Enemy of God (Warlord Chronicles Series #2)

( 33 )

Overview

With The Winter King, the first volume of his magnificent Warlord Chronicles, Bernard Cornwell established himself as the storyteller who could reinvent the legend of King Arthur for our time.

Now with Enemy of God, Cornwell's magical re-creation continues.  Having defeated the last holdouts of civil war in southern Britain, Arthur has secured Mordred's throne.  But he must still face raging conflicts between the old ways and the new,...

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Enemy of God (Warlord Chronicles Series #2)

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Overview

With The Winter King, the first volume of his magnificent Warlord Chronicles, Bernard Cornwell established himself as the storyteller who could reinvent the legend of King Arthur for our time.

Now with Enemy of God, Cornwell's magical re-creation continues.  Having defeated the last holdouts of civil war in southern Britain, Arthur has secured Mordred's throne.  But he must still face raging conflicts between the old ways and the new, as well as foes more powerful and more dangerous—because they pose as friends.

 

Brilliantly written and peopled with the familiar faces of legend along with new ones, Enemy of God is an immensely powerful continuation of a modern classic.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Rousing, persuasive entertainment."

Kirkus Reviews

 

"Writing with brio, Cornwell puts a fresh perspective on these oft-retold events. Realistically gory battles and doomed romantic exploits flavor the narrative, while the strong characterizations bring the men and women behind the legends to vivid life."

Publishers Weekly

 

"This is an entertaining read, a fresh look at an old story."

Library Journal

Kirkus Reviews
The second volume in the prolific Cornwell's robust Warlord Chronicles (The Winter King, 1996), an ambitious embroidering of the saga of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Narrated by Derfel, a Saxon slave boy who has risen to become a great warrior and one of Arthur's closest friends, this next in the series follows their continuing struggle to unify a Britain composed of small, quarrelling kingdoms, and to rally its people against the threat posed by the land-hungry Saxons and their allies, the fanatical Christians. Cornwell, best known for his lengthy series of historical novels about a British soldier in the Napoleonic wars (Sharpe's Battle, 1995, etc.), writes more gripping battle scenes than any other contemporary author, and he mixes those bloody clashes here with a sharp, grim portrait of a land racked by contending religions (on one side Merlin's brand of Celtic paganism, on the other a variety of old Roman beliefs and the new, fiercely intolerant Christians), and of Arthur, a great hero anxious only to unite the kingdom and retire, with his wife Guinevere, to some quiet corner. As this installment ends, a sadder, wiser Arthur, betrayed by Lancelot and by Guinevere, reluctantly accepts that only he can rule, and perhaps save, Britain. Rousing, persuasive entertainment.
From Barnes & Noble
The balance of King Arthur's unified kingdom is threatened by Merlin's quest for the last of Britain's 13 Treasures; by the conflict between the ancient religion and the new Christianity; and by Britain's war with the Saxons. A master storyteller continues his retelling of the Arthurian legend. "...wonderful and haunting."--People Magazine.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312187149
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 3/15/1998
  • Series: Warlord Chronicles Series, #2
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 151,565
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.16 (h) x 1.17 (d)

Meet the Author

Bernard Cornwell, who was born in Britain, is the author of numerous international bestsellers, including the Sharpe series. He lives with his wife in Cape Cod.

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Read an Excerpt

Today I have been thinking about the dead.

This is the last day of the old year. The bracken on the hill has turned brown, the elms at the valley's end have lost their leaves and the winter slaughter of our cattle has begun. Tonight is Samain Eve.

Tonight the curtain that separates the dead from the living will quiver, fray, and finally vanish. Tonight the dead will cross the bridge of swords. Tonight the dead will come from the Otherworld to this world, but we shall not see them. They will be shadows in darkness, mere whispers of wind in a windless night, but they will be here.

Bishop Sansum, the saint who rules our small community of monks, scoffs at this belief. The dead, he says, do not have shadowbodies, nor can they cross the sword bridge, but instead they lie in their cold graves and wait for the final coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is proper, he says, for us to remember the dead and to pray for their immortal souls, but their bodies are gone. They are corrupt. Their eyes have melted to leave dark holes in their skulls, worms liquefy their bellies, and mould furs their bones. The saint insists that the dead do not trouble the living on Samain Eve, yet even he will take care to leave a loaf of bread beside the monastery hearth this night. He will pretend it is carelessness, but all the same there will be a loaf of bread and a pitcher of water beside the kitchen ashes tonight.

