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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.

I am happily bestowing carp(e) libris reviews’ Goldfish Award on The Kingmaking.  I dub it an award-winner most certainly!

Want to win your own copy of The Kingmaking?  I thought you would…


Rules for Entry:

1.) Just Leave a Comment telling me why you’d be interested in reading The Kingmaking.   (You may enter once a day – following entries don’t require you to answer the question.) Remember, leave an interesting comment.  If I cannot contact the winner, you might be chosen instead based on your comment.

2.) Email subscribers get an extra entry for as long as their subscription is active.

     Already a subscriber?  Leave me a separate comment on this post to let me know you’re interested in this giveaway.

     Want to subscribe?  Just enter your email address in the “Subscribe” box on the left. (Please make sure to verify your Feedburner subscription by responding to the email they send you. If you do not receive it, check your junk mail. Only verified subscriptions are entered for all the giveaways.)

3.) Blog about this giveaway on your blog with a link back to this post.  Come back and leave me a Comment with a link to your blog post. (If your comment doesn’t show up right away, don’t worry – I may have to approve it first.  My blog might think it’s spam but gosh darn, I certainly don’t!)

4.) I’m feeling Twittery.  If you Twitter a link to this giveaway, come back and comment here to let me know your Twitter name for another entry! (I’m dkmommy if you want to follow me.)

Feel free to do all four to gain several entries to win! You have until midnight EST on Tuesday, March 3, 2009, to enter.

Follow the booktour for The Kingmaking and find some great new book blogs: 2/23 3/1

Check out all current giveaways for both my blogs here.


  1. I like to read about historical Arthur. I just recently finished a book on the historical Merlin. Of course, he was not a magician, but he was a druid and that was recognized as being a learned man in those days.

    Carolyns last blog post..Shut up!

  2. My Monday entry!

  3. my Monday entry

  4. Please accept this as my March 2, 2009 entry… Thank you!

  5. I really enjoy reading fiction with historical references woven into the story. The story intrigues me, although I haven’t reaad much about that time period.

  6. I would love to read this book, first of because i love almost all types of books and second because the reviews for this book are very promising.

    prplrushs last blog post..Yeah, yeah I know I have abandoned ya’ll for a couple of months

  7. stacey dempsey

    ready to get reading

  8. I love Mary Stewart’s “The Hollow Hills”!

  9. mondays entry :)
    thanks so much

  10. Hey, it’s monday….please take my entry for today.

  11. Today’s entry

  12. This looks super interesting. I like books centered on King Arthur!

    Chrysas last blog post..Walgreen’s Great Deals – Make a Profit!

  13. My husband love Arthurian legend!

    Julies last blog post..Mac Rak Craft Kit

  14. I’m a big fan of fantasy-based-on-historical-reality type of books (the Outlander series comes to mind – I have a signed first edition of “The Outlandish Companion” to go with my collection!) This book sounds like a nice, lengthy, immersive read and one that I would thoroughly enjoy.

  15. Please accept this as my entry for March 3, 2009… Crossing my fingers and hoping I win. :-) Thank you!

  16. Rich Lawrence

    03/03/09 last entry

  17. I’ll read just about anything that’s infront of me, including the shampoo bottle, but I have always loved fantasy / historical books. You know things that make you go hmmmm, I wonder….

  18. King Aurthur is a great Legend to read about.

  19. Great giveaway, love to win this book.

  20. I’m a subscriber. I’d love to have something interesting to read.

  21. Last entry. 3/3/09

  22. happy tuesday

    Valerie Ms last blog post..Free Offers

  23. Great Giveaway – count me in :)

  24. Sounds like an interesting book


  26. Buddy Garrett

    I would love to win this book. I enjoy reading historical fiction especially the medieval period.

  27. My last chance entry!

  28. i love things in this era movies,books..kings fascinate me i have been watching the tudors on showtime and i cant wait for season three..i would love to read about king arthur also :)

  29. Jennifer Jozwiak

    I have read so many stories about King Arthur and I love them! So winning this one would be great. I am on bedrest so I have lots of time to read.

  30. Katie Paterson

    This book really looks like an interesting read!!


    being of ENGLISH ANCESTRY AND an avid reader THE MIST OF AVALON was and still is a favorite read what a wonderful way to relive the ARTHURIAN LEGENDS

  32. stacey dempsey

    hoping hoping

  33. I love Medival history and books!
    Thanks for the opportunity!

  34. Tuesday entry

  35. Sounds like an interesting book

  36. Marcy Strahan

    Reading about nights & Magic, Merlin & King Arthur …oh and Dear Sir Lancalot…..makes me hot & happy!
    I can close my eyes & imagine I am there!
    I would cherish this book so much!

  37. my tuesday entry

  38. It’s Tuesday and here’s my entry.

  39. I like historical fiction and non-fiction. This story seems to have a little of both. Thanks for this chance.

  40. I love historical fiction!

  41. I’m a subscriber!

  42. I’m interested in reading The Kingmaking because it sounds like a good book.

  43. I subscribed by email.

  44. Phyllis Jenkins

    We love camelot.

  45. I would

  46. Sorry, I wasn’t finished typing…
    I would love to read this book because I sounds wonderful!

  47. I was lucky enough to grow up loving books & history, so this
    definitely would be right in my
    line of interest. Thanks.

  48. stacey dempsey

    entering hoping read this

  49. ou have until midnight EST on Tuesday, March 3, 2009, to enter.

    congrats to whomever won
    great site :)

  50. stacey dempsey

    still very excited hoping to win