Read The Singing Sword by Jack Whyte Online


We know the legends: Arthur brought justice to a land that had known only cruelty and force; his father, Uther, carved a kingdom out of the chaos of the fallen Roman Empire; the sword Excalibur, drawn from stone by England's greatest king.But legends do not tell the whole tale. Legends do not tell of the despairing Roman soldiers, abandoned by their empire, faced with theWe know the legends: Arthur brought justice to a land that had known only cruelty and force; his father, Uther, carved a kingdom out of the chaos of the fallen Roman Empire; the sword Excalibur, drawn from stone by England's greatest king.But legends do not tell the whole tale. Legends do not tell of the despairing Roman soldiers, abandoned by their empire, faced with the choice of fleeing back to Rome, or struggling to create a last stronghold against the barbarian onslaughts from the north and east. Legends do not tell of Arthur's great-grandfather, Publius Varrus, the warrior who marked the boundaries of a reborn empire with his own shed blood; they do not tell of Publius's wife, Luceiia, British-born and Roman-raised, whose fierce beauty burned pale next to her passion for law and honor.With The Camulod Chronicles, Jack Whyte tells us what legend has forgotten: the history of blood and violence, passion and steel, out of which was forged a great sword, and a great nation. The Singing Sword continues the gripping epic begun in The Skystone: As the great night of the Dark Ages falls over Roman Britain, a lone man and woman fight to build a last stronghold of law and learning--a crude hill-fort, which one day, long after their deaths, will become a great city . . . known as Camelot....

Title : The Singing Sword
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780765304582
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 384 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Singing Sword Reviews

  • Markus
    2019-02-27 11:48

    The Singing Sword is a book of connections. It is very much a sequel to The Skystone, but it’s also the book truly beginning to turn The Camulod Chronicles into a work of Arthurian legend.The withdrawal of the Roman legions from Britain is as good as complete. Varrus and Britannicus lead their little Colony into the future, a legendary sword is forged, and through intermarriage with the local Celts, the two Romans are gifted with a grandson each: one named Uther Pendragon, the other Merlyn.The second book in the series was a lot more enjoyable than the first, maybe particularly because it starts becoming recognizable as Arthurian fiction while retaining the historical, realistic perspective from The Skystone. The Singing Sword also had its tedious parts, but overall it just made me more and more invested in the series.

  • *Absorbed in Countless Worlds*
    2019-03-03 12:51

    Nothing much to say here for me apart from this : Just the perfect book.

  • Mark Halse
    2019-03-11 10:58

    With this third reading of THE SINGING SWORD I am reminded of all of the reasons that I love this series. Deep and lovable characters, sweeping storyline and twisted drama.In this installment we follow ol' Publius Varrus as he truly creates the very roots of King Arthur. The idea of mounted knights are created, a round council is formed, Uther and Merlin are fathered and most importantly Excalibur is born!This book and series are a slow burn. Possibly the slowest burning series that I've ever read but I love getting lost in an epic of this magnitude. Envision Robin Hobb with more details and a more highly episodic narrative. I feel that even the impatient could really enjoy this well written story.I do find the characters to be pompous and preachy at times but that is really just how Jack Whyte writes his characters. They all have to be complete genius dickholes sometimes for them to accomplish the impossible. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

  • Carrie Slager
    2019-02-28 12:03

    I’m the sort of person that loves doing jigsaw puzzles, which is part of the reason why I loved The Singing Sword. It’s a lot like a jigsaw puzzle, what with tiny, barley recognizable pieces of the Arthurian legends slowly being dropped into place. We got the outline or the edge pieces in the first book in A Dream of Eagles (formerly known as The Camulod Chronicles), The Skystone, and now we’re starting to fill in the easy parts.Publius is obviously more mature than he was in the first book and it’s almost more interesting to see this more mature, worldly point of view as he and Caius struggle to build up the Colony. Their alliance with King Ullic, the growing threat of foreign invaders reaching Roman territory and an old villain reappearing made The Singing Sword very exciting and an entertaining read. Of course, there are the bad parts of the novel as well and I would definitely not recommend it for people who are sensitive to gore. Jack Whyte writes as Publius would have in the times and is less sensitive to the violence all around him. Therefore, it’s difficult for someone with modern views on violence to accept the ancient world for what it was, but The Singing Sword feels all the more authentic for that.Not only is Publius more mature than when we left him at the end of The Skystone, all of the other characters are more mature. Their newly acquired maturity does not mean that they’re boring or that they don’t have character arcs. Quite the opposite, in fact. Fans of the first book will love to see their favourite characters change even more and will learn to love the new generation that helps bring the legend of Camelot closer to reality.I give this book 5/5 stars.

