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Publisher's Summary

Uther, the High King of Britain, has died, leaving the infant Mordred as his only heir. His uncle, the loyal and gifted warlord Arthur, now rules as caretaker for a country which has fallen into chaos - threats emerge from within the British kingdoms while vicious Saxon armies stand ready to invade.
Uther, the High King of Britain, has died, leaving the infant Mordred as his only heir. His uncle, the loyal and gifted warlord Arthur, now rules as caretaker for a country which has fallen into chaos - threats emerge from within the British kingdoms while vicious Saxon armies stand ready to invade.
As he struggles to unite Britain and hold back the Saxon enemy, Arthur is embroiled in a doomed romance with beautiful Guinevere.
©1995 Bernard Cornwell (P)2014 HarperCollins Publishers Limited
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Customer Reviews

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By Matt on 08-29-14

Simply Brilliant

Would you listen to The Winter King again? Why?

This is the kind of story you can enjoy over and over again. The Winter King boasts an engrossing, complex and compelling storyline rarely found in stories based on the Arthurian legends, which tend toward the tradition of chivalry, knights, round tables and simple good/evil battles against Mordred, Oberon and Morgan Le Fay. Bernard Cornwell has done a masterful job in The Warlord Chronicles of creating an Arthur that is believable, an Arthur desperately trying to hold post-Roman Britain together when the stabilising forces of the empire have gone and the chaotic forces of inter-kingdom warfare, religious conflict and Saxon invasions have come. This brilliant story is told by a brilliant narrator, Jonathan Keeble, whose voice and performance are absolutely perfect for this dark historical fantasy.

What did you like best about this story?

Perhaps the story's strongest aspect is Bernard Cornwell's careful maintenance of historical realism. It is easy to imagine a Britain in the grip of the early Dark Ages, unsure of itself and vulnerable in the aftermath of the departure of the Roman legions and the arrival of hordes of Saxons. It is all the more moving when you realise that history holds the eventual end of the story; we know that the Saxons succeeded in conquering much of Britain, and it doesn't matter how hard Arthur fights. The Saxons will win in the end.

Which character – as performed by Jonathan Keeble – was your favourite?

Jonathan Keeble's performances of all the characters in this audiobook are brilliant - he is the perfect narrator for this story. But perhaps his greatest success is in his portrayal of Arthur himself. The voice that Keeble uses for Arthur is only slightly different than the voice which he uses to portray the main character, Derfel, but it is enough. A slight tone in Arthur's voice immediately identifies him and carries across his humanity, compassion, ambition and altruism all at the same time.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

The only downside to this audiobook is its sheer length. At almost 20 hours, it is impossible to listen to the whole thing in one sitting - unless you are possessed of resolute determination, an iron will, and a lack of need for sleep. I would have liked to listen to all 20 hours without a break, as I found that when I had to turn it off to sleep and resumed it in the morning the story became a little disjointed. However, this is only a minor complaint and I would much rather have a long audiobook that takes multiple sittings than a short one that's over too soon.

Any additional comments?

This is an excellent example of historical fiction and of a legend being historicised. I cannot recommend this audiobook highly enough and eagerly await next month's credit so I can download the next instalment in the trilogy.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful


By WEStewart on 02-25-17

Not a patch on Simon Scarrow

Having listened to all of Simon Scarrow's books I was looking for something equally enjoyable. This book was recommended and the description looked so promising; I bought the series! However, this book is so dull, boring and dreary; you end up not caring what happens to Arthur. I won't bother with the rest of the books.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Lee on 07-30-16

Another great book by Bernard Cornwell

I have to say I really enjoyed this book. Jonathan Keeble is by far one of the best narrators I have heard, and I'm nearing 200 audio books now. The book is a little slow to start while Bernard is building the characters. It has an interesting and different spin the the King Arthur and Lancelot tale. Well worth the listen.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful


By Clive Batchelor on 09-19-16

Great book

Fills the gap between Vikings and game of thrones with English class, historically written, epic and blood thirsty. Great narration as always.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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