The Winter King

The Winter King

A Novel of Arthur

Book - 1997
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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.

Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Griffin, 1997, c1995.
Edition: 1st St. Martin's Griffin ed.
ISBN: 9780312156961
Branch Call Number: SCI FI Cornwell Bernard
Characteristics: 431 p. :,map ;,24 cm.


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Apr 23, 2018

This is my favorite series of all time. I think people have their own thoughts about Arthurian Legends. They might come into this liking or disliking certain characters which might set them on a pre-decided opinion, but to me this became my only Arthurian legend. Seeing all the old characters from an outsider's eyes, and even better; I came to care about the narrator so much. It's just a great book, with intense emotions and epic battle scenes. It's been great following these characters across their lives and three books. It's a series I continue to revisit.

Aug 19, 2015

I really enjoyed this whole series. It does a really good job of making the dark ages seem dark. Everything and everyone (for the most part) is dirty and and disgusting and horrible.

I also really appreciate the way magic is treated in the series. Cornwell never lets magic unequivocally be real. However, nor does he delve into scientific explanations which might spoil the mystery. This is complicated by the fact that not all the characters believe in all the magic all the time, and yet it is a very important plot device. There is a wonderful balance between reality and superstition.

The story, however, is not a happy one. It covers basically all of Arthur's life, and throughout the series, there is a strong sense of loss, from the abandonment of England by the Romans to the encroachment of Christianity to the eventual conquest by the Saxons.

It's not an uplifting story, but it is enjoyable and very well told.

Jul 25, 2011

I like Bernard Cornwell as a writer. This one took a little while to get going but a good read.

cloudni9e Jun 04, 2011

Warlord Chronicles series:

1. The Winter King: A Novel of Arthur (1995)

2. Enemy of God (1996)

3. Excalibur: A Novel of Arthur (1997)

Classic Cornwell. One of my favourite series. Historically accurate, descriptive, and gory at times.


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FavouriteFiction Oct 01, 2009

In this tale Mordred, Uther's infant grandson, is the rightful king and Arthur is merely one of his guardians, sworn to hold the kingdom against the Saxon warlords.

Book #1 in the Warlord Chronicles


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