  • Tim Mcdougall
    2019-03-04 17:57

    Whyte starts with a great concept -- an alternative view of the Arthur mythos, this time with Arthur's ancestors as Roman soldiers. And he does some of the best battle scenes in the business. He does his research, choreographs them well, and generates real tension when he's focusing here.So ... why he decides to go on for hundreds of pages at a time while his main characters do nothing but extol the virtues of farming, or the beauty of his wife, or the virtues of working hard as a blacksmith is beyond me. It doesn't feel like he did the research to make these sections interesting or that he really cares to, and his characterizations are too flat to make these extended sections work. To make it worse, there is absolutely no tension in the plot for these sections -- I felt like I was just plowing through to get to the conclusion. A tedious enough read, for me at least, that I dropped the series despite some recommendations from family.

  • Pebbles
    2019-02-28 14:41

    I love the way these books retell the King Arthur story in a totally plausible way. Absorbing writing too!

  • Don Maker
    2019-03-01 15:53

    Rather than the romantic, fantastical versions of Camelot, this is the story of how it all might have really come about. This is book two of at least nine in the Camulod Chronicles, and I have ordered books one and three after reading this. Because the story begins at the tail end of the fourth century, it is very much about the Roman influence on Britain, and how the two cultures merged together as the Roman Empire was disintegrating. It seems Mr. Whyte did his research, as the lifestyles and events seem authentic, and all of the elements of the Arthurian legend come about in a very believable manner.The characters are well-drawn and fully developed, and the action is interesting whether it involves a battle or a billows—the main character in this novel, Publius Varrus, becomes a blacksmith after retiring from the Roman legions and of course creates a marvelous sword he names Excalibur. As a writer, it was very impressive to me that Mr. Whyte could maintain both interest and tension in fairly long descriptions of seemingly mundane things, albeit he either immediately or eventually made clear how they tied into both the immediate story and the future legend. There were a couple of long, philosophical conversations that were off the main topic, although they did relate to some of the sub-plots, but he managed to make them interesting as well, at least to me.If you enjoy historical fiction, lively portrayals of ancient periods (especially England), and revel in the Arthurian legend in particular, I think you will love this series. It is very slow in developing, as is life itself, but very rich in its detail and authenticity.

  • Benjamin Thomas
    2019-03-25 13:49

    The second book in the “Camulod Chronicles” picks up shortly after the events of the first book, The Skystone. It continues the tale of Caius Britannicus and Publius Varrus (both great grandfathers of the future King Arthur of Briton) as they continue to build the colony of Camulod during the turn of the 5th century AD, when Rome was pulling out of Briton and leaving the Brits, the Celts, and other assorted peoples to deal with various invading groups such as the Saxons and the Northmen.I love the way this series is a truly accurate historical novel series, at this point at least, that also just happens to be related to the Arthurian legends. As the colony of Camulod gets established, we get to see major historical events and influences unfold. For example, due to the need for mobility in responding to threats, the art of warfare using horses is advanced. Rome was never known for its cavalry but now there is a need for well-trained warriors on horses. A breeding program is introduced to increase the size of the horses, the stirrup is introduced, and the swords are lengthened to allow use from horseback. All of these developments are actual historical occurrences. We also get to witness the first rough efforts to convert a Senate-like council meeting where elitism prevails to a newer style of local government in the form of a round circle of chairs where all have an equal voice. I think we all know where this will lead to in an Arthurian sense.But more importantly, this is a well-told tale. Just as in the first novel, this is a first person account by Publius Varrus, a former legionnaire, partly crippled through a battle injury, and now a master black smith. One might correctly guess from the title that he is the eventual crafter of Excalibur. His first person point of view lends a great perspective on bringing these great events down to the individual level and allowing the everyday life of families, lovers, builders, etc. to be as personal and emotional for the reader as it is for him. Great and satisfying personal achievements are matched by great loss and even tragedy. It is rare when a fictional novel brings a tear to my eye but this one managed to do it.All of these great historical shifts in thinking and technique take many years. The first two novels cover most of Caius and Publius’s long lives but it is inevitable that we move on. I’m excited for the third book in the series The Eagles' Brood where I understand that Publius’s grandson takes over the first person account. His name is Caius Merlyn Britannicus, first cousin of Uther Pendragon.

