Monday, October 12, 2009

Review: Pendragon's Banner by Helen Hollick (Pendragon's Banner Trilogy, Book Two)

It has only been a few years that Arthur has been Supreme King of Britain, and they have been hard ones. Constant battles with the Saxons and other enemies, frequently moving to new locations, living a nomadic life in tents, all have taken their toll on Queen Gwenhwyfar and their relationship. Add to that Arthur's inability to remain physically faithful to his wife, it has all strained the love they have for one another.

The world is a dangerous place and the strength of their relationship is tested time and again. Through heartbreaking grief and constant malicious attacks, they strive to maintain the happiness that they had when they were young. But at times, that seems impossible.

When Arthur finally founds his own hall at Caer Cadan, the peace and security that Gwenhwyfar has been longing for finally seem within reach. And for a few months it does seem as if the outside world has stopped its relentless interference and slumbered quietly.

It doesn't last long. Beset on every side by the vengeful and greedy, including Arthur's ex-wife Winifred and the witch Morgause, Arthur desperately tries to maintain the peace treaties that are in place. He finds how impossible it is to be two men at once, loving husband and ruling King.

Once again, the author delivers a vividly alive portrait of England in the Middle Ages, complete with the complex political struggles of a tribal nation. This is one of my favorite Historical Fiction series, it is filled with excitement and drama, human heroes and truly wicked villains. Highly, highly recommended. You can read my review of the first book, The Kingmaking, here.

For more information about Helen Hollick and all of her wonderful books, visit her website. Many thanks to Sourcebooks for providing my copy for review.

Pendragon's Banner: Book Two of the Pendragon's Banner Trilogy is published by Sourcebooks. ISBN 978-1-4022-1889-7

11 comments:

bermudaonion said...

Wow - highly, highly recommended sounds extremely good!

Amy said...

Great review! This once is definitely getting added to the list.

Helen Hollick said...

Thank you for the great review (blush) I think Arthur fans will enjoy the read.

Jo-Jo said...

Oh I can't wait to read this one! I just finished The Kingmaking a couple of months ago and just loved it. Thanks for the review.

Zibilee said...

I have never read a book about Arthur, but after reading your review of this one, and seeing as it comes so highly recommended, I have put The Kingmaking on my wish list. I hope I enjoy it as much as you did. Great review!

Deanna/ibeeeg said...

I loved, absolutely loved reading The Kingmaking and am so glad to see that The Pendragon's Banner is now available in the U.S.

I am also glad to see that you like this one as well. Umm...understated that...you highly, highly recommend.

Craftymoose Crafts said...

I'll have to check this trilogy out!
With the BBS series "Merlin" showing last season, I've become interested in Arthur and his Knights!

carolsnotebook said...

I need to get The Kingmaking first. Sounds like such a great series.

Helen Hollick said...

Thanks again for your interest everyone - I think I can safely say you are in for a good read!
H x

S. Krishna said...

I enjoyed this one as well. Great review.

Stephanie said...

This sounds terrific!

Thank you!!

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Bibliophile, Anglophile, Traveller... I have been an avid reader all of my life, since I took the Dr. Seuss Dictionary away from my Mom when I was less than a year old because I wanted to read it myself. In college, where I earned my degree in English Literature, I was often asked "What are you going to do with it?" Now I finally have the answer to that question!!! Being employed as a Flight Attendant for twenty years has given me a lot of life experience and, better still, a lot of time to read. I love to travel for fun, too.