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26 October 2009

Pendragon's Banner: A Book tour and Review

Title: Pendragon's Banner
Author: Helen Hollick
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication Date: August 2009
ISBN: 9781402218897
Paperback: 469 pages
Genre: Fiction


Synopsis from the Publisher:

Who was the man
… who became the legend
… we know as

Pendragon's Banner is the second book in Helen Hollick's exciting King Arthur trilogy, covering 459-465 A.D. This is not a fairy tale or fantasy. There is no Merlin, no sword in the stone, and no Lancelot. This is the most accurate Arthurian legend ever written, based on historical evidence and meticulous research.

At age twenty-four, King Arthur has the kingdom he fought so hard for and a new young family. But keeping the throne of Britain—and keeping his wife and three sons safe—proves far from easy. Two enemies in particular threaten everything that is dear to him: Winifred, Arthur's vindictive first wife, and Morgause, priestess of the Mother and malevolent Queen of the North. Both have royal ambitions of their own.

In this story of harsh battles, secret treasonous plots, and the life-threatening politics of early Britain's dark ages, author Helen Hollick boldly reintroduces King Arthur as you've never seen him before.

My Review:

Pendragon's Banner is the second novel in Helen Hollick's Pendragon Trilogy and while I did not read the first book, The Kingmaking, I will be reading the third, Shadow of the King. Pendragon's Banner is an engrossing novel with a refreshing twist from the usual legends surrounding King Arthur. The characters are well written and the novel, while complex, is a definite page-turner. Throughout this face paced novel, the reader is privy to various different narrators, primarily, King Arthur, his wife Gwenhwayfar, Arthur's first wife, Winifrid, and Morgause. What the reader will not find in this novel is reference to Merlin or the round table. Rather Hollick chooses to humanize King Arthur and make the reader care deeply for the characters, cheer with their victories and cry with their heartbreaks. As with any good legend, Arthur has numerous enemies both cunning and traitorous. I found this to be a brilliant twist on the traditional lore and an excellent read. I would not hesitate to recommend this novel to anyone who wants a face paced, exciting read.

I received a free copy of Pendragon's Banner by Helen Hollick from Sourceboks as part of the tour. Receiving a free copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned novel.



Jen - devourer of books said...

Great review! I also really appreciated that this was a REAL Arthur, not a storybook ideal.

Pricilla said...

I love the Arthurian legend and this sounds more real and less romantic than most books dealing with it.

Helen Hollick said...

Thank you for the wonderful review - I'm so glad you enjoyed the read as much as I enjoyed writing the novel.

Jenny Girl said...

Great review Jen.

Bluestocking said...

I bought this one last week. Thanks for visiting my blog.