I shall leave more. A cup of mead and a piece of salmon. They are small gifts, but all I can afford, and tonight I shall place them in the shadows by the hearth then go to my monk's cell and welcome the dead who will come to this cold house on its bare hill.

I shall name the dead. Ceinwyn, Guinevere, Nimue, Merlin, Lancelot, Galahad, Dian, Sagramor; the list could fill two parchments. So many dead. Their footsteps will not stir a rush on the floor nor frighten the mice that live in the monastery's thatched roof, but even Bishop Sansum knows that our cats will arch their backs and hiss from the kitchen corners as the shadows that are not shadows come to our hearth to find the gifts that deter them from working mischief.

So today I have been thinking about the dead.

I am old now, maybe as old as Merlin was, though not nearly so wise. I think that Bishop Sansum and I are the only men living from the great days and I alone remember them fondly. Maybe some others still live. In Ireland, perhaps, or in the wastes north of Lothian, but I do not know of them, though this much I do know: that if any others do live, then they, like me, cower from the encroaching darkness like cats shrinking from this night's shadows. All that we loved is broken, all that we made is pulled down and all that we sowed is reaped by the Saxons. We British cling to the high western lands and talk of revenge, but there is no sword that will fight a great darkness. There are times, too frequent now, when all I want is to be with the dead. Bishop Sansum applauds that wish and tells me it is only right that I should yearn to be in heaven at God's right hand, but I do not think I shall reach the saints' heaven. I have sinned too much and thus fear hell, but still hope, against my faith, that I will pass to the Otherworld instead. For there, under the apple trees of four-towered Annwn, waits a table heaped with food and crowded with the shadowbodies of all my old friends. Merlin will be cajoling, lecturing, grumbling and mocking. Galahad will be bursting to interrupt and Culhwch, bored with so much talk, will steal a larger portion of beef and think no one notices. And Ceinwyn will be there, dear lovely Ceinwyn, bringing peace to the turmoil roused by Nimue.

But I am still cursed by breath. I live while my friends feast, and as long as I live I shall write this tale of Arthur. I write at the behest of Queen Igraine, the young wife of King Brochvael of Powys who is the protector of our small monastery. Igraine wanted to know all I can remember of Arthur and so I began to write these tales down, but Bishop Sansum disapproves of the task He says Arthur was the Enemy of God, a spawn of the devil, and so I am writing the tales in my native Saxon tongue that the saint does not speak. Igraine and I have told the saint that I am writing the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ in the enemy's language and maybe he believes us, or maybe he is biding his time until he can prove our falsehood and then punish me.

I write each day. Igraine comes frequently to the monastery to pray that God will grant her womb the blessing of a child, and when her prayers are done she takes the finished skins away and has them translated into British by the clerk of Brochvael's justice. I think she changes the story then, making it match the Arthur she wants rather than the Arthur who was, but perhaps that does not matter for who will ever read this tale? I am like a man building a wall of mud and wattle to resist an imminent flood. The darkness comes when no man will read. There will just be Saxons.

So I write about the dead and the writing passes the time until I can join them; the time when Brother Derfel, a humble monk of Dinnewrac, will again be Lord Derfel Cadarn, Derfel the Mighty, Champion of Dumnonia and beloved friend of Arthur. But now I am just a cold old monk scribbling memories with my one remaining hand. And tonight is Samain Eve and tomorrow is a new year. The winter is coming. The dead leaves lie in shining drifts against the hedgerows, there are redwings in the stubble, gulls have flown inland from the sea and woodcock gather under the full moon. It is a good season, Igraine tells me, to write of old things and so she has brought me a fresh pile of skins, a flask of newly mixed ink and a sheaf of quills. Tell me of Arthur, she says, of golden Arthur, our last and best hope, our king who never was a king, the Enemy of God and the scourge of Saxons. Tell me of Arthur.

copywrite © 1997, Bernard Cornwell. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press. All rights reserved. No portion of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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Table of Contents

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Interviews & Essays

On August 20th, the barnesandnoble.com Live Events Auditorium hosted Bernard Cornwell, author of the popular Richard Sharpe series. He joined us to discuss ENEMY OF GOD, the second book in THE WARLORD CHRONICLES.