  • Lisa (Harmonybites)
    2019-03-25 18:01

    This is the second book in the Camulod Chronicles, which began in The Skystone. The book deals with the legend of King Arthur, but unlike other treatments of the material I've read, it's entirely realistic, with none of the fantastical--that, in fact is it's fascination. I haven't read the series by Bernard Cornwall or Stephen Lawhead, so maybe they're in that vein, but even the novels by Mary Stewart that put the stories in the Dark Ages Romano-British context had elements of fantasy--let alone more tradition approaches such as the stories by T.H. White. But in Whyte's story, if the sword Excalibur is special, its because it was smelted from a meteorite and forged by a master smith. And the Lady of the Lake? Well, she has a purely realistic explanation too we learned in the first book.This book starts off right from where the last one began, in the twilight of the Roman Empire. And in fact, if I rate this a bit lower, it's because it does feel so much like a continuation, and so not as novel in its impact. It shares the same virtues and drawbacks--and narrator--as the last book. This is the account of Publius Varrus, a former Roman legionnaire and the man who will forge Excalibur. Whyte in my estimation as good a writer as Mary Stewart or T.H. White who were both strong prose stylists. The information isn't always woven in that naturally, and I'm not ever struck by passages I'd love to highlight or dogear. But I did, just as with the last book, find myself fascinated by the depiction of the Roman Empire falling apart and the beginning of a new era. If the last one was notable for it's picture of the political and military, this one is interesting for what I learned, for instance, of the challenge of Pelagius to the Christian orthodoxy established by St Augustine. Also here you see the beginnings of knights--in the development of heavy cavalry, the visor, the stirrup and the lance. And while the last book merely set the backdrop of late Roman Britain, and you had to depend on the back of the book to learn Varrus would be Arthur's great-grandfather, in this book we finally begin to see the emergence of the age of Camelot with the birth of Merlyn and Uther. I'm certainly still interested in reading more of the series.

  • Jessiqa
    2019-03-21 17:41

    This is the second book in Whyte's Camulod Chronicles, a saga of the Arthurian Legend. These are historical novels, as opposed to the fantasy books that generally populate the Arthurian genre.This book follows Publius Varrus, as did the last one. He's a blacksmith, but also the leader of the army at the Colony. They run into a spot of trouble at the Colony, thanks to an old foe, but once that is cleared up, they make some very powerful friends. The threat of Saxon raiders comes closer to home in this book as does the need for true laws at the Colony. All of this is setting things up for that which is to come. You know it's a long series when Merlyn isn't born until the end of the second book. Arthurian legend is one of my favorite genres of all time. This deep-seated love is borne of an awesome Brit Lit class my junior year in high school. Mrs. Nixon introduced me to The Once and Future King by T.H. White and I was hooked. My home library has not been the same since. I started this particular series believing that it was a trilogy. Learning my mistake after I had already finished the first novel, I was fully set to continue with the series anyway. The first had me drawn in that much, even though there wasn't a single character in it who I knew from all my other readings in the genre. The same is true mostly of The Singing Sword until Merlyn and Uther Pendragon (cousins) are born at the end of the book. My point is that the story and the history and the anticipation of my beloved story are all well enough to keep me interested. I knew that the metal from the skystone would become Excalibur, how could it not? The joy is in getting there, in learning about the end of Roman Britain and the rise of all the warrior-kings. I'm thoroughly engrossed in Whyte's telling of how these historical facts intermingle with the Arthurian legend.I just started book three. I can't wait to see where this leads me.

