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The Singing Sword (1996)

af Jack Whyte

Andre forfattere: Se andre forfattere sektionen.

Serier: Camulod Chronicles (2)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
1,0541314,772 (3.98)13
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 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.… (mere)
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Viser 1-5 af 13 (næste | vis alle)
With the second volume of the Camulud chronicles, Mr. Whyte has departed from the world of "Historical Fiction" to the murky area between "Arthuriana" and Fantasy. The first volume, "the Skystone" worked well in presenting a pre-scientific world, quite reasonably. But now, we have the invention of the hilted sword usually thought to have occurred in Scandinavia in the 900's CE. And, the stirrup, now considered to to have ben brought to Eastern Europe at about 650 in Byzantium, and sliding into the further west in the Carolingian period. of the 800's. So, we are into romance as opposed to the tighter world of say Sharon Penman, or Bernard Cornwell. So, how does it stack up as fantasy, dealing with the matters of "Things too real to be true." So so, so far. The characterization is a bit stiff, and now we are coming to see how well the tropes of the Arthurian world are negotiated by Mr. Whyte. Overall the series remains readable, but not compelling. Looking at the title, which could be an homage to the "Prince Valiant" Comic strip of Hal Foster, I am now searching for further little amusing touches. The novel was first published by Viking Penguin in 1993, in Canada. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Apr 23, 2021 |
When we last encountered Publius Varrus and his friend Caius Britannicus, the two men had founded a colony in south-west Britain, hoping to preserve Roman values and public order even after the Empire inevitably withdraws from the island. This second book in the series shows us the teething struggles of the infant colony, as Saxon raids multiply along the coast and, far across the sea, the Roman empire begins to tear itself apart. While I was glad to be reunited with our two doughty protagonists, of whom I grew rather fond in the first book, I felt that this sequel failed to live up to its eventful predecessor. Pacing becomes a serious issue here, and some factors which only niggled faintly in the first volume became problematic in The Singing Sword. And yet there’s still the pleasure of watching various Arthurian motifs (or characters) coming into being. In short, a curate’s egg – and hopefully only a temporary misstep...

For the full review, please see my blog:
https://theidlewoman.net/2019/11/07/the-singing-sword-jack-whyte/ ( )
  TheIdleWoman | Nov 11, 2019 |
good book, history with authors people in it. ( )
  donagiles | Nov 1, 2012 |
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. ( )
  LisaMaria_C | Nov 22, 2011 |
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. ( )
  Jessiqa | Aug 17, 2011 |
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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 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.

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