Paige from Columbia, SC: I loved THE WINTER KING and ENEMY OF GOD. Why did you decide to tell the story from the point of view of Arthur's servant Derfel? Is he part of the legend?

Bernard Cornwell: Hello, Paige -- I'm not sure why I chose to tell the tale through Derfel's eyes, except I had a hunch that it would work better from another character's point of view (i.e., not Arthur's). I confess I didn't think really hard about that decision, but in any event, it worked out better than I dared hope.

And yes, Derfel is in the earliest versions of the Arthurian legend -- but he dropped out when the whole thing was romanticized in the Middle Ages. He's actually a saint (!), supposedly founder of Llanderfel Monastery -- but he is mentioned in one early chronicle as having been at the Battle of Camlann, which traditionally ends Arthur's tale.


Julie from Miami, FL: Can you read ENEMY OF GOD without reading THE WINTER KING?

Bernard Cornwell: Hi, Julie. Hope Miami's cool. Yes, you can read ENEMY OF GOD without reading THE WINTER KING first, but I'd strongly recommend that you read them in order -- the stories do carry on, even though the plots are self-contained. Besides, if you do read ENEMY OF GOD, you'll only want to read THE WINTER KING afterward (says who?), so why not do it in the proper order?


Gary from Greenville, NC: Your books provide a considerable amount of historical detail. How much time do you typically spend on research when starting a new series of books?

Bernard Cornwell: Good evening, Gary. The truthful answer is "as little as possible," which sort of begs the question. I do as much research as I have to and try not to do any more. I meet a surprising number of folk who tell me they're writing a historical novel, then say they're "still doing the research," and that's a pretty sure sign that the book won't get done. I tend to research one book while writing the previous one, so currently I'm deep into Stonehenge while writing about Sharpe in early-19th-century India.


Brad from Lehigh, PA: How did you do your research for THE WARLORD CHRONICLES? Did you rely on one specific description of King Arthur, only historical sources, or a combination?

Bernard Cornwell: Hello, Brad. I used all sorts of sources -- not just the obvious ones, which are the existing versions of the Arthurian legends, but also some weird saints' lives from the seventh and eighth centuries where Arthur is described as a villain (!). Early Welsh poetry also gives some hints -- he's described as the "ravager of Britain" in one. In the end, of course, he's a character from the Dark Ages, and we truthfully know remarkably little about him (some weaselly historians deny he even lived), so you have to rely on the imagination.


Sherman from Silver Springs, MD: What's your opinion? Why do you think that the legend of King Arthur has endured throughout the centuries and captivated so many people's hearts and minds?

Bernard Cornwell: What a good question, Sherman. I've thought a lot about it and have come to the conclusion that the lasting appeal of Arthur is because of "Camelot." He is depicted as establishing a country where justice prevails, where a farmer can sow a crop and expect to live to harvest it, where "right" wins! And all this in a time when there was horror all about -- the fifth century was a very nasty time to be in Britain, what with raiding Picts, Irish, and Saxons, and so if Arthur did establish a mini-Golden Age, then he was surely remembered for that -- and isn't that what all of us want? To live in a fair, just society? God knows if such a thing is possible, but Arthur seems to be connected with just such a regime.


Jeremy from Austin, TX: Hello, Mr. Cornwell. I found it interesting that you concentrate so much on the "tension" between the old polytheistic religion and the growth of Christianity in ENEMY OF GOD. How true is that to the state of religion in the fifth century?

Bernard Cornwell: Good evening, Jeremy, and I wish I knew. One fairly eminent historian of the fifth and sixth centuries claims that Christianity lived in harmony with the remnants of Druidism, and maybe he's right, but I've never noticed that toleration of other creeds has been the strongest suit of the Church, and I suspect, if it's true to form, that once it began to gain an ascendancy in society it also began to persecute its enemies. But the truth is we don't really know -- simply because there are no proper records. There are hints. Why was the early Church such an enemy of Arthur's (witness the Celtic saints' lives)? I've also always been struck by the contradiction implied in a legend that can embrace the Holy Grail and Merlin -- not that that's evidence of hostility, but there does seem to be tension implicit in the tale.