  • Laura
    2019-03-16 11:48

    Secondo e sempre più avvincente capitolo delle Cronache di Camelot, segue per i tre quarti della trama le sorti del fabbro Publio e della sua Colonia, dando un magnifico spezzone della vita in Britannia nel 400 d.C., contemporaneamente alla decadenza dell'Impero Romano. Nell'ultima parte Publio forgia una spada molto speciale, trait d'union per le storie che seguiranno.Trama avvincente, facilmente accessibile a chiunque (a parte qualche termine tecnico), scorrevole. Ottima lettura. Unico neo: alcune (poche) parti per i miei gusti troppo "osè" che stonano con il resto della narrazione; le reputo pressocchè inutili, per cui tranquillamente evitabili.

  • Chuck Slack
    2019-02-27 16:50

    The Singing Sword is the second of a three book series and it kind of reads like it. The first book sets up the storyline and I imagine the third finishes it making the second a gap filler. This book dedicates a lot of pages to not much action but rather "fleshes out" the overall story. It presents the foundations of a new form of government, new methods of warfare, new weaponry, all happening near the end of the Roman Empire. This is what makes this book an interesting read. Jack Whyte is a very good storyteller and decent writer. I recommend the first two books in this series. I haven't read the third yet.

  • Christopher
    2019-03-19 12:59

    It's also told from the first person view of Publius Varrus, although it shows more nuance and duality to him than the first book. In the first book, he was more pure and heroic than this book, in which we find him dealing with the intricate relationship issues that come with marriage, lust, love, alliance, and teacher. Whereas the first book has a lot of dialog dealing with the philosophy of society, this book contains a decent amount of dialog regarding spiritual roles of God and Man in relation to the Hierarchy of the Catholic church. It also shows the original characters dealing with the inevitable trials of old age.

  • Wanda
    2019-03-25 19:06

    I really enjoyed this second book in Whyte's Arthurian series. It gave a great feel of life in Roman Britain as things are deteriorating (at least if you're a Roman). I appreciate his giving the characters motivations that 21st century people can relate to. It's a little heavy on the military/battle detail than I usually read, but it works in this context. The story does follow military men after all. And I adore all the Roman epithets! I will definitely be ordering the 3rd book from my library sooner rather than later.

  • Heidi
    2019-03-16 17:44

    So the Chronicles of the Roman Preppers continues to be unintentionally hilarious as old war buddies band together to prepare for the coming of the Roman Apocalypse. Still fairly entertaining although not much happens. I would have given it 3 stars if I had not become weary of the women's roles in this story and totally offended by the way he describes gay men. I haven't decided whether to continue my rereading of this series (as prelude to finally finishing the last volumes) or spend my time on something less hopelessly trapped in its own limited perspectives.

  • Megan
    2019-02-27 13:43

    Not as good as the first. I really like Whyte's writing style, but this book meandered too much without enough purpose, and just didn't further the plot of the series enough. The ending was very fast and abrupt. I liked it (and the first) sufficiently to continue the series, though.

  • Dean
    2019-02-23 17:40

    great book

  • Steve
    2019-03-13 17:48

    Read 3 times!

