Born of the chaos of the Dark Ages, the Dream of Eagles produced a king, a country and an everlasting legend—Camelot
Most know him as Merlyn; all call him Commander. Caius Merlyn Britannicus is responsible for the safety of the colony known as Camulod, and for the welfare of the colonists who look to him for guidance, leadership, justice and salvation. Uther Pendragon, the man who will father the legendary Arthur, is the cousin Merlyn has known and loved since their births—four hours apart on the same day, the year the legions left Britain. As different as can be, they are inseparable: two faces of the same coin. In a world torn apart by warfare and upheaval, each is the other’s certainty until a vicious crime—one that strikes at the roots of Merlyn’s own life—drives a wedge between them.
In his third, lengthy installment of the Camulod Chronicles, Whyte continues his intelligent and vigorous retelling of the Arthurian legend, carefully grounding his version in historical fifth-century Britain. The narrator is Caius Merlyn Britannicus, who became the great sorcerer Merlyn, and who introduces himself as the grandson and nephew, respectively, of the chroniclers Caius Britannicus (The Skystone) and Publius Varrus (The Singing Sword). After the Roman legions abandon Britain, young Merlyn and his princely cousin Uther Pendragon are raised as soldiers and commanders, so they are prepared when hordes of invaders eventually arrive on Britain's unprotected shores. The chaos enhances the growing influence of Christianity as the young church struggles to establish its doctrines and secure a following. Meanwhile, Merlyn struggles to determine whether his beloved cousin Uther is the perpetrator of several black deeds that change the course of his own life and the whole of British history. This novel ends with the arrival of Arthur, bastard son of Uther and King Lot's wife, Ygraine. The excitement here, as in the previous installments, lies in Whyte's expert use of rich period details--early British military tactics, religious philosophies and technologies--to bring the era and its people to vibrant life. This isn't the usual Arthurian tale with a fantasy gloss; in graphic realism lies its fascination, and its power.