Nick from Silicon Valley, CA: How did you get your first book published? Did you know somebody in the biz, or did you send an "unsolicited manuscript"?

Bernard Cornwell: Good evening, Nick. I didn't know anyone in the "biz." I wrote the book in New Jersey, hawked it round some London agents (because it was primarily of British interest), and was turned down flat. I then sent it to a publisher there and received an offer -- a bad offer. I had a week to make up my mind, and during that week went to a Thanksgiving Day party in New York, where I met a London agent -- purely by chance -- who heard what the publisher had offered and responded, "Then it must be a f****** awful book." I prevailed on him (begged on bended knee) to read it, he did, and a week later he got me a seven-book contract. Just dumb luck.


Susan from Spartanburg, SC: How did it feel seeing your Sharpe characters brought to life on television? Were you pleased with the TV series?

Bernard Cornwell: Hello, Susan. It feels wonderful. TV series sell books. I know that sounds cynical, but there you go. I can't say I was totally delighted with what the series did, but they had immense difficulties I don't have -- when I want to boost the plot I can wheel on 40,000 Frenchmen and have Sharpe slaughter a few, but they have to hire expensive extras.

In the end, oddly, I felt somewhat detached from the TV series, maybe because they didn't (couldn't, no matter how good) match my imaginary characters, but I am still hugely, vastly, eternally grateful for the series. May it run and run.


Shimmy from Hotlanta: Have you read T. H. White's work or the work of Marion Zimmer Bradley? What do you think of their accounts of King Arthur?

Bernard Cornwell: Hi, Shimmy. I think T. H. White is wonderful, the best. I wish I were a tenth as inventive. I haven't read Marion Zimmer Bradley, and I'm not sure why. I guess I never got round to it, and once I knew I was going to write the Arthur series I didn't want to muddy the pond of what passes for my imagination with another writer's inventions. But one day I'll read it. My wife says it's terrific, and I daren't ask her which she prefers.


Dennis Dalaglio from Chicago, Il: When will the next Starbuck book be written?

Bernard Cornwell: Next year, Dennis. I know there's been a horrid gap in poor Starbuck's adventures, but that's really because Sharpe elbowed him aside for a couple of years. There are two new Sharpe books coming to the States -- the first, SHARPE'S TIGER, in October (this is a paid advertisement), and the other, SHARPE'S TRIUMPH, a year later. So Starbuck's next will be the year after that -- 1999.


Shanna from Las Vegas, NV: Greetings, Bernard. In all your research for THE WINTER KING and ENEMY OF GOD, what was the most interesting and surprising discovery? Thank you for taking my question. I am an avid reader of your Richard Sharpe books.

Bernard Cornwell: Hi, Shanna. I do like your name -- I'd have put it in the books if I'd known it before. What was the most surprising discovery? I'm not sure if there's any one discovery that startled me, but in writing the books what pleased me most was how strongly the female characters emerged. I wasn't setting out to do that, but rather letting the tale unfold day by day, and it pleased me enormously that Guinevere, Nimue, and Ceinwyn played so strongly -- so much so that Derfel remarks on it at the beginning of the third and last book, called EXCALIBUR, which will appear next year (this October if you're in Britain).


David Noonan from Minneapolis, MN: Why did you decide to make Lancelot such a creep? I found myself so disgusted at his cowardly behavior.

Bernard Cornwell: Good evening, David. I think one of the things that I never liked about the "authorized version" of the Arthur tales is the role of Lancelot. He never existed in the very early versions. In fact, he didn't appear until the 12th century, when he was inserted into the legends by Chrétien de Troyes (trust a Frenchman to put an adulterer in a good British tale). He became a kind of "buddy-hero," then cuckolds the hero, and it didn't fit for me, so I decided to make him the villain. I was probably being anti-French, for which, to all the French out there, I apologize.


Sarah Jackson from Tucson, AZ: How did you come up with the title for ENEMY OF GOD? Who is the "enemy"? King Arthur?