  • Tiffany
    2019-02-27 12:55

    This is the second in a series that most Canadians know as the 'a Dream of Eagles', and though this book gets more into depth about the Colony that becomes known as Camulod, this renaming doesn't happen until much, much later on when tragedy strikes the community.I was first drawn to this series because of its Arthurian ties, and though I was wary of the first book, I found that I enjoyed the Skystone to the point that I binge bought the series in its entirety from the library's monthly book sale.The Singing Sword also amazed me, but at the same time I was aware of the fact that our beloved characters have aged considerably since the first book. Varrus, who was the narrator of the first book, is older and wiser, and is aware of the fact that he is not as young as he used to be.This book starts right off at the events that ended the first book 'Skystone', and the prologue really did wonders to hook me right in. I was greatly relieved to see that Varrus was the narrator in this book because I was not ready to let go of him. We get to see how the events of the previous book affect the lives of the characters years later, and there are moments where we see a lot of drama as a result.It was a great joy to see Britannicus in this story. Though, he has aged a lot and I found myself worrying, I discovered that he was as strong as ever. He is the leader of the Colony and he is able to run it efficiently with the aid of his long time comrade and friend, Publius Varrus. However, we have reached that point in history where the Fall of Rome is imminent, and Britannicus and the rest of the characters are fully aware of the repercussions that will follow such a disaster. Throughout the novel, the reader is fully aware of the fact that Germanic raids (Saxons, Angles, Jutes, Scots, and the Franks) are occurring. No matter how far or close these invasions are to the colony, the reader witnesses the tragedy of it all. The Roman armies are being recalled back to Rome to help defend her borders, and in the words of one of the characters (though I am unsure who) 'Rome is shrinking in on herself', and as a result this leaves Britain's shores undefended to Germanic invasions.As it happens in books of this nature, our beloved characters do step up to the plate and are able to successfully beat back these unwelcome invaders to their territory, and as such are heroes. However, Varrus is an old soldier who had been disabled in a previous fight years earlier, and has decided to fulfill his and Britannicus' dream of having a self sufficient army filled with formidable cavalry.Of course, this doesn't go without consequence. The colony and its antics come to the knowledge of a character that is as real to the reader even though he made no physical appearance whatsoever, and of course this starts a chain of events that hurtles the book towards its grand (but tragic finale).Like the first book (The Skystone), there were parts that were very slow, and it felt like it were dragging, but I found that it picks up and becomes well worth the read. There are parts that I feel would definitely be triggers to those that were sensitive to such content, but it doesn't get into much detail with those scenes.It was certainly nice to get into familiar territory, though we are still stuck in Roman-Britain. For example, the mysterious Lady of the Lake and the building of a magnificent sword that is famous throughout Arthurian literature.My one criticism of the book so far would be that it seems that certain events that shouldn't be forgotten (like the drama with Domitius, the horrid events that transpired with Lignus, and the tragedy that occurred to Vegetius and his family), I felt that once these events happened, that it seemed that it didn't really affect the colony or our two main heroes (Britaniccus and Varrus). Despite the fact that Varrus is writing these events years after they took place, he never mentions them again, and it almost feels as though they were largely forgotten.Otherwise, this book made for an excellent read, and I enjoyed myself fully. The next book in the series is 'The Eagles Brood', and is from the perspective of Merlin. It would be a little different with the POV change, but from what little I've been reading of it, it promises to be a very good read.

  • Joe Rohaly
    2019-03-23 18:50

    Jack Whyte did not disappoint me with the second book of his series Camulod Chronicles. Aside from the fact that the title mystery did not reveal itself until the very end, I found this story compelling. I am really into the Britanicus and Varus families. Life in the fourth century was very much like life in the twenty-first century with the exception that their level of technology was so much less. Most of their weapons were sharp, and relied on a person swinging a knife, sword, axe, or lance at his enemy. Death was bloody and sometimes very painful. The Roman Empire did a fantastic job of controlling it's territories and people. However, as the government became fat it became corrupt and let the control slip away. Peoples everywhere came out of the woods to defeat the empire. Home safety became a necessity, and the villa's fortified as a way to delay intruders. The poor and hungry always find ways to survive by taking from those who have.The final chapter of this story had me in tears as the family which I had grown to love is brutally attacked and reduced in numbers.

  • Olethros
    2019-03-13 15:56

    -Ya se ve hacia dónde apunta el autor en realidad.-Género. Novela histórica (con mucha ficción, sin serlo exactamente, pero la calificación orienta mejor que otras).Lo que nos cuenta. El abandono de la Antigua Roma de sus conquistas en Britania es un hecho, y mientras diferentes facciones van tomando esos territorios, Gayo Publio Varrón y Cayo Cornelio Británico luchan por mantener su pequeña colonia a salvo y con independencia, pero se están haciendo mayores y ellos mismos lo notan. Segundo libro de la saga Crónicas de Camelot.¿Quiere saber más de este libro, sin spoilers? Visite:

  • Renee
    2019-02-28 14:38

    Amazing book. Very interesting characters, history, storytelling. Looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

  • Marc Dorval
    2019-02-24 13:54

    Not quite as strong as the first, but the second half held my attention and closed with a bang. A great new retelling of the legend of Excalibur.

  • Tex-49
    2019-03-11 16:54

    Avvincente continuo del primo libro della saga Le cronache di Camelot, avventura e intrigo alla vigilia del ritiro delle legioni romane dalla Britannia. Si legge d'un fiato!

