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Enemy Of God [Paperback]

Bernard Cornwell
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 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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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enemy of God Oct. 9 2000
Excellent continuation to "The Winter King." Cornwell has done a really good job creating the characters for this series. They, in combination with the adventure and romance, make this book thoroughly enjoyable. I am not the fastest reader in the world and work quite a number of hours per day, but I finished this book in less than a week.
This book, as the first, is narrated by Derfel Cadarn (a forgotten personage in Arthurian legend) as a very old monk. He tells his stories of battle as one of Arthur's warlords in Arthurs quest to achieve a peaceful Britain. At the same time he tells the story of the other characters and their life goals, which aren't necessarily the same as Arthurs.
I loved the book. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is because I liked the other two even better. This is the best series I have ever read. If you are reading this review means that you are interested in this subject -- so go ahead and buy this series, you'll really enjoy it, I promise.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Journey to 5th Century Britain Sept. 8 2000
This is my first encounter with Richard Cornwell. It has definitely piqued my interest to read the other two volumes in the trilogy and to investigate other books by this author.
If you are familiar with Grail literature and with such classics as Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Le Morte d'Arthur, etc., you will have certain preconceptions about the major characters that are here transmorgrified by Cornwell. The chivalrous Arthur is transformed into a more human, too-trusting, well-meaning leader of a tribe. Guenivere is a scheming, conceited megalomaniac, who mellows somewhat as the story progesses. The narrator's (Derfel's) harshest judgment is reserved for Lancelot. He is definitely not the same Lancelot-du-lac that we have come to know from Mallory. He's more like the 5th century version of a matinee idol. He's all image, no substance. He's not someone to be counted on in the heat of battle. Merlin is a rascally magus whose main concern lies in stemming the tide of Cristianity that he views as an invasion of the old order. Cornwell is obviously making judgement calls here, but he's not doing it purely for the sake of novelty. This is a thoroughly-researched, as well as an eminently well-written work.
Tolkien fans who have been turned-off by the pale imitators that have attempted to emulate the master's style will no doubt find many parallels in Cornwell. That's not to imply that Cornwell is imitative by any means. He just handles prose almost as adroitly as his predecessor. If there were a worthy Tolkien successor writing today, though in a slightly different genre, it would have to be Cornwell. Cornwell has created a truly heroic saga, and has left this reader looking forward eagerly to the other two volumes in the trilogy. Enemy of God is definitely several cuts above the mass of historical fiction being churned out today. The man can write!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Historical Retelling Of the Arthur Legend July 18 2000
As a history student, I am always some-what careful when I read books of the "historical-fiction" sort. Needless to say, I was very impressed not only with this work, but the other two books in this series as well (The Winter King and Excalibur).
This book (and series) is a fantastic and detailed historic version of the King Arthur Legend. Since I am not an expert on British history, I can't comment on the accuracy of it all, but it defintely made the time period come to life for me.
This book is not a fantasy book. It seems that every time I read a book on Arthur it is filled with Dragons and wizards and the like. Those books have their place and can be fun to read. However, if that is what you are looking for this work may not be for you.
Be warned that this book is not the musical "Camelot" revisited. Many of the characters and plot lines are slightly different than tradition, but I think that makes the story that much more enticing.
A very human story with some great battle scenes, if you like the Historical Arthur give these books a shot!
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining Reading
Part two of the trilogy set in the early dark ages. The book is a war book that gets strength from the setting. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Murray
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of Cornwell
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.
Published 3 months ago by Trenton Farewell
4.0 out of 5 stars A strong middle entry of the Warlord Chronicles
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. Read more
Published on Sept. 4 2011 by Matthew Sanderson
5.0 out of 5 stars fascinating and magical story of King Arthur
As an English teacher, I am always on the hunt for novels that will interest the young men in my classes. Read more
Published on May 21 2009 by Lesley A. Bird
5.0 out of 5 stars Better then the first
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... Read more
Published on Feb. 11 2009 by Reads bookman
5.0 out of 5 stars By Tim Huffman, author of SLAVER'S CHALLENGE
This book is Cornwell at the top of his form and