Bernard Cornwell: Hello, Sarah in Tucson. "Enemy of God" is an insult given to Arthur by his enemies -- in truth, of course, he is no enemy of God. But curiously, as I said earlier, in the Celtic saints' lives Arthur is depicted as an enemy of the Church and as a consummate villain -- he's shown as a thief and as a would-be rapist, so plainly the early Church disliked him very much. Derfel, the narrator, is always puzzled by the insult, simply because Arthur bears no ill will toward the Church. Nor to God. I hope the title won't put you off!


Kirby from Princeton, NJ: I love Ceinwyn. She's my favorite character -- strong and independent. Is she based on a real character in the legend of King Arthur?

Bernard Cornwell: Ah, Kirby, you and I have a favorite heroine! Yes, Ceinwyn is mentioned in the very earliest legends, where she is noted for her extraordinary beauty. In one tale she is rejected by Arthur, but she refuses to marry any other man and goes off to be a hermit on the Somerset coast. I'm totally in love with Ceinwyn!


Logan from Mississippi: Have you seen a good movie representation of the legend of King Arthur? For example, have you seen and did you like "First Knight" or "Excalibur"?

Bernard Cornwell: I wish I had, Logan, but I can't say I have. I quite liked John Boorman's "Excalibur" but wasn't blown away by it, and I couldn't face watching Richard Gere as the First Knight, so I didn't bother. I think the problem is that the legend is so incredibly rich and exotic that it's almost impossible to do it justice on the screen without spending money of "Waterworld" proportions -- unless, that is, you go for down-and-dirty realism, but that won't sell, will it? It has to be a romance with a thousand violins sobbing in the background and towering stone castles and, well, you know.


Caitlin from Manhattan: I do like the relationship between Arthur and Derfel. Do you think such a mutually respectful relationship between a King and one of his warriors was possible during the Dark Ages?

Bernard Cornwell: Yes, Caitlin, I do -- more so, probably, than in later periods of history. Arthur lived in a foully violent age, and he became famous primarily because he must have been a great warlord -- though he's probably remembered because of what he did with the power that his sword gained -- and a warlord who doesn't stay good friends with his senior captains is a warlord who will very soon be fighting a civil war.


Chris from Pittsburgh, PA: How many more Sharpe books can your mind develop before the stories are no longer there?

Bernard Cornwell: Hello, Chris. Three, I think, but I thought that six books ago. I've started a "miniseries" on Sharpe in India (two written, one to go), and I think that will be the end of it, but he keeps cropping up in my mind, so who knows? There is a gap in the Peninsular War (Battle of Sorauren), and there's another tale to be written betweem India and the Peninsular, so already that's five instead of three. I think I'll end this answer, or the series will go on growing uncontrollably.


Gary from Greenville, NC: The Sharpe series has opened up an era of history that is new for me (Americans have to seek out European history -- we certainly aren't introduced to it unless there was direct American involvement). Do you have plans for a new series after EXCALIBUR is published?

Bernard Cornwell: I've got plans for two! Or rather one stand-alone book, and a series (as well as finishing Starbuck, not to mention Sharpe). The stand-alone, which I start next, is about the making of Stonehenge; the series, which I'm contracted for in England, is mediaeval stuff. I've an idea for another series too. I keep praying to win the Massachusetts lottery, but I never do, so I'd better keep having ideas.


Gabe from Buffalo, NY: Were the Starbuck books received in Great Britain as well as the Sharpe books were received in the U.S.?

Bernard Cornwell: Hi, Gabe. I was in Buffalo last week. I liked it. The Starbuck novels were much better received in Britain than in the U.S. They were all bestsellers there and didn't come close here. That's probably because I'm much better known there than I am here, and I've always been aware that some Americans may feel a bit uneasy about a mere Brit writing their history, and I don't blame them. But now I'm a U.S. citizen, too, so maybe that corrects that?


Andy Steinberg from San Diego, CA: Hi, Bernard. Is there a difference between the way the British receive your work -- especially your Arthurian novels -- and the way Americans do?