  • Beorn
    2019-03-07 11:57

    (Due to the rather weird, unhelpful way the reissues are listed, I am reading this as book two in the Legends Of Camelot series as that is how they work out chronologically in terms of the story arc - so this book should only be read after 'The War Of The Celts')Don't get me wrong, there are a few good things in this book, but for the most part this is a remarkably tedious & turgid affair.It says a lot about the mostly tepid feel of a book when a number of massacres drenched in blood and an invasion by barbarian Franks fail to lift the general feel of the book beyond wooden.I won't go into too much detail on that front, save ruining any of the plot, but suffice to say that there will be a number of chapters where you'll gladly skip ahead entire paragraphs as it feels far more like reading through a bureaucrat's take on Arthurian legend rather than an authors. All red tape, musings, deliberations and wistful thinking and very little action.There is also a pretty significant anachronism here in the authors adamant suggestion that the main protagonists invented the idea of cavalry using a longer sword instead of a spear, when that method had already been adopted and used by imperial cavalry for over a century before the time period in which this book is set. On top of that, the author also makes the insinuation that the Celts living in (what would later become) Wales had no knowledge of longswords, only using axes as weapons, even though it's practically the most basic of common knowledge that the majority of barbarian tribes the Roman Empire went up against, especially the latter ones (who hadn't been co-opted into the Roman army itself), had used longswords for generations.It is that double-edged anachronism, on top of an overall stodgy feel to the book that prevents me from being able to particularly praise the story.Aside from the long, tedious parts of the story dedicated to military planning or boredom inducing bureacracy, the novel is still relatively easy to read and compelling enough to keep you ploughing through.There's a rather farcical reappearance of the main protagonist from the last book, Claudius Seneca, who extremely conveniently has survived being impaled on a sword and left for dead for hours; a factor that far from impressing you actually makes you roll your eyes a little at a lazy regurgitation of an element from the last book. Without wanting to spoil it, there is a large section of this book that Seneca mercifully doesn't feature in, though he does reappear at the end with pretty significant, rather unnecessary, consequences almost as if the author couldn't be arsed with him any more and just wanted to use him to tie up a few looose ends.Overall, this is okay. What few generally good parts in the book there are, are lost amid an incredibly turgid pile of blandness. The author is undeniably one who can craft a credible character but time and time again uses them so little or explores them so little that you end up wondering why he bothered.Okay but a distinct plateau.

  • Debbie
    2019-02-24 12:39

    The Singing Sword is the second book in The Camulod Chronicles and it canters along at a much faster pace than the first one.Publius and Varrus still take centre stage here as they continue to develop their growing community. At the same time the Roman presence in Britain is being scaled back and there are increasing numbers of raids and attacks by Franks, Picts, Saxons and a new threat from the North - the North men.These outside threats to the community are joined by internal threats as morality slips and antisocial behaviour increases. Publius himself is part of this moral lapse with some very distasteful behaviour that makes him hard to like.While Caius and Publius recognise the external threats and focus on building up an army, and in some revolutionary thinking, decide to establish a heavy cavalry force, it is Publius's wife, Caius's sister, Luceiia, who forces them to confront the moral malaise and the need to establish some rules and a governing body to enforce those rules.All this has to go on in secrecy as it is treasonous to have a private army and they must keep it hidden from the state. This comes to a head when suspicions grow about their community and they are subject to an inspection headed by Pubilus's old foe, Seneca. Caius uses drastic measures to challenge Seneca, but the end result is the legitimacy of their community.Publius decides it is time to smelt some of his statue into a weapon, and together with one of his smiths, Equus, they design a new type of sword which can be used by a man on horseback in their cavalry. Publius names the first sword he smelts from the skystone, Excalibur. Ullic Pendragon has also been hard at work attempting to replicate Publius's long African bow and after many attempts finally manages to make one from yew.The alliance between the community and the Pendragons are strengthened through marriage and the birth of two children, born at the same time on the same day - Uther Pendragon and Caius Merlyn Britannicus. But the happiness this occasions is shortlived as Publius and the people he loves pay a bloody and terrible price for his actions of long, long ago.

