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Enemy Of God [Paperback]

Bernard Cornwell
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Nov. 27 2007 A Novel of Arthur: The Warlord Chronicles
'Tell me of Arthur', says Igraine, 'our last and best hope, our king who never was a king, the Enemy of God and the scourge of the Saxons'

Arthur has won his bloody victory at Lugg Vale and the kingdoms are finally united. Mordred's throne is safe, Guinevere is to bear Arthur a child and Lancelot is to marry Ceinwyn. After one last battle against the Saxons, Arthur will rule a peaceful, orderly land.

But, unlike Merlin, Arthur has forgotten the Gods, who thrive on chaos. Merlin, weaver of charms, knows that if the Gods are to be restored, he must bring together Britain's thirteen sacred objects. Derfel, the stalwart of Arthur's shield wall, is drawn into Merlin's intrigues and Arthur's plans are thrown into turmoil ...

Don't miss The Winter King, the first volume in Bernard Cornwell's powerful Warlord Chronicles, also published in Penguin


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From Amazon

Embattled, honorable executive Arthur faces revolt by Lancelot and betrayal by Guinevere. King Mordred comes of age, but should he be king? Arthur is faced with more than one dilemma as quests and plots, treachery, lies, and mysteries proliferate. Adultery and violent revenge strain Arthur's alliances, horrifying even war-hardened narrator Derfel Cadarn and endangering his beloved family.

Little faults plague this book and its prequel. Bernard Cornwell insults Welsh princes with the Saxon title "Edling," and someone should tell him what gold weighs--he has a gigantic gold cauldron carried on one man's back and generally throws gold bars around like wood chips. However, his rearrangements of the well-known tale are ingenious and plausible, and these books are very entertaining. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Historical novelist Cornwell continues his lively retelling of the Arthurian legend, begun in The Winter King (LJ 5/15/96). Having secured the throne of Dumnonia for the infant King Mordred, Arthur seeks to bring peace to the kingdom by uniting the various rival Celtic factions into the "Brotherhood of Britain." Derfel, one of Arthur's warriors and the book's narrator, sardonically notes that "the Round Table, of course, was never a proper name, but rather a nickname." But Arthur's good intentions are gradually undone: by Merlin's quest for the Thirteen Treasures of Britain; by Lancelot's and Guinevere's ambitions; by Mordred, now an unpleasant young man incapable of wise rule; and by the growing conflict between the old Druid religion and the new Christianity. To the fanatical Christians, the pagan Arthur is the Enemy of God. Despite the overabundance of confusing Celtic and Saxon names (there is a list identifying characters), this is an entertaining read, a fresh look at an old story.
-?Wilda Williams, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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TODAY I HAVE BEEN thinking about the dead. Read the first page
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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of Cornwell July 21 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
One of the best series Cornwell wrote. I bought the hardcover after wearing out my paperback. Read all three and reserve a spot on your best bookshelf.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A strong middle entry of the Warlord Chronicles Sept. 4 2011
Format:Paperback
I immensely enjoyed book I of the Warlord Chronicles, and eagerly rushed to my local book store to pick up "Enemy of God" once I had finished it. I had heard some say it was better than "The Winter King," and some say it was worse. After finishing it, I think the truth falls somewhere in the middle, with it being both better in some ways, and weaker in others. I'll preface the rest of this review by stating there are some spoilers, so don't continue past this point if you haven't finished book I.

The tale begins with Derfel, Merlin, and Nimue heading north to Ynys Mon, an island shrouded in legend as the once holy site of the ancient druids, but now ruled by the half-mad Irish king Diwrnach. There, Merlin says, the Cauldron of Clyddno Eiddyn will be found. This entire "side-quest," I felt, went on for far too long, and ended up feeling as separate from the rest of the book. If it had have been edited down a little more, I feel it would have suited the rest of the story structure better, and would have helped get the novel off to a quicker start. As it is, however, we must wait until after the cauldron is retrieved before we get to Arthur and co. Thankfully, once this part is over, the book quickens its pace, and becomes thick with my favorite aspect of this trilogy: the ruins of the Roman Empire!

I love Romano-British history, and it's one of the reasons why I enjoy Cornwell's take on the Arthurian legend so much -- it's a story set in and around the last remnants of a once mighty empire, now mostly forgotten, but still embodied in Arthur.
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5.0 out of 5 stars fascinating and magical story of King Arthur May 21 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As an English teacher, I am always on the hunt for novels that will interest the young men in my classes. With its atmospheric historical setting and lively plot, the Warlord series fits the bill. Masterful storytelling, clever reworking of the Arthurian legends, and just the right mix of battle scenes, political intrigue, and plausible characters all come together in a compelling novel that will intrigue readers.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Better then the first Feb. 11 2009
Format:Paperback
Great climax, great story, amazing characters. This is better then the first. There are still the long drawn out sometimes boring battles but there is more meat to this book then the first. I would recommend this book to anyone and envy those who are reading it for the first time. I will say some of the secondary characters aren't fully explored as much as they could be and sometimes the author writes things that you already know probably for people who had a hiatus between books but this is a really great read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars By Tim Huffman, author of SLAVER'S CHALLENGE July 28 2001
Format:Paperback
This book is Cornwell at the top of his form and that should be enough for anyone to rush to buy it. Careful, intricate plotting and good characters who are so good well balanced by the bad characters who are extremely bad. This unprettified version of Arthur and "Camelot" has the ring of veracity to it that so many others have been unable to bring forth. As is his hallmark, Cornwell lays out the weft of this tapestry at the end of the work and that bit of reality is a fine mint to end this sumptuous meal. I have already ordered Warlord III hoping to see the bad guys get their final comeuppance.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Another well-written political thriller Feb. 7 2001
Format:Paperback
This is a well-written political thriller set in fourth-century Britain, not the Arthurian legend that everyone's familiar with. As such, it's a fitting sequel to "The Winter King". As in that book, Cornwell takes some Arthurian legends from different eras and mixes them together, adding his own touch of historical realism. The portrayal of Saxon-Celtic conflict as well as Christian-Pagan conflict is very well done. An excellent book, though one that will disappoint some by painting a vision of Arthur that clashes with their own. As always, Cornwell's storytelling is top-notch.
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Format:Paperback
This is good stuff by a skillful writer. The characters are, for the most part, well endowed with humanity, driven and undermined by credible needs and flaws. Not content merely to retell the version of the legends popularized by "Camelot", Cornwell has researched, dissected, and then wholly reconstructed the legends leavened by his own contribution of historical plausibility and "de-romanticization". What comes through is a more human-dimensioned, but nonetheless still heroic epic. My only major complaint, and the reason for withholding a fifth star, is the author's treatment of his religious themes. With the exception of Galahad, his Christians are so odious that you wonder how the religion could have possibly spread. I realize his narrator is a pagan, but Christianity, especially that from Ireland, was not accepted in Britain at the point of a sword, but rather through the lure of its ideas. The Irish missionaries were well known for humility and simplicity (which is why they eventually lost out the organized Roman version in the 6th century). Since Cornwell uses 'pagan' vs. Christian as a major axis in his plot, I feel he missed an opportunity for a more balanced portrayal of the two belief systems in conflict and this nagged at me throughout. Otherwise, Cornwell casts a rollicking and passionate spell that would make even Merlin smile.
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