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Kingmaking: Book One of the Pendragon's Banner Trilogy Kindle Edition

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Length: 595 pages Matchbook Price: $2.99 What's this?
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this first volume of what promises to be a monumental historical trilogy, rookie British author Hollick depicts Arthur's rise from A.D. 450, when he was a 15-year-old boy of hidden parentage, to A.D. 457, when he took his place as the King Arthur of legend. The story combines private emotions and public statecraft as marriages, alliances and enemies are made and unmade to suit the politics of the era. Hollick mixes elements from fifth-century history, myth, early romances, contemporary fantasy and other novels about Arthur, adding her own inventions for good measure. The treatment of Gwenhwyfar and her love for Arthur (depicted here as star-crossed even without Lancelot's help) is especially vivid. Though the novel contains no supernatural aspects, with its exotic setting, passionate characters and epic battles and intrigue, it still should appeal to the fantasy fans to whom most Arthurian adventures are addressed. The language, too, is influenced by genre fantasy, especially in its dramatic descriptions and reliance on archaisms; but this big-hearted novel's historical speculations alone should make it of interest to the non-fantasy reader as well.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

As the rightful son of Uthr Pendragon, Arthur dreams of uniting the warring kings of Britain. Gwenhwyfar's hope, as the only daughter of Cuncedda, the Lion Lord of Gwynedd, is to join Arthur's cause. Hollick's first novel re-creates the uneasy political climate of fifth-century Britain, a land suffering under the rule of the tyrant Vortigern. Stripped of its medieval trappings, the story of Arthur's rise loses none of its legendary power. Most libraries will want to add this well-researched, skillfully constructed trilogy opener to their collections.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2428 KB
  • Print Length: 595 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1402218885
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark (March 1, 2009)
  • Publication Date: March 1, 2009
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003H29CA2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #335,815 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

I have always loved reading - and writing. I wrote stories as a young teenager, never believing I would one day be a published author.
I just so love bringing my imagined characters alive - to me they are very, very real - especially my pirate, Jesamiah Acorne!

'Helen Hollick has it all! She tells a great story, gets her history right and writes consistently readable books!' (Bernard Cornwell)

My Lost Kingdom Series - I AM THE CHOSEN KING (HAROLD THE KING is the UK title of the same book) and its prequel, The FOREVER QUEEN (A HOLLOW CROWN is the UK title of the same book) tells the story of the twilight years of Anglo Saxon England before the Norman Conquest.
Stripping the Norman propaganda from what we think we know of that most famous date in English history - 1066 and the Battle of Hastings, my novels portray all the honour and dignity that history remembers of its fallen heroes.

I am also co-scriptwriter for the UK movie 1066 which is in development.

To balance the serious books I have my SEA WITCH VOYAGES: pirate-based adventure fantasy. A fine blend of Sharpe, Hornblower and Indiana Jones all stowed in the one boat.
Voyage One - SEA WITCH
Voyage Two - PIRATE CODE
Voyage Three - BRING IT CLOSE

"In the sexiest pirate contest, Captain Jesamiah Acorne gives Johnny Depp's Jack Sparrow a run for his money" (Sharon Penman)

Charismatic and a charmer of a rogue, trouble follows Jesamiah Acorne like a ship's wake. His "girl" Tiola, is a white witch, one of the Wise Women of the Old Ones of Light. She is loyal and faithful to Jesamiah - but does he deserve her?

If you liked the Pirates of the Caribbean movies and enjoy a good sailor's yarn, then in the words of author Elizabeth Chadwick "You'll love this to pieces of eight".

