler Due to his scummy actions I didn't find him an overly sympathetic character as a result his death pretty early on didn't really affect me However as the book progressed I felt his absence keenly especially as a bunch of much less compelling villains began to appear I also thought that Derfal suddenly siding against him and his abrupt death cut out what could have been a really interesting contest for Derfal's loyalty between Owain's pragmatism represented by his faith in the shield wall and Arthur's idealism his love of heavy cavalry hide spoiler

  10. Andy Andy says:

    Not oft actually hardly ever do I read a second series by an author set in a diffo historical period for fear of of the same but jus a diffo setting its happened with others but here I am giving Bernard Cornwell a go with his Arthurian saga – Its only a short series having heard many good things I’m intending to bang the lot of in one go 3 books to complete my Summer readIt’s also one of my favourite legends so I hope he does it justiceThe story begins with a scribe Derfel at a desk who is writing the story of Arthur the Warlord who should have been King so it goes The story proper starts conventionally with Uther Pendragon the birth of a son called? Derfel himself Morgan Mordred Merlin’s court minus Merlin at Glastonbury soon follow all being familiar names in the lore of Arthur The lay of the land is set illustrated by a map of the time C 480 AD in the land of the Britons The story flows into birthrights succession and politics across the kingdom the ensuing war with the interloping Saxons from the East Real place names of the time are used which are on the map its authenticity is great to follow making you feel part of the setting as you soon get used to them It helps no doubt if you live in the region in uestion so it’s familiarity is already imbedded I’m hooked from the start enjoying the tale the characters the period which is portrayed in a feasible way so much is still really unknown about post Romano Britain The characterisations of the players of Arthurian lore are spot on for me make for an excellent read The politics are involved with petty rivalries jostling for power certain kings trying to be top dog of all the kingdoms of the Britons as all the while the Saxon threat becomes prevalent as they encroach from the East There is also a tie in with Brittany which is still part of the British sphere of influence The battle scenes are expertly told easy to visualise epic in their contentWill the Britons unite? Will the Saxons prevail? That is the crux of the story EnjoyA clear 5 stars for me as I can’t fault it plus Ive hardly given any 5’s this year

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