The Winter King

Narrated by: Jonathan Keeble
Series: The Warlord Chronicles, Book 1
Length: 19 hrs and 55 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (2,382 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In cart

Publisher's Summary

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
What members say
Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,698
  • 4 Stars
    510
  • 3 Stars
    128
  • 2 Stars
    30
  • 1 Stars
    16
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,819
  • 4 Stars
    288
  • 3 Stars
    59
  • 2 Stars
    15
  • 1 Stars
    11
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,486
  • 4 Stars
    495
  • 3 Stars
    154
  • 2 Stars
    39
  • 1 Stars
    15

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Might be my favorite take on Arthur

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.

30 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent but starts off slow

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.

33 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great story

Great story, love the narrator. He really brings the story to life.
Can't wait to listen to the next book in the series.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The Legend of Arthur - More Real & More Heroic

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.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Starts out slow!

This book starts out excruciatingly slow. I really did not like the first quarter of the book. But that's what it took to develop the characters and story line to change the story of Arthur - King of Britains to Bernard Cornwell's version. If you make it passed the build up, you are good. It is a very different version of the story. Mr Cornwell's version of the "Arthur" tale is way more believable than most others. Looking forward to book 2

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Slow start, but so worth the investment!

Any additional comments?

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!

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great book...beginning is slow

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.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Bernard Cornwell does it again.

Great story. Great narration. Overall great. The characters give this old story new life. It brings a realism to King Arthur. Bernard Cornwell is great.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Arthur-another perspective

This is a grittier more realpolitik version of the making of Arthur. The first part of the book sets the tone of Britain at the time of the events and introduces the characters. Other reviews have described the first third of the book as boring but I did not find it so. I was transfixed by the end and plan to read/listen to the other 2 in the triology. The narration was superb. I usually get audible and Kindle versions so I can listen during my commute and read at home. They sync up pretty well most of the time, including bookmarks. There was no map with the Kindle version and I understand that there are maps with the print versions. There are numerous online maps pertaining to The Winter King and I looked at a couple for reference during the course of the book.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Book one of three

(Although divided into three books, this -- unlike less well-done series -- is a single, unbroken, and beautifully flowing tale. See the third book, "Excalibur," for review.)

2 people found this helpful