If you’ve ever read a book based on the story of King Arthur, you probably have a pretty good idea on the story line. Perhaps you remember the sword in the stone, his love Guinevere, or the magical Merlin. Helen Hollick gives readers a fresh new look at a magnificent tale that has fascinated many for generations. The Kingmaking strips away everything you thought you knew about Arthur’s life.
The first part of a trilogy, The Kingmaking gives us a rather realistic look into what Arthur’s life may have been like before becoming a king (if indeed he did exist at all – no one’s sure!) Gone are such fantastical elements as a small boy pulling the Excalibur from a stone; but what Hollick has replaced these scenes with will leave readers wondering if she’s known something of the truth all along.
While The Kingmaking is a work of fiction, it reads as a well-researched historical dramatization. Most certainly much research has gone into adding credibility and an amazing amount of detail to the book. Anyone with the least bit of interest in such history (the book takes place in the mid 400’s AD) will thoroughly enjoy the rich and historical detail. I closed the book feeling I’d learned a great deal about the time period, and in fact felt I’d not only read about, but visited Britain’s Dark Ages.
Most impressive of all is Hollick’s ability to lose the reader in her craft of storytelling. Scenes come alive, jumping off the page and engaging the reader. Many was the time during this 600-page novel when a battle scene had me so drawn in I was sure I could physically hear it. I even remember one scene jumping and thinking, “I hope it doesn’t wake my son!” No, he slept peacefully as I sat in the living room engaged in battle from my couch. Fortunately I had a sword at the ready for protection.
Not once during The Kingmaking did I ever think, “My, what a long book! I’m ready for something else.” No, instead I finished with a sigh, wondering where the time went and hoping that Helen Hollick has that second of the Pendragon’s Banner Trilogy well underway. Because I don’t know how long I’ll be able to wait to get back to old Britain.
Want to win your own copy of The Kingmaking? I thought you would…
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Follow the booktour for The Kingmaking and find some great new book blogs:
http://lazyhabits.wordpress.com/ 2/21 and interview 2/27
http://lilly-readingextravaganza.blogspot.com/ 2/23 and guest blog 2/25
http://peekingbetweenthepages.blogspot.com/ 2/26 and guest blog 2/27
http://savvyverseandwit.blogspot.com/ 3/2 and interview 3/3
http://readersrespite.blogspot.com/ 3/3 and interview on 3/5