Eagle Hardcover – Oct 20 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
The ninth and final installment in Whyte's Camulod (Camelot) series offers an imaginative if rambling account of the end of the Arthurian era. Narrated by Clothar of Benwick (Lancelot), King Arthur's best friend and loyal companion, the novel is grounded in the author's "interpretation of Lancelot" as "an archetypal hero." Faced with fractious local rulers and Saxon invaders, Arthur hopes to unite Britain to fend off the invasion. But two regional kings—the treacherous Symmachus and the ambitious Connlyn—unite to frustrate, and ultimately destroy, Arthur's dream. The basic plot, however, is overburdened with a stew of subplots and backstories: Clothar's affair with a betrothed woman adds heft but not substance, and the detailed recounting of the paternity of Arthur's son, Mordred, the fruit of an unwitting incestuous affair with his half-sister, is distracting. The author also sends Clothar off on a seven-year detour to Gaul where he trains a cavalry force and saves his cousin's kingdom from the Huns. Clothar returns to Britain to find that events have taken a dangerous turn and a final showdown looms with Camulod's enemies. Fans of Whyte's exhaustive retelling of the Camelot legend will welcome this final chapter. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
Whyte concludes his nine-volume retelling of the Arthurian legend with a rousing final chapter in the saga of Arthur, Lancelot, and Guinevere. With the threat of a Saxon invasion looming, Arthur attempts to cobble together a united Britain but is thwarted by jealous rivals. Meanwhile, Clothar (Lancelot), a romantic young nobleman, pledges his loyalty to Arthur and the ideals of Camulod (Camelot). As the two men work feverishly to turn their vision of Camulod into a reality, the stage is set for the ultimate clash between Arthur and his enemies. As one might expect, the doomed love triangle of Arthur, Lancelot, and Guinevere plays a pivotal role in this epic reworking of this classic literary staple. Margaret Flanagan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
The other books in the Dream of Eagles series were so spectacular, that I question why it was based on the Arthurian legend at all, when the story of Arthur played so little part. There was no climax to this story. Maybe Mr. Whyte was sick of writing the story?
I wish that Jack Whyte had ended the Eagle, leaving the Arthurian legend for another book, sometime when he was up to the challenge. The rest of his novels in the series were truly great and the Eagle did not do them justice.
WG Macx MacNichol
Dorchester, NB, Canada
**A book I would also recommend is The Unsuspecting Mage by Brian S. Pratt. This, the first installment of The Morcyth Saga is a great beginning for a new author. Battles, magic, gods, secret passages and intrigue, all the elements of a classic epic fantasy! Any fantasy reader will enjoy it
All this being said, the book on its own is phenomenal. It is well written, it flows well and it is definitely a page turner. My regrets come from all 9 books in combination now. The most known and recognizable part of Arthurian Legend is the Arthur/Lancelot/Guinevere story. How it is reconciled to what really "may have" happened is very good, logical and believable. It however, just becomes rushed with little of what made the first 6-7 books classics.
The series is still one to be recommended however could I ask Jack for one thing it would be to re-write the last 100 pages.
I enjoyed his blended fantasy and fiction adaptation of Britain and other locations throughout. It was sound in thought and ink.
For any Merlin, King Arthur, Knight Companion fans, this is a worthwhile book to purchase and read.
Many of the questions surrounding King Arthur, Lancelot and Queen Guinevere and their fate(s) are answered along other commonly asked questions, such as: What was Mordred’s actual role in the story, How did the Knight Companions to the King originate and many other queries are addressed here.
The only criticism I have is the verbosity involved in explaining a new idea/concept or word. The story is interspersed with these interludes but, combined with the exciting plots and subplots concerning Lancelot, King Arthur and many other characters, it is forgiven but not easily overlooked.
I found myself, many times, reading into the wee hours of the morning as I just couldn't put it down. The wordiness I could have done without even though I do understand that some explanation is necessary, I felt it was overdone. That aside, I vastly enjoyed this eight to nine book series and hope that his next project (Knights Templar) is as successful!