It takes a remarkable writer to make an old story as fresh and compelling as the first time we heard it. With The Winter King, the first volume of his magnificent Warlord Chronicles, Bernard Cornwell finally turns to the story he was born to write: the mythic saga of King Arthur.
The tale begins in Dark Age Britain, a land where Arthur has been banished and Merlin has disappeared, where a child-king sits unprotected on the throne, where religion vies with magic for the souls of the people. It is to this desperate land that Arthur returns, a man at once utterly human and truly heroic: a man of honor, loyalty, and amazing valor; a man who loves Guinevere more passionately than he should; a man whose life is at once tragic and triumphant.
As Arthur fights to keep a flicker of civilization alive in a barbaric world, Bernard Cornwell makes a familiar tale into a legend all over again.
©1995 Bernard Cornwell (P)2014 HarperCollins Publishers
Excellent book like all of Cornwells books but starts off a little slow. You just have to power through it and it gets really good.
The book is solid but the beginning was very slow and hard to follow. Trust me when I say....get through the first 2 hours and than the book is gold! the next 2 books in this series are both 5 stars from the start. Jonathan Keeble outstanding performance made the book bearable in the beginning and is the only reason I did not return it.
read was very good and my preferred reader for Cornwell books. However if you have read the Saxon stories then you'll notice very similar plot lines. Many parallels so it has something of a rehashed feel to it only lacking the firm root in history. Still I like the take on making a real history for the Arthur legend. It is also well written and involving for this reader and if you liked the Saxon stories you'll probably like this one as well. so good but not excellent.
The beginning of this book is like Game of Thrones... so many characters it is hard to keep track. But it is totally worth the investment, as this series is amazing! It rivals the Saxon Chronicles as my favorite Cornwell series, and Cornwell himself has said these are his favorite books. This series is a must for Cornwell fans!
The best Cornwell has done. More than that, the best take on the Aurthurian legend that I have ever read or heard.
I am a retired teacher who listens because she is vision impaired and can no longer read. I love history, a touch of fantasy, and mystery!
Each of the larger than life characters of th Arthurian Legend comes alive in The Winter King. However, none is the hero you think you already know. Each is more real, more believable, and yet as heroic as any hero you have already constructed in your mind. Your allegiance to each is strengthened in this moving version of the Legend. I am eager for the next book, but will re-listen to much of this book before I move on.
The story was simply tedious and a beating at times. Overall it's still a good work of fiction with a taste of historical life in England after Roman influence is gone - around 300-400 AD.
I much prefer the Saxon series where the characters are far more dynamic.
The narrator is good overall but his female voices and Merlin voice are TRULY cringeworthy.
Really enjoy Cornwell's ability to humanize these figures of legend. Love what he does with a particular knight who I've always considered to be overrated, and really like that he does not make Arthur flawless.
Some people complain about the story being too exposition-y, but they obviously didn't get past the first couple of hours. Honestly, this world requires exposition, and the rest is so great that it pays off!
Strong female characters too, which is something I love, even as a guy.
All-in-all, I could not put this book down. I questioned picking up another Cornwell series after just finishing a marathon read of his Saxon Stories, but I am so glad that I did. He is my favorite writer of all time, and Jonathan Keeble is the perfect man to narrate these stories.
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