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The Singing Sword (The Camulod Chronicles, Book 2) Mass Market Paperback – May 15, 1997


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (May 15, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812551397
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812551396
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,741,664 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A sequel to The Skystone, this rousing tale continues Whyte's nuts-and-bolts, nitty gritty, dirt-beneath-the-nails version of the rise of Arthurian "Camulod" and the beginning of Britain as a distinct entity. In this second installment of the Camulod Chronicles, Whyte focuses even more strongly on a sense of place, carefully setting his characters into their historical landscape, making this series more realistic and believable than nearly any other Arthurian epic. As the novel progresses, and the Roman Empire continues to decay, the colony of Camulod flourishes. But the lives of the colony's main characters, Gaius Publius Varrus?ironsmith, innovator and soldier?and his brother-in-law, former Roman Senator Caius Britannicus, are not trouble-free, especially when their most bitter enemy, Claudius Seneca, reappears. Through these men's journals, the novel focuses on Camulod's pains and joys, including the moral and ethical dilemmas the community faces, the joining together of the Celtic and Briton bloodlines and the births of Uther Pendragon and Caius Merlyn Britannicus. Whyte provides rich detail about the forging of superior weaponry, the breeding of horses, the training of cavalrymen, the growth of a lawmaking body within the community and the origins of the Round Table. It all adds up to a top-notch Arthurian tale forged to a sharp edge in the fires of historical realism.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"From the building blocks of history and the mortar of reality, Jack Whyte has built Arthur's world and showed us the bone beneath the flesh of legend."--Diana Gabaldon

"The very best storytellers keep their readers glued to the story with plot, character, and a keen sense of the dramatic . . . . Whyte breathes life into the Arthurian myths by weaving the reality of history into it."--Tony Hillerman

More About the Author

Jack Whyte has written three highly successful series of Historical adventures: "The Camulod Chronicles", set in 5th-Century post-Roman Britain, "The Knights Templar Trilogy", set in 12th- 13th- and 14th-Century France, and the current "Guardians" series, (re-titled as "The Bravehearts Chronicle" in Britain), which deals with 14th-Century Scotland during the Wars of Independence and features the Scots heroes of those wars: William Wallace, Robert the Bruce and Sir James the Black Douglas. A million-plus bestselling author in Canada, Whyte's works are widely translated into more than a dozen languages and have won him a large and faithful following wherever they appear. He lives in British Columbia, Canada, and his official "home" on the 'Web is www.jackwhyte.com.

Customer Reviews

Everytime I thought it was going to get boring he surprised me and made me want to read more.
Walter Larsen
I read my first book by Jack Whyte called Knights of the Black and White and fell in love with that one and now I've fell in love with this series.
Gregory L. Kenkel
I thought the book had a very fast and sad ending that I think could have been stretched some more.
R. E. Tonsing

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 19, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
While not the "Grabber" that The Skysone was, Whyte has managed a solid second book in what must now be considered an ongoing series leading up to, and including, the Arthurian period. Traditionally, second books in a series seem to fall short of the first, but Whyte's The Singing Sword does not miss by much. He is historically accurate, bringing in actual events like the Pelagian heresy, the final withdrawal of the legions from Britain in the early Fifth century, and the tangled succession crisis of a divided empire. Whyte's long suit is character development and his ability to create flawed human beings with which the reader can identify. Also, the book moves along with plenty of action to propel the story forward. Critics may argue that Whyte places the genesis of the Arthurian period too early, but there is no solid historical basis to the contrary. Whether neo-Roman, Celt, tribal Briton, or some combination of all, we can only speculate about whom Arthur's ancestors may have been. Whyte's explanation is plausible. The Singing Sword is an excellent "bridge" to The Eagle's Brood. Thanks to Jack Whyte for a first rate "read". petucker@aol.com
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By G. Parnell on February 23, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Forget the romantic setting of ancient Roman Brittania! Jack Whyte's writing style is unmatched by most modern writers. He could write an entire novel about jelly donughts and make it read like a charm. I cannot put it into words exactly how Jack Whyte writes. All I can say is that his words are a pleasure. I ripped through all 547 pages of this paperback in a few days. What an ease and joy. Very relaxing. Very gratifying. It just cements my opinion about all the garbage that is being published today. People making millions on books that are horrible reads. Jack Whyte is the exception!
Jack is obviously well schooled in the history of very ancient England. The Celts, Picts, Scots and Romans are all represented with stunning clarity and picturesque description.
My father had this book laying around in his den. I picked it up and breezed right through it. I hadn't read anything by Jack Whyte prior. I was an instant fan from page one. I hadn't even read the first book "The Skystone" either.
I guess one might want to read the books in order, but I know from experience that this isn't necessary! If you, too, have been put off by modern authors - give Jack a chance to reclaim your "gosh wow!"
Gary
Florida
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Shawn M. Warswick on April 24, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Jack Whyte continues his tale of Publius Varrus and Caius Brittanicus and their formation of the "colony" of Camaloud. In this, the second novel in the series, the Legions have departed and Arthur's Great Grandparents are struggling for their survival.
Whyte's strong suit is his faithfulness to historical detail. From the departure of the Legions to the Pelagian Heresy, from life in a divided and crumbling Empire to the invasion of post Roman Britain by the Saxons and other "barbarians."
Once again, as in the first installment, Whyte's description and detail of adult sexual situations makes it a novel not for the young or those who easily blush. However, this isn't a condemnation of Whyte or his novel. It is simply more "adult" oriented than the average fantasy novel.
Another strong suite for Whyte is his character development. Each character grows and expands as the story evolves. Furthermore, Whyte doesn't make his characters caricatures so common to most fantasy novels. For example, Publius is certainly a flawed hero and we are shown his more "human" side.
You like Action? There is plenty of action moving the story along. Before you know it, the novel is done and you are dying to read the next installment.
This series does an amazing job bringing the world King Arthur would be born into to life. It may not be what really happened, but it is certainly possible. Just be warned, this novel will leave you hungry for the next intallment.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By bryce vale on January 18, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Book, The Singing Sword, was the tale of life before King Arthur. This novel told of the fall of Rome and the hardships that the world had to live with. With the sword Excalibur being made, troubles come with the greatness of it. Jack Whyte is an incredible storyteller and this book is one of the best I have ever read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 11, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Jack Whyte changes the focus of the Camulod Chronicles in The Singing Sword. Readers of The Skystone witnessed the results of years of research into the livestyles and military tactics of the Roman occupants of fifth century Britain. For those expecting more of the same, Whyte's second novel may disapoint. This feeling shouldn't last, however, as the reader realizes just what The Singing Sword is: an exposition and analysis of the trials and tribulations of the occupants of the colony of a dying empire. The characters of Publius Varrus and Caius Brittanicus will strike many as being ancient equivilants of America's own forefathers. This observation only comes to mind in the second novel, because the withdrawal of Rome's forces is so much closer to occuring. The happy-go-lucky soldiering of Book I is gone. It is replaced by familial responsibilty, political jostling for the sake of the new colony, and the introduction of the next generation of characters. Readers are able to witness firsthand the many temptations of Varrus which result in failures and victories both unabashedly. The Singing Sword does not provide the startling discoveries that Varrus and Brittanicus found in The Skystone, but the view into their psyches is a worthwhile device for bringing us the tranisition into the anarchy which should follow
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