From bestselling author Bernard Cornwell, comes a brilliant retelling of the Arthurian legend, combining myth, history, and thrilling battlefield action.
In the Dark Ages, a legendary warrior arises to unite a divided land . . .
Uther, the High King of Britain, is dead.
His only heir is the infant Mordred. Yet each of the country's lesser kings seek to claim the crown for themselves.
While they squabble and spoil for war, a host of Saxon armies gather, preparing for invasion.
But no one has counted on the fearsome warlord Arthur.
Handed power by Merlin and pursuing a doomed romance with the beautiful Guinevere, Arthur knows he will struggle to unite the country - let alone hold back the Saxon enemy at the gates.
Yet destiny awaits him . . .
Fans of Game of Thrones, The Last Kingdom, Conn Iggulden and Merlin will be captivated by this gripping historical novel.
'Of all the books I have written these are my favourites' Bernard Cornwell
'Spellbinding realism' The Times
Arthurian literature may be a worldwide cottage industry, but Cornwell, author of the Sharpe series of historical military adventures (Sharpe's Battle, etc.) stands out from the crowd with this exemplary kickoff to a trilogy about the legendary warrior-king. Cornwell's Arthur is fierce, dedicated and complex, a man with many problems, most of his own making. His impulsive decisions sometimes have tragic ramifications, as when he lustfully takes Guinevere instead of the intended Ceinwyn, alienating his friends and allies and inspiring a bloody battle. The secondary characters are equally unexpected, and are ribboned with the magic and superstition of the times. Merlin impresses as a remarkable personage, a crafty schemer fond of deceit and disguise. Lancelot is portrayed as a warrior-pretender, a dishonest charmer with dark plans of his own; by contrast, Galahad seems the noble soldier of purpose and dedication. Guinevere, meanwhile, no gentle creature waiting patiently in the moonlight, has designs and plots of her own. The story of these characters and others is narrated forcefully and with dry wit by Derfel Cadarn, one of Arthur's warriors, who later becomes a monk. Cornwell knows his history--the battle scenes are particularly fine--but not once does it get in the way of people of flesh and blood meeting on a darkened field of combat. Author tour.