Customer Reviews for

The Kingmaking (Pendragon's Banner Series #1)

Average Rating 3.5
( 141 )
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(50)

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(36)

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(32)

2 Star

(7)

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(16)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

27 out of 31 people found this review helpful.

Read about King Arthur without all the make believe magic!

First sentence: He was ten and five years of age and, for the first time in his life, experiencing the exhilaration of the open sea and, for this short while, the novelty of leisure.





So begins the book, The Kingmaking by Helen Hollick. We join Arthur at 15 on...
First sentence: He was ten and five years of age and, for the first time in his life, experiencing the exhilaration of the open sea and, for this short while, the novelty of leisure.





So begins the book, The Kingmaking by Helen Hollick. We join Arthur at 15 on a ship bound for Caer Arfon and Gwynned - home of Cunneda and his daughter Gwenhwyfar. He has been brought on the voyage by Uthr Pendragon - much to the chagrin of Uthr mistress, Morgause. She cannot understand why Uthr favors the boy. She sees him as the bastard child of one of the servants - being raised as a foster son by Uthr's brother.



As the story unfolds, Uthr is killed in a battle with Vortigern - fighting to be the rightful King of Britain. Arthur is devastated until Cunneda announces that he - Arthur - is the rightful heir of Uthr Pendragon. His identity had been kept hidden to protect his life from Vortigern.



When I first picked up this book - I wondered what I had gotten myself into. I was not a big King Arthur fan - and knew little about that era. However, Helen Hollick's book drew me in from the beginning. I loved that she gave the pronunciation of the names and after awhile I found myself reading them "correctly". It gave me a sense of authenticity. The book was not hard to read (like I thought it would be) due to the era, but instead was very engrossing. I even carried it with me to my son's bus stop - and it is a HEAVY book at 563 pages.

This is the first book of her Pendragon's Banner Trilogy. The other two books are Pendragon's Banner and Shadow of the King!

posted by kherbrand on March 6, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

9 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

The Kingmaking was a disappointment. It is definitely not in th

The Kingmaking was a disappointment. It is definitely not in the same league as Jack Whyte's, Mary Stewart's or Bernard Cornwell's Authurian legend.

posted by 10102070 on July 14, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2012

    The Kingmaking was a disappointment. It is definitely not in th

    The Kingmaking was a disappointment. It is definitely not in the same league as Jack Whyte's, Mary Stewart's or Bernard Cornwell's Authurian legend.

    9 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2013

    Nothing New-Another Uninspired Retelling

    I was not bored until the halfway point of the novel. Here the editor let the writer and reader down by not doing the job. Too long and simply yawnworthy for the last 200 pages. Not in league with other writers in the genre, but again, I feel this is more of an editing failure.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2013

    Thoroughly unlikeable characters and poor writing make this a long slog of a tale

    I thought I would take to a historical fiction about King Arthur and Camelot like a duck to water. Sadly, Arthur is portrayed as an unredeemable misogynist, wife beater, rapist, whore-monger, slave owner, woman and children killer, and an all around egotistical, drunken, hypocritical lout. I completely understand the necessity of a flawed hero, but Arthus is an utter villian! I read some of the other reviews about how refreshingly realistic this King Arthur tale is and, if that is indeed the case, I am truly shocked at the nasty reality behind the fairy tale. I am on page 300 and am unsure if I want to forge ahead with Arthur. I frankly believe it is impossible to turn him into the hero...he belongs in prison after what he did to the slaves at the goldmine. Horrible characterization aside, the writing is extremely clunky and juvenille with the author constantly resorting to telling you how each character feels rather than allowing the reader to infer for himself. If I actually had to pay for this dross, I probably would have given one star, but I awarded an additional star out of sheer relief that my free book Friday option wasn't the Berenstein Bears again.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2013

    Not recommended

    Although well written and certainly better edited than a lot of Free Friday books, this one left me a little cold. Any book of a series, in my opinion, should stand on its own as a good and complete story. This one was like a 600 page preface to Book Two. I really didn't warm to any of the characters except possibly Gwenhwyfar (Guinevere). The Welsh(?) names were difficult to relate to as well. I think I'll pass on the rest of this series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2013

    Just ok

    I didn't enjoy this as much as I had hoped. Although the plot is full and characters fully fleshed out, I found none of the characters, including Arthur, to be people I liked and could identify with. I understand the author intended to create a "real" Arthur, consistent with history, but perhaps the author pushed that concept too far and gave the main characters very few redeeming features; if this is the real Arthur, I am not interested. I will not read the second volume. My preference for an Arthur story is the Mary Stewart trilogy (yes, including the magic).

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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