  • Mary Overton
    2019-03-08 15:42

    Book 2 of a King Arthur retelling for those who like their legends with hearty dollops of sex & violence. Fascinating conjecture on the possible historical roots of Arthurian romances. Fun, quick read. Dreadful literature. Rosemary Sutcliff's YA historical novels are much superior.From speeches at the wedding Arthur's grandparents - a Celtic Prince and a daughter of an aristocratic Roman family:"'Today, we make a new beginning, a complete departure from the ways of old, and yet we will do it in a way that keeps the best of the old ways - the best of the Celtic ways and the best of the Roman ways.'" (pg. 466)"'For the children of this marriage will be ours, the best of all of us, combined in strength! The start of a new people - named by us, and not by foreigners! Their children - our children! - will be the people of Britain. Not Romans, not Celts, not Belgae or Dumnonii but BRITONS!'" (pg. 468)The iron-worker, Publius Varrus, invents a weapon for use by soldiers on horseback, the new and revolutionary way of making war. The swords "were beautifully made, their blades long and lethal, their hilts heavy, elongated and weighted at the ends by large pommels. They balanced perfectly..... a cavalry sword, not meant for a man on foot." (pp. 441-2)One exceptional sword is made from the unearthly metal of a meteorite."'Excalibur. That's its name. That's what I've called the sword. That's what it is.'"Plautus blinked at me. 'Excalibur? .... I've never heard it before.'"....'It's never been said before. Calibur - qalibr - is the north African desert people's word for a mould. This came out of a mould....' .... Minutely graduated lines rippled like water-marks along each side of the long blade, flowing outward from the thick central spine to edges sharper than any I had ever known, reflecting the light in their patterns and showing where the metal had been folded upon itself and beaten times without number during the tempering process." (pg. 517)

  • Spuddie
    2019-03-21 14:49

    #2 Camulod Chronicles historical Arthurian fantasy. It's 360's A.D. and Publius Varrus, the co-leader of the Colony in the western part of what is now England, faces new challenges as ever-bolder Saxon (and other!) raiders threaten his peaceful home. Together with Caius Britannicus, his brother-in-law, who leads the self-sufficient group with him, he steps up to meet those challenges, which include strengthening their defenses and learning a new way to fight with heavy cavalry. Publius, a blacksmith by trade, begins to attempt to forge a new type of weapon that will serve as sword and spear to soldiers mounted on large warhorses. And always at the back of his mind is the sword he wants to forge, made of the special 'skystone' that fell from the sky in the previous book, the perfect weapon that would be his life's work. Meanwhile, his daughters are growing up and their friend and neighbor to the north, Ullic Pendragon, comes calling asking for an unheard-of allegiance between his Celts and the Roman Britons, forged in a marriage between Veronica, Publius' daughter, and Uric, Ullic's son. Throughout this time, the Colony sets out building a large hill fort to keep their people safe in the face of increasing raids and violence, which is completed and christened Camulod. Spanning several years, this book in the series sets things up for the actual time of Arthur--at the end of this book, Uther Pendragon (Veronica and Uric's son) and Caius Merlyn Brittanicus (son of Ullic's sister Enid and Picus Britannicus, Caius' son) are mere infants, having been born at exactly the same time. Wonderful book, enjoyable story--not all pleasant as there is plenty of violence and death which was appropriate for the times--and with interesting historical detail. I'm looking forward to the next one very much.

  • Márta Szörnyi
    2019-03-05 13:44

    This book got me so engaged, I basically went back in time and lived around 400 AD for a week. Amazing! I hope it gets even better in the next book!

  • David
    2019-03-16 10:54

    Another outstanding look at the history of the Roman Empire in a book that is well plotted. Whytte not only sets up the Arthurian saga/legend he is preparing the reader for, but while doing so does a masterful job at describing the changes taking place as Rome prepares to leave the British Isles. He also delves into theological discussion, developing metalurgy, political expedience, and military arms and tactics. In other words, Whytte educates as he writes and causes the reader to actually think. However, this book missed the FIVE star rating, for me, with its handling of the conflict between a major villain and the heroes. Though the animosity and sniping had been brewing for sometime, the conclusion of this novel, aimed at introducing the sword, Excaliber, seemed contrived for the sole purpose of doing so. I am already moving forward in this series, as I am anxious to see Whyte deal with the actual Arthurian legends. He has done an excellent job of whetting my appetite by laying a firm foundation of characters, history, etc. (Okay, the third book is more sexually graphic than the first two-- I'm hoping that the author redeems himself)-- and I already don't like Uther. When an author makes me dislike a character this strongly, I know his writing is powerful.