Bernard Cornwell's new novel, following the outstanding success of his Arthurian trilogy, is the story of three brothers and of their rivalry that creates the great temple we know as Stonehenge.
One summer's day, a stranger carrying great wealth in gold comes to the settlement of Ratharryn. He is killed in the old temple. The people assume that the gold is a gift from the gods. But the mysterious treasure causes great dissension within the tribe and beyond.
The three sons of Ratharryn's chief each perceive the great gift in a different way. The eldest, Lengar, the warrior, harnesses his murderous ambition to be a ruler and take great power for his tribe. Camaban, the second son and an outcast, becomes a great visionary and feared wise man, and it is his vision that will force the youngest brother, Saban, to create the great temple on the green hill where the gods will appear on earth.
It is Saban who is the builder, the leader, and the man of peace. It is his love for a sorceress whose powers rival those of Camaban and for Aurenna, the sun bride whose destiny is to die for the gods, that finally brings the rivalries of the brothers to a head. But it is also his skills that will build the vast temple, a place for the gods certainly, but also a place that will confirm for ever the supreme power of the tribe that built it. And in the end, when the temple is complete, Saban must choose between the gods and his family.
Stonehenge is Britain's greatest historic monument, a building, created four millenia ago, which still provokes awe and mystery. Stonehenge is first and foremost a great historical novel. Bernard Cornwell is well known for the realism and imagination with which he brings an earlier world to life. Here he uses all his skills to create an extraordinary cast of characters and the world of primitive Britain, and to solve the mysteries of who built Stonehenge, how, and why.
©1999 Bernard Cornwell (P)1999 HarperCollins UK