Everyone knows the story-how Arthur pulled the sword from the stone, how Camelot came to be, and about the power struggles that ultimately destroyed Arthur's dreams. But what of the time before Arthur and the forces that created him?
How did the legend really come to pass?
Before the time of Arthur and his Camelot, Britain was a dark and deadly place, savaged by warring factions of Picts, Celts, and invading Saxons. The Roman citizens who had lived there for generations were suddenly faced with a deadly choice: Should they leave and take up residence in a corrupt Roman world that was utterly foreign, or should they stay and face the madness that would ensue when Britain's last bastion of safety for the civilized, the Roman legions, left?
For two Romans, Publius Varrus and his friend Caius Britannicus, there can be only one answer. They will stay, to preserve what is best of Roman life, and will create a new culture out of the wreckage. In doing so, they will unknowingly plant the seeds of legend-for these two men are Arthur's great-grandfathers, and their actions will shape a nation . . . and forge a sword known as Excalibur.
©1996 Jack Whyte (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
Whyte starts with Arthurian pre-history, so it does take its time. But you get the feeling he's laying the groundwork for some great characters and plot twists.
I've read other Arthurian legends, but none of them starts in the last days of the Roman Empire to set the stage for how Camelot was formed. The anarchy that came after the Romans left Britain must have been terrible.
He does such great character work. It's like a radio play -- you understand who everyone is.
Not really. The sex scenes were interesting...
A fun listen. I'm in for the long haul on this one. I hope the story elements pay off!
Expansive creative worlds or histories seem to be my thing these days... Too much time in a car with long drives ahead!
I knew nothing about this book when I got it on sale. I just downloaded book two and am excited to listen.
Kevin did a very good job narrating this book. He remained consistent with voices and tones.
The story is entertaining. I had no problem staying with it. In fact, I had trouble finding time to fit it in.
The plotline is interesting, the Roman point of view is a new take that I hadn't encountered previously. Unfortunately, the writing leaves something to be desired. While there is tremendous detail, Whyte has a tendency to be unnecessarily verbose and include many ideas/details through dialogue that could easily be inferred by adept character building. The fact that the book was written in first person only exacerbates this issue, allowing the author to drag on with unnecessary, uninteresting information. The dialogue and use of modern idiomatic expressions also seem to be occasionally misaligned with the time period. Finally, the sex scenes were obviously the product of a man writing because he likes to talk about sex - not necessarily to forward the plot in any meaningful way. I was very disappointed in this text, and was surprised to see the number of positive reviews it received.
poorly written, time period and characters did not match, couldn't listen for more then 30 minutes before turning it off and wishing for a refund
The writing was cliched and anachronistic, the dialogue wooden and the delivery, plot and action was tedious. There were few surprises that the reader could not guess well in advance of their "discovery". The book was too long - needs a good editor.
The narrator - Pariseau is just not in the same league with the other narrators I have heard through Audible. His delivery is monotone and sounds as though he is reading the book for only the second time.
Simon Vance is one of my favorites, as is the narrator for Heresy, but I would have chosen Christian Rodska, narrator of the Lindsey Davis Didius Falco series. He would be very suited for the military nature of the book and the main character 1st person narration
The historic time period was interesting.
A re-reading of Dorothy Dunnett's 'Niccolo Rising'. A masterclass in substantive and entertaining historical fiction.
This book should never have found a publisher let alone made it into the hands of an editor. But to answer the question: large chunks of the artificial, stilted dialogue.
worst narration I have ever heard. I cannot understand what happened here.. Sincerely,did anyone listen to this first?
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