Browse my books and 'Lege Feliciter' (read happily)
p.s. Why not take a look at the book trailer videos opposite?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 54 people found the following review helpful By chwms on December 29, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Many reviewers of this book center their review on their previous encounters with Arthur. Since most of us learned about Arthur via the legends - Morte d' Arthur or even Disney's Sword in the Stone - we had the picture of Arthur as the legend.This legend of King Arthur, as ingrained as it is in our culture is not real. It's myth. Historians are just now beginning to debate the idea of the 'real' King Arthur. Who would he have been? Where would he have travelled? What would his culture have been. And we know that the culture of these dark times after Rome left Britain is indeed, dark and fearful.
This book, The Kingmaking, looks at Arthur through that historical eyeglass. What would he have been like as a real, breathing human being? His strength of will, body and spirit are all shown here as well as his human failings. Ms Hollick draws characters who are completely human - with all that that entails...including being inconsistent. I found Arthur and Gwenhyfr to be excellent characters and enjoyed their firery encounters immensely.
There is no need for reviewers to blame the author for typos and copy mistakes. Write the publisher!
Read this book as the great historical fiction it is. Dump your preconceived notions of the legendary Kind Arthur and just sit back and enjoy a good read!
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Bruce H. Villas on December 29, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I am an avid collector of Arthurian fiction and Helen Hollick's Pendragon's Banner trilogy is one of the best fictional accounts of Arthur in Roman times that I have ever read. Her storytelling and characters are first-rate. Helen Hollick's Pendragon's Banner trilogy is comparable to Bradley's Mists of Avalon , Sutcliff's Sword at Sunset, and Stewart's Merlin trilogy. I highly recommend all the books in the trilogy- The Kingmaking, Pendragon's Banner, and The Shadow of the King. Read these books and you won't be sorry! These books have also been highly recommended by the famous historical fiction novelist, Sharon Kay Penman.
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129 of 153 people found the following review helpful By Steve Angers on January 30, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The first in a series of three books, "The Kingmaking", English writer Helen Hollick's maiden novel, is an historical romance set within the legend of King Arthur. Presented as an attempt to separate the historical Arthur from the many myths that have grown out of this period in British history, this effort is part generic period drama and part erotic fantasy, without any inspirational value (unless you happen to be Bob Guccione). Without sufficient knowledge of the historical period, very little awareness of the warrior culture of which she would write, possessing unrefined writing skills, but with an apparently strong desire to explore the love story of Arthur and Gwenhwyfar (that's Guinevere to most of the rest of us), an inexperienced author bit off more than she was ready to chew. The result, unfortunately, was "The Kingmaking".

This novel opens with Arthur, in his sixteenth year, voyaging to Britain with Uthr Pendragon, an exiled claimant to the British throne who is preparing to fight another campaign for his birthright. Unknown to Arthur, he is Uthr's illegitimate child and heir. Also unknown to Arthur, Gwenhwyfar, a spunky tomboy, is waiting in Britain with her nine older brothers and their father, an old ally ready to help Uthr claim his crown. In a pattern that will repeat itself many times over the next seven years (and five hundred and fifty-five pages) of narrative, Arthur and Gwen immediately find themselves in conflict. She dislikes him intensely, soaks him with a bucket of water for his insolence, he kind of likes her spirit and then tries to help her, she resents it but is intrigued by him, then she helps Arthur and finally falls madly in love with him.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By John H. Manhold on May 4, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Kingmaking, Siourcebooks, Inc. Kindle Edition by Helen Hollick.
My knowledge of medieval history is not extensive, but I am well acquainted with the legend of King Arthur and Camelot and his Knights of the Roundtable, etc. Thus, I was intrigued with the idea behind this book. And I was similarly intrigued by the wide diversity of reviews that ranged from being brilliant 5 star history all of the way down to a dismal one star historical romance with an erotic bent.
Helen Hollick, the author, is reputed to have an Honors Diploma in Early Medieval History, as well as a close acquaintance with the folkloric tales that have come down through the ages. As stated, not being overly knowledgeable about the history of the period, I can only depend upon those who do know for authenticity. However, as a novel, the history would appear to be adequate when dealing with possibly mythical material. In this case, it would appear that she has combined a historical period and a legend into a fascinating postulation about the birth and rise to power of England's legendary King Arthur.
Furthermore, with the little knowledge I do have of the period, I believe she has quite adequately described a number of the characters we find in the legendary stories at an earlier, or developmental, age. More importantly, she has provided us with a picture of Arthur that is far- removed from that most often presented of the man and perhaps, by doing so, has `stepped on the toes' of those who prefer to believe in the old romantic picture. Here, instead of the kind, gentle ruler portrayed in legend, I believe the author has presented a man much closer to the type of person who could survive and ascend to the position of Ruler of Britain in the chaotic milieu of the period.
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