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The King's Name (The King's Peace, Book 2) Hardcover – December, 2001

4.3 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
Book 2 of 3 in the Tir Tanagiri Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

War is a tough subject to do well, but in this gritty, moving second and final book in the saga of Tir Tanagiri, British author Walton makes the strife of civil war not only believable but understandable. Battle-hardened, older and wiser after her adventures in The King's Peace (2000), the warrior Sulien ap Gwien has become lord of her own bit of land and wants nothing more than a quiet life. Ill fortune and an evil sorcerer who'd not been dealt with years earlier, however, return her to the saddle and a civil war that could break King Urdo's peace and leave the kingdom a shattered ruin. Brother turns against brother or in this case, sister against sister. The novel opens: "The first I knew about the civil war was when my sister Aurien poisoned me." Sulien survives her poisoning only to wonder why her sister hates her the answer makes her wish she'd remained poisoned. In the end, the cost of battle is felt by every person in the land. No one will ever be the same, especially Sulien ap Gwien. Walton has taken a thoughtful look at what war can do to real people, as a group and as individuals. A nicely paced, unpredictable plot that keeps the reader guessing who might be back-stabbing whom, coupled with musical language and natural conversations, sets this well above the fantasy average. The ambiguous gender of some of the character names may confuse some, but Walton is never stridently feminist, with women and men represented as equally capable of both good and evil. This fine work should garner an award nomination or two.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

The sequel to The King's Peace (2000) seems to conclude Walton's variation on the Matter of Britain--the tale of King Arthur and his knights. After a decisive victory over warring petty kings and foreign invaders, King Urdo has made peace with them. Now he seeks to bring the motley realm of Tir Tanagiri under the rule of one law, with justice for as many as possible. Some, however, inevitably see a king powerful enough to enforce such a law as a tyrant, and so the realm faces civil war. The narrator, Sulien ap Gwien, a female warrior who plays the role of Lancelot as the king's champion, must gather her forces and ride to battle again. It is a particularly heartbreaking battle this time, as it is fought against friends and kin. The pacing is brisk, the emotional impact great, and the concluding farewell to Sulien doesn't absolutely preclude a third volume about Tir Tanagiri. Not a bad proposition, if and when, for Walton is making page-turners of her take on Arthur's Britain. Roland Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1st edition (December 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031287653X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312876531
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.2 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,417,676 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
"King's Name" is a sequel to "King's Peace" and is a retelling of the darker part of the Arthurian legend -- the bit where the dream of a kingdom united under one king and one law falls apart because of treachery form within the kingdom. And in case you've forgotten either the events and characters from "King's Peace," Jo Walton has provided a thumbnail sketch of everything that happened in "King's Peace" in the introduction to "King's Name."
King Urdo's dream of a united kingdom and peace for the nation of Tir Tanagiri, seems to be on the brink of destruction. And this time the threat is not from barbarian invaders, but from within. While many acknowledge that Urdo has brought peace and unity, and that his laws are just ones, others see only the thirst for absolute power and tyranny. There is also the fear that Urdo will force all his subjects to convert to this new religion of light and the one god. Fanned by fear, greed and Morthu (Urdo's treacherous nephew)'s treasonous whispering, Urdo's erstwhile friends and enemies seem poised to start a civil war. And now it is up to Sulien ap Gwien, once Urdo's most trusted of warriors and his right hand, to put a stop to this treason, and to fight for Urdo's dream of a united kingdom to remain a reality.
"King's Name" keeps pretty much to the parameters of the Arthurian legend. Nothing really terribly new or different in the manner in which the plot of "King's Name" unfolds. So why read this novel? Because it is always thrilling and poignant to read such tales. The Arthurian legend was a powerful one of hope and promise, as well as a poignant one of betrayal and treachery.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The King's Name is another excellent novel by Jo Walton. This novel, sequel to The King's Peace, takes all of the strengths of its predecessor and leaves most of the weaknesses behind. It's a worthy addition to any fantasy fan's bookshelf.
I thought that this book was marvelous. Walton's characterization is wonderful, with the many different people populating this book having enough distinction that it isn't that hard to tell them apart. There are, at times, difficulties in remembering which side some of the characters are on, but it's not a major issue and it becomes easier as you go along in the novel. None of the minor characters are truly three-dimensional, but they all have some sort of hook that distinguishes them from the rest of the pack. I really liked that aspect of it.
The characterization of the leads is another standout. The tale is told in first person by Sulien, so everything is coloured by her interpretations. She's a very deep character with some humour and a lot of loyalty to Urdo and her friends (as long as the friends aren't on the other side of the war). She's very interesting to read about, and seeing her reactions to the events that are going on is what makes the book worth reading. Her son, Darien, is widely believed to be the son of Urdo (though he's actually the son of Ulf, a Jarnsman warrior who raped her when she was much younger) and her reaction to hearing that Darien had been named by Urdo as his heir is great. It was a bit jarring to see how easy her relationship with Darien was considering that The King's Peace didn't really end with the relationship being any warmer than it had been at the beginning. But that quickly fell by the wayside as I got caught up in the story.
Urdo is the same wise king that he was in the first book as well.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read The King's Peace ages ago and was sorry to see the end of it. Silly me I never checked to see if there was more to follow. When I found this book I fairly LEAPT on it, and was grabbed, and dragged back into Sulien's world, by the eyeballs, from the opening paragraph. While it does get a bit verbose here and there, and kind of overly detailed now and again, it is still a MEAL for the mind. I thoroughly enjoyed how the two books began and how it ended and have NO regrets about setting aside a portion of my time, and brain, for the experience.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The "King's Peace" series is a great alternative version of the Arthurian legends set in Post-Romano Britain (by another name). The King's Name is a beautifully written and wonderful tale continuing the saga.
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Format: Hardcover
"King's Name" picks up the story five years after the ending of "King's Peace". It is a very good story, with a couple small but noticeable differences. 1. It is smoother than "King's Peace". Probably because Ms. Walton already had a feel for her world and for Sulien and didn't have to learn her way around them. 2. The slaps at the church are more subtle, put in milder, though no less certain terms.
The story is a little slow for a time (after a fast start), but for me the reading was worth every word.
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