Bernard Cornwell: Hello, Andy, and I think my answer to Gabe in Buffalo probably covers your question as well. On the whole the British are more welcoming than the Americans -- to me, that is, not generally -- but that's probably because of the Sharpe series, which was a peculiarly British gung-ho series and was bound to appeal to them more than to Americans. And it's a curious, unfair thing about the book business, but once you're an established author the audience stays with you, and I suppose the Brits, God bless them, are doing that for me. I couldn't live off my American sales, but I nightly fall to my knees and thank God for the British book buyers. They love the Arthur series -- all bestsellers so far. I can't believe you're not going to equal their achievement.


Pilgrim from Saratoga Springs, NY: Hello, Bernard. It's great to discover you online! THE WINTER KING and ENEMY OF GOD are narratives within narratives -- Dervel is telling the stories of King Arthur to a queen. Why did you decide on this narrative structure to tell your story? Does it serve a specific purpose?

Bernard Cornwell: Hi, Pilgrim. The narrative structure just happened. I really didn't think very much about it at all, though the device of having the conversations between Derfel and Igraine works hugely well as a means of tying up loose ends. I don't think this writing racket is an exact science, I think you have to go with your instincts, and the structure of the Arthur books was entirely instinctive (or, if you prefer, unthinking).


Jocelyn from Queens, NY: I am a big fan of the Sharpe series on PBS. How do you know so much about military history and battles? Did you study them in school?

Bernard Cornwell: Dear Jocelyn, this is mere evidence of a misspent youth. Or maybe it is because I was raised by a strange family that belonged to a religious sect called the Peculiar People (I am not making this up), and they hated everything to do with the military, so naturally, in rebellion, I became fascinated with all things military.


Parker from AOL: Who are your literary influences? Whom do you like to read? Is there any particular literary genre that you have a penchant for?

Bernard Cornwell: Hello, Parker -- I was sort of half expecting this question, which meant I had time to think about the answer, and I'm still not sure I know what it is. I do read vast amounts of history. (I'm currently reading Robin Blackburn's MAKING OF NEW WORLD SLAVERY, very good, buy it from BN's Web site, and a book called REFORMATIONS, which I'm enjoying hugely, but can't recall the authors' names.) I don't read a vast amount of fiction, simply because I write the stuff and eight hours a day is enough, but this year I discovered John Sandford's Prey series and overdosed on it. I guess it's mostly history.


Barrie from Albuquerque, NM: When this series is finished, will you find it hard to leave the characters you shaped and created in these books?

Bernard Cornwell: I hate to tell you, Barrie, but it's already finished -- the third and last of the Arthur series was finished seven months ago and will be published in Britain this October (in the States next year by St. Martin's Press, God bless them all). It was very hard to leave the characters behind, but I knew the tale wouldn't stretch beyond three books, or if it did it would be full of make-weight packing. The third book is called EXCALIBUR, and I think it's my favorite of the three.


Doug from Fairfax, VA: Your Crackdown and Stormchild books display a mastery of sailing knowledge. Do you sail, and what is your boat's name? Are there more in this series?

Bernard Cornwell: Do I sail, Doug? Is the Pope Catholic? What is the point of life, but to sail? Every minute I get, is the answer, and I sail a Cornish Crabber, Mk II, a gaff-rigged cutter for those of you who know what that is, and she's called Royalist. I know this is a deeply wrong name for an American like me, but there it is. I was sailing into Nantucket last year and a guy hailed me, "Roy! Roy!" I ignored him. "Hey! Mister List!"


Laura from New Jersey: Who was your inspiration for Maggie the Whore in REDCOAT?

Bernard Cornwell: Hello, Laura. I know who you are. You're an old friend of mine, so anyone else on this page mustn't be shocked when I tell Laura that the inspiration for Maggie the Whore in REDCOAT is her mom. Give her my love.


Mark from New York City: How much time do you spend online? Does the Internet help you with your research?

Bernard Cornwell: Not a lot. I haven't found the Internet hugely useful for research, but once in a while I'll post a query on a bulletin board and get an answer very quickly. But history is so thick on the library shelves that I still find books the most useful research tool.


Moderator: Good evening, Bernard Cornwell. Thank you so much for joining us online to discuss ENEMY OF GOD. We wish you continued success with your various series and wonderful characters. Come back and visit us soon.

