I am increasingly disappointed with the whole series by Jack Whyte. This, the third book of his Arthurian saga, finds Camulod and Britain deserted by Rome and its legions, and fighting off Saxons, Picts, Scots and themselves. Whyte clearly knows his military history, and I completely admit I enjoy his details on Roman military strategy and weapons. On the other hand his knowledge of social history is lacking. Camulod comes off as an armed camp with no discussion of how the majority of women and men spent their time in the 5 th century. Cloth making, alone, took 56 - 60% of every man, woman and child's time before industrial times - and here we are before spinning wheels as well. Finally, the women in all of Whyte's books are horrible, cardboard characters. As far as I can see, women exist solely for men's sexual needs in these books - and the sex as described isn't even hot. A sad weakness in partly interesting reads.
All of the books in this series by Jack Whyte are excellent. He spins the Camaloud myth through historical fiction. Very well done.
Heavy on military details. A completely different take on the King Arthur legend. This is Book 2.
Book III of the Camulod Chronicles of 5th/6th century Britton and the coming of Arthur. A new and different look at Merlyn. Wonderful.
Enjoyed this as much as the first two. A great book!
Book 1, Hatchlings, and Book 2, Fledglings, were about the childhood and youth of two friends - Caius (who will become known as Merlin or Cais Merlin) and Uther. In addition, their uncle tells Caius about the making of Excalibur. His uncle fashioned Excalibur using a little known process to make it. Caius is told that he will become the keeper of the sword when his uncle dies.
Uther and Cais Merlin know each other well based on their boyhood ether. Each can anticipate the actions of the other. Both have lost their fathers and both grieved deeply. Uther has become King, replacing his father, Uric, and Merlin heads his home, Camulod. Lot is an enemy beyond par - evil, devious and very intelligent and intends to rule Britannia. Uther & Merlin both vow to kill him.
Merlin falls deeply in love with a young woman who has been brutally beaten and raped. He fears that Uther was responsible. He names Cassandra, recognizing that she cannot speak. When his aunt meets her, she informs him that the young woman is carrying his child. She is convinced to move from her hidden valley to Camulod for the wedding. When Marlin' budding adjutant sees her he falls to his knees. The young woman is his sister who he has believed dead. She tells the story of her survival through sign language.
The tale moves on until Arthur is born with battles, deaths of friends and loved ones but . Rather than provide more details, I urge readers to pick up this novel for themselves. Very nice read.
The last days of Roman Britain and the start of the King Arthur saga.