The first in a trilogy depicting the story of Arthur. It is an epic tale of a struggle conducted by a man who, despite final defeat, became an unparalled hero. Bernard Cornwell is also the author of the Sharpe novels.
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Essentially this is a modern political thriller, told in flat American diction. Narrated by Derfel, an ordinary, likable man who rises through the ranks to become Arthur's friend and advisor in peace and war, the story doesn't follow the traditional patterns. Mordred is Uther's infant grandson, the legitimate king; Arthur is one of Mordred's guardians, sworn to hold the kingdom against the Saxon warlords until Mordred comes of age. Warfare is incessant. Arthur's dream of peace and unity seems unattainable. Derfel's own story--his strange origin, his love for Nimue, his worries and his triumphs--parallels Arthur's as he fights for and beside him.
Bernard Cornwell downplays the magic that enlivens the traditional stories, depicting it more as a combination of superstition and shrewd wits. I recommend this with reservations; though it's absorbing to read, the emphasis on battles and politics means that this will greatly appeal to some fantasy readers, but disappoint others.From the Publisher:
13 1.5-hour cassettes
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Book Description Book Condition: good. 259 Gramm. Bookseller Inventory # M00140863508-G
Book Description Penguin Audiobooks, 1996. No Binding. Book Condition: As New. Dust Jacket Condition: As New. Read by Tim Pigott-Smith . Booklets x2: As New . Cassettes x 4: As New . 1996. Bookseller Inventory # 10040