Bernard Cornwell: To the Moderator (sounds like something from BRAVE NEW WORLD): Thank you very much for inviting me onto your Web site, and thank you to all the people who submitted questions -- very impressive questions, too -- and I hope the books go on giving you all pleasure.


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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2007

    Derfel and Arthur save the Britons

    After a hard fought victory at Lugg Vale, Arthur and Derfel hope for peace but alas it is not to be. In this second book in Cornwell¿s Warlord series the Arthurian legend continues. Derfel finds the love of his life and becomes a ¿Lord of War¿ while Arthur suffers his worst betrayal, and of course there is plenty of fighting. ¿Enemy of God¿ is a completely new chapter in the Arthurian legend in which Cornwell transforms Merlin into a real and loveable character and introduces the reader to much of the magic and mystery of the Druid. The story takes the reader into the reign of King Mordred and the dark times that follow. In this installment Derfel is at his happiest while Arthur is brought to the depths of despair. This is my favorite of the three books because the story brings out such deep emotions and leaves such a lasting impression.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2012

    Excellent

    Great follow-up. Enjoying the story

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2012

    Bnuu nj

    Ju nbbn u nuuy

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 28, 2012

    Great read

    Recently found out about Bernard Cornwell, and I love these books. He is my favorite "new" author.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Good Book

    I enjoyed this book just as much as I enjoyed the first one. It is a continuation of Arthur's saga told from one of his soldier's point of view. With Christianity sweeping over Europe Arthur and a select few remain loyal to the "old gods" This causes a rift amongst christians and him. They call him the Enemy of God. Power hungry Lancelot tries to take advantage of this situation and converts to Christianity and take over England from Arthur. The book ends with Arthur foiling Lancelot's plan but he is devastated because his one true love, Guinvere, has fallen in love with Lancelot. Thus ending their marriage.

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  • Posted April 7, 2009

    Enjoyed it very much! Thought it was more exciting than the first one in the series.

    The characters are very real, and the plot was more exciting than the first book in the series. If you love British history, and the Arthur myth the book is a must.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2005

    A Good novel, but definitely not of Arthur

    I love the Arthurian theme, and I read almost everything that is written about it. I read the Winter King and enjoyed it, and was looking forward to the sequel. They both say 'A Novel of Arthur'. Perhaps it should read 'A Novel of Derfel' with Arthur as a secondary character. Derfel is a superman, by whose side Arthur pales. A novel of Arthur should be about Arthur.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2004

    Worse than worse

    I cant believe this story was written by the same author as the ' Sharpes' series. How he can go from some of the best, most exciting writing I have ever read to the dullest,uninteresting,boring storytelling is beyond me. I read the first book in the trilogy and just thought it was a poor start so I read the second book and I wont bother to read the third.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2002

    Vintage Cornwell -- great read

    If you know who Richard Sharpe is, then you will love this series. Bernard Cornwell is one of a very small number of writers who clearly love both historical accuracy and exciting fiction. The blend of these two things has yielded some of the best fiction of the past decade in my opinion, and the Warlord Chronicles is no exception. In this series, he takes us deep into the little-known world of post-Roman Britain -- the Dark Ages of the 5th Century -- and into the most believable Arthurian legend to date (and I've read them all). However, he doesn't sacrifice suspense and his plots are consistently exciting and rarely predictable. This is a must-read for anyone who loves realistic tales of heroism and adventure.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2001

    Unvarnished fun in the world of Excalibur and Arthur

    This is a fine piece of work and a satisfying foray into the mud and machinations of fifth century England. The characters ring true and the times are evoked with all the care that one expects from Mr. Cornwell. The afterword, in which the weft on which this tapestry is woven is revealed, is a fine mint to finish off a most satisfying meal. I have already ordered Warlord III!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2001

    An absolute page-turner!

    I feel that this is the best book of the trilogy... The characters are so real and the story so brutally touching that I wished the book would never end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2000

    Second part of the warlord chronicles

    I really like this book,it continues to keep you on your toes. It is great just to read how Derfel in The Winter King started out just a mere teenager, and grows into the great lord he becomes. Again, like in The Winter King it is a hard book to put down once you have picked it up.

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