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The Fort at River's Bend: The Sorcerer, Book 1 (The Camulod Chronicles, Book 5) Mass Market Paperback – March 15, 2000

4.4 out of 5 stars 116 customer reviews
Book 5 of 9 in the Camulod Chronicles Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Fearing for the life of his nephew, eight-year-old Arthur Pendragon, after an assassination attempt in their beloved Camulod, Caius Merlyn Brittanicus uproots the boy and sails with an intimate group of friends and warriors to Ravenglass, seeking sanctuary from King Derek. Though Ravenglass is supposed to be a peaceful port, danger continues to threaten and it is only through the quick thinking of the sharp-tongued, knife-wielding sorceress Shelagh that catastrophe and slaughter are averted. Derek, who now realizes the value of the allegiances Merlyn's party bring to his land, offers the Camulodians the use of an abandoned Roman fort that is easily defensible. The bulk of the novel involves the growth of Arthur from boyhood to adolescence at the fort. There he is taught the arts of being a soldier and a ruler, and magnificent training swords are forged in Excalibur's pattern from the metals of the Skystone. While danger still lurks around every corner, this is a peaceful time for Britain, so this installment of the saga (The Saxon Shore, etc.) focuses primarily on the military skills Arthur masters, as well as on the building and refurbishing of an old Roman fort. Whyte has again written a historical fiction filled with vibrant detail. Young Arthur is less absorbing a character than many of the others presented (being seemingly too saintly and prescient for his or any other world), but readers will revel in the impressively researched facts and in how Whyte makes the period come alive.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From Booklist

In the fifth installment of the Camulod Chronicles, Caius Merlyn Britannicus has fled Camulod after a failed assassination attempt on young Arthur. Arriving in the neutral port of Ravenglass, Merlyn discovers that the king is Derek, the man who killed Uther Pendragon, Arthur's father, and raped Ygraine, his mother. He wisely suppresses his emotions and bargains for the use of an abandoned Roman fort located in the hills above the town. To ensure the group's safety, and to keep Arthur's presence secret, Merlyn and his young charge publicly board a ship leaving the harbor, then trek back overland to the fort, where "Cay" and his apprentice are welcome. Over the next few years, Arthur begins to grow into the man who will become the legend and one day wield the sword smelted out of skystone just for him: Excalibur. Until then, Cay must keep him alive and hidden from his enemies. Not as bloody as some of its predecessors in this series, Whyte's latest continues to bring the myth convincingly to life. Melanie Duncan --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1st edition (March 15, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812544188
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812544183
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,128,373 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As in all the previous books in this interesting series, Whyte has created a believable retelling of the Arthurian legend. Merlin, as uncle and father figure to the young king-to-be, continues his sharing of his journal's contents relating the events leading to Arthur's crowning. Excellent historical grounding educates while entertaining -whether your interest is mythology/Arthurian legend or early British history you'll be entranced with this series. The bad news? The series is almost finished! The next book in the series is Uther. I read it, however, after book 4 (The Saxon Shore) since I had to wait for a copy of book 5 and just couldn't wait!- and I'm happy that I did as, in looking back over the series story line, I think it actually did "fit" better there. I'd recommend doing so to others.
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