Monday, April 5, 2010

Review: Shadow of the King by Helen Hollick (Pendragon's Banner Trilogy, Book Three)

Though it has been a struggle, Arthur and Gwenhwyfar have somehow managed to put their lives back together after the deaths of all three of their sons. Their small daughter and sole surviving child, Archfedd, is their joy and the kingdom of Britain their solace and responsibility. But they never can seem to agree when it comes to Arthur's decisions about the ruling of it.

An urgent summons for assistance from across the sea in Gaul arrives and Arthur, against Gwenhwyfar's pleading, cannot resist the promise of action. Despite the fact that his absence will leave Britain without a leader, he is restless and drawn to the excitement that battle brings.

The summons is a trap. After prolonged delays the battle is finally fought and Arthur is killed, as was intended by the plotters all along. Chaos and despair reign across Britain, there will never be another King like Arthur. As the fate of an entire nation hangs in the balance, those who loved him must try to pull together to save the island nation from being torn to pieces by those hungry for wealth and power.

As I've said before, this series is one of my very favorites. I read it years ago, in the 1990s, it played a large part in the development of my love for historical fiction. It doesn't get done any better than this! If you like historical fiction that comes alive, is thoroughly researched, smart and intricate, this is the series for you. Helen Hollick is, in a word, excellent. I can't recommend her or her novels any higher, they are simply the best. If you haven't read them yet, you are MISSING OUT!!!

Check out my reviews for the first book, The Kingmaking and the second, Pendragon's Banner. And click here for a wonderful guest post that Helen wrote for me during the blog tour for The Kingmaking.

You can find Helen's website here. Many thanks to Sourcebooks for providing my review copy (and for re-releasing this fantastic series!).

Shadow of the King is published by Sourcebooks, ISBN 978-1-4022-1890-3.


Amy said...

I read The Kingamking and loved. I have the next two on my TBR for this month.

Zibilee said...

I recently bought a copy of The Kingmaking after reading so many great reviews of these books and I am looking forward to it. It sounds like it was a series that you really loved! I hope I feel the same!

Darlene said...

I loved this series as well. So sad to see it end!

Thoughts from an Evil Overlord

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About Me

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New Hampshire, United States
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.