Customer Reviews for

Pendragons Banner (Pendragon's Banner Series #2)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 34 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted November 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent Historical

    Set from 459 to 466, Pendragon's Banner is the second book in Helen Hollick's Pendragon's Banner Triology. It tells the story of Arthur of Britain, who fought, conquered enemies and brought peace to England. It also tells of the love between Arthur and his wife, Gwenhwyfar, better known to most readers as Guinevere.

    A king's life was one of war, of alliances and betrayals. There were few families of royalty, and the balance of power between them and the desire for more power fuels much of the action in this book. Arthur had many enemies, men who wanted the kingdom he had carved out. Some of these included Lot, husband of Morgause, Arthur's stepmother; Hueil, a Northern ruler who attempted to defeat Arthur and even his own uncle, who persuaded Arthur's council to split the kingdom.

    Arthur had other enemies. Morgause was a sworn enemy and cursed him that she would see all his sons dead. Winifred was his first wife, put aside when he met Gwenhwyfar, and resentful of that, wanting to force Arthur to acknowledge her son and willing to join with his enemies to accomplish her goals. There were other women also, slaves he took, women he had affairs with and the Lady of the Lake, who bore him another son. Women's lives were hard; their children lucky to survive to adulthood. There were many ways to lose a child, war, accidents, illnesses, plots. Children were pawns in the power plays of the powerful, and as they grew, they learned to desire and scheme to gain power for themselves.

    Hollick has created a realistic tale of this ancient history and this mythological man. Arthur is shown as a warrior first and foremost, quick to go to battle, to defend what was his or claim more. He is shown as a man greatly in love with his wife. But Hollick also shows the dark side of Arthur. That love did not prevent him from having other women. Reflecting the violence of his time, slaves were treated as chattel. Those who lost battles were maimed or blinded, or simply killed. In one gruesome episode, Arthur has Lot and Morgause's daughter killed after Lot's defeat, to eliminate her as a problem in the future.

    Readers of historical fiction will enjoy Hollick's tale and be eager to read the other books in her triology. Arthur Pendragon's reputation has survived for centuries, and a glimpse into what life must have been like in his court is fascinating. This book is recommended for historical fiction readers as well as those interested in a complex tale of power, corruption, love and war.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 31, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    In this man, see the beginnings of the king and legend

    I thoroughly enjoyed Helen Hollick's retelling of this early part of King Arthur's life. Unlike the medieval Arthur who seemed focused on the crusades and the older King who would hold festivals and jousts, the Arthur that we meet in Pendragon's Banner is a young king occupied with winning battles - much of the book is devoted to wresting control of his territory and keeping the land from invaders. Hollick's Arthur is deep into the work of creating his kingdom. He does not yet have his own castle, his Camelot and his round table is just a glimmer of a thought. He must still go through a great deal before establishing himself as the King Arthur of legend, but we can see from the man that he is in Pendragon's Banner the king that he will become.

    It is easy to care for Arthur, his loyal and skilled Artoriani and his loyal wife Gwenhywyfar. When they face the cunning and treachery of Arthur's longtime enemy Morgause, it make for a gripping tale and a satisfying read.

    Hollick weaves in bits of the Arthurian legend, details of the man that hint at his life and legend as king. Plus, Hollick's fight scenes are gripping and well done - and as enjoyable as those found in a good Bernard Cornwell tale.

    Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark (September 2009), 496 pages.
    Review copy provided by the publisher.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 24, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Another great book

    I loved this book as much as the first. Hollick's version of Arthur and Gwenhwyar is less a fairy tale and more a recount of history lost. It is a great book to get lost in. It is a well written book. I will return back to this series to read and reread again.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2014

    The real Arthur

    This is probably the best book I have ever read and reread. Spellbinding. Helen Hollick Shows Arthur as a real living, breathing man warts and all. I highly recommend this and the other books in the Pendragon trilogy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2014

    better than average but not difficult to put down

    An interesting take on the life of King Arthur taking into consideration what historical facts are available. I would have liked more of the "old"religion included.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2014

    Wonderful

    This is a series of arthut man lover father leader and king, tough rich with detail and politics and yes warfare, if you are looking for the sirupy arthur of round table fame, sorry wrong series, if not you are in for a wonderful ride

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2013

    Fascinating

    Great new twist on the King Arthur legend. Makes for some surprizes and is compelling. A great storyteller which keeps you reading long into the night. Highly recommended!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2013

    As excellent as the first

    This novel continued the story well, but I was most impressed with how thematically different it was. The author's pacing was also excellent. Full of battle, politics, relationships, psychology... a compelling read.

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  • Posted October 4, 2013

    An excellent read - could not put the book down. It was well-wri

    An excellent read - could not put the book down. It was well-written and not the fairy tale I knew. The geographical and historical background made it an exciting read. The characters were described in a way that made me feel I loved and cared for them or hated them. Loved this even more than the first book and look forward to reading the last of the trilogy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2013

    Gigi

    Interesting series with lots of action and no attempt to make believe it is up to the reader to decide if King Arthur were really there.

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  • Posted August 30, 2013

    Love, Love, Love!!!

    Could not put this book down! The entire trilogy is a must read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2013

    Best and most well-written books about King Arthur!

    A must read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2013

    Very enjoyable historic novel. I'm looking forward to the rest o

    Very enjoyable historic novel. I'm looking forward to the rest of the trilogy.

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  • Posted September 25, 2011

    Ok

    Ok

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Continuing saga of King Arthur

    Once again, Helen Hollick gives us a wonderful addition to King Arthur's story. Arthur started in The Kingmaking as a teenager - not even knowing that he was the heir to the throne. In Pendragon's Banner, he is not only King, but husband and father - and battling to do justice to all those roles.

    Arthur has married Gwenhwyfar and with their children they have traveled, eventually settling at Caer Cadan. The traveling and Arthur's "wandering" have taken a toll on his and Gwenhwyfar's marriage. Add to the fact that Gwenhwyfar was also very intelligent and was somewhat a warrior herself - coming from a long line of warriors - there was bound to be conflict between the two. Even though they were estranged, they manage to come back together. Arthur is also battling his first wife, Winifred, and Morgause who has cursed his children if Arthur should ever come after her.

    This book covers about 6 years but it does not lack for political struggles, battles, infidelity, romance. What you will not find though is Merlin or Excalibur or the Knights of the Round Table. This is historical fiction without all the fantasy - a King Arthur we can believe might really have lived.

    I enjoyed this second installment of Pendragon's Banner as much as I did the first - but I found it hard to try to sum up. Most of this information is new to me, as I was never a big fan of the King Arthur stories. I am, however, a big fan of Helen Hollick's books and am looking forward to the re-release of the third book in this series next year.

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  • Posted October 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Bridget's Review

    King Arthur has married his second wife, Gwenhwyfar. His first wife was determined to overthrow her husband and place her son in his seat of power. One minor problem is that Arthur has impregnated several other women. Will he be able to weed out the traitors and make it to the top at all costs?

    King Arthur has always interested me. I love sword fights and battles with courageous men. This is an action-packed book that includes blood, guts, gore and tons of lies, lust and greed. This is a book that has a little bit of everything and the writing is superb.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2011

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 34 Customer Reviews
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