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The Sorcerer: Metamorphosis (The Camulod Chronicles, Book 6) Hardcover – June, 1999

4.4 out of 5 stars 112 customer reviews
Book 6 of 9 in the Camulod Chronicles Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Jack Whyte continues his long, thoughtful exploration of one of our most resonant myths, the legend of Camelot. The Sorcerer: Metamorphosis is the sixth book in his Camulod Chronicles, and it takes up the story just as Arthur makes the transition from boy to man. Whyte's focus, however, is on Caius Merlyn Britannicus. Merlyn, descended from Britain's Roman rulers, is one of the co-rulers of Camulod, a stronghold of civilization under perpetual threat from invading Saxons and Danes. Merlyn leads an eventful yet happy life: he has a loving fiancjée, Tressa; a fine ward, Arthur; a magnificent black horse, Germanicus; many allies; and grand plans for Camulod's expansion and Britain's safety. Merlyn's reflections on one campaign sum up his easy victories throughout the first half of the book: "It was slaughter--nothing less. One pass we made, from west to east, and scarce a living man was left to face us."

But even the mightiest ship must one day be tested on the shoals. The suspense gains momentum when Whyte breaks Merlyn free of his brooding, reactive role and propels him and his companions into danger. In despair, Merlyn takes a new, subtler tack against his archenemies Ironhair and Carthac ("And then I truly saw the size of him. He towered over everyone about him, hulking and huge, his shoulders leviathan and his great, deep, hairless chest unarmoured").

Whyte shines at interpreting the mythos of Camelot in a surprising yet believable way. He can squeeze a sword out of a stone without opting for the glib explanations of fantasy-land magic. The Camulod Chronicles, and The Sorcerer: Metamorphosis in particular, provide an engaging take on the chivalric world of knights and High Kings. --Blaise Selby

From Library Journal

As the forces of Peter Ironhair threaten the land of Camulod, Merlyn Britannicus realizes that the time has come for his ward, Arthur Pendragon, to claim the skystone sword Excalibur and take his rightful place as High King of Britain. The latest volume of Whyte's epic retelling of the Arthurian cycle marks the end of Arthur's childhood training and the beginning of the legend that surrounds his career. Whyte firmly grounds his tale in historical detail, personal drama, and political intrigue, combining realism and wonder in a fortuitous blend. Compellingly told, this addition to Arthurian-based fiction belongs in most libraries.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Forge; 1st edition (June 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312865988
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312865986
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.5 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #328,737 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Although this is ostensibly a review of "The Sorcerer: Metamorphosis", it in actuality covers all six books of the series to date ("The Skystone", "The Singing Sword", "The Eagles' Brood", "The Saxon Shore", "The Fort at River's Bend", and "The Sorcerer: Metamorphosis"), primarily focusing on the last two. This series, The Camulod Chronicles, outlines the story of King Arthur as it might have been in a historical perspective, beginning with the end of the Roman occupation of Britain. If there were such a person as Arthur, he would have lived during this time. Most likely, he was a composite character, based on some of the more influential warlords and petty kings of the day. As an aside, I am reminded of a vacation in southern England that my family took in 1995. My sons, who were 11 and 13 at the time, could not understand my excitement in viewing the ruins of Tintagel Castle in Cornwall, asking "How can this be the birthplace of someone who never was?" But, that's a different story. . .
The first two books of the series, which outlined the founding of Camulod (or Camelot) and Avalon and the forging of the sword Excalibur, were told from the viewpoint of an old Roman soldier. The last two books, which detail the birth of Arthur and his early boyhood years, are told from the viewpoint of Merlin, or, "Merlyn" in the Chronicles. The last two books, which detail Arthur's adolescence and subsequent coronation as High King of Britain, are also told from Merlyn's point of view. As an avid reader of Arthurian legend and all its various retellings, let me tell you that the character of Merlin is probably one of the most varied of them all, probably due to the fact that he was actually a minor character in Mallory. Hence, the details are free to be filled in by the current chronicler.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Jack Whyte's "The Sorcerer: Metamorphosis", sixth book, and 2nd in the series is excellent. Once again we follow Caius Meryln Brittanicus, in his quests, and watch an older Arthur becoming a leader, and in time the high king of all of Britain and wielder of Excaliber. In this novel we are brought back to Camulod, and now Meryln serves as a leader of colony alongside his brother Ambrose. Not to give away story, but tragedy will strike, and through this Meryln makes the change from leader of men, to Sorcerer- friend of few, feared by many, a powerful transformation. Evil always dwells, and this 2nd book in series has alot more action then previous. Once again the characters are descriped in great detail, and we get to know them through Merylns narrative. I in particular like the Pendragon descriptions, characters like Huw and Lyewelln are nice to follow. The only downside I can see at moment, is that there has not been a real follow up to this as yet, as the next book follows Arthurs father, hopefully in time Whyte will deliver more books for this series. Highly Recommend the "The Sorcerer: Metamorphosis", an entertaining and enjoyable read.
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Format: Hardcover
I have to say that this book is really amazing. Jack was able to create a clear picture about how such little evidence we have about authurian ledgends into 6 breathtaking novels. I am 14 years old and I thank Jack Whyte because he has activated my love for reading. That is something not many authors can do.
Praise for Jack Whyte
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was captivated by Whyte's first four Camulod novels (4 stars each) and was of course looking forward to this one. Unfortunately, it was hands down, the most unrewarding book I've read in a LONG time. Nothing interesting at all.
Merlyn and young Arthur hide in an old abandoned Roman fort (at River's Bend). They fix up the fort, Arthur grows up, Merlyn falls in love, and they hear a few rumors from back home in Camulod. That's pretty much all that happens in 461 pages.
Take my advice and skip this one. His next book, SORCERER, begins with a short prologue (one and a half pages) that recaps the events of FORT AT RIVER'S BEND perfectly and saves you quite a bit of time.
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Format: Hardcover
First off, I love the way Mr. Whyte writes. It's been a while since I last found a series of modern works worth reading, and the Camulod series really satisfies the true reader. The words fly through the brain effortlessly and the thousands of pages are turned with amazing speed. A good read, and that is no lie. But! After all that, I am gravely disappointed that Arthur was not given more attention. This book, and this series, just ended - WHAM! Halfway through "Sorcerer," I panicked. Arthur was still only 15. That was when I finally excepted that Jack had no intention of telling the actual Arthur story. He instead has told the events leading up to the Arthur legend - the story of the making of Camelot. He has left the actual Arthur story largely untold. I guess this is what he intended, and I will not blame him, yet I am left languishing for the actual tales of Arthur in his manhood. Maybe... just maybe... there will be another book after "Uther" ??? I can always hope... In any event, I am a Jack Whyte fan and promote his work shamelessly.
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Format: Hardcover
Jack Whyte yet again maintains his level of excellence in this series! And yet again, I was kept up until the wee hours of the morning unable to put down the book. I have rarely seen characters this well written; Jack Whyte gives them such depth and complexity that they seem so authentic. You get this incredible sensation that these people did exist - period - and history unfolded exactly this way - period.
One of the great things about this book and series, is that Jack Whyte explains the magic and sorcery that has surrounded this legend with down-to-earth explanations. The amazing thing is that in doing this, he creates an even better legend. The idea that man, without the aid of magic but by his intellect and will alone, is able to have a vision and bring it to life in a way that has endured as long as this legend has, is very inspiring.
I have related to every one of these characters; I have laughed, cried, been enraged, and been constantly surprised by them.
I tip my hat to Jack Whyte - he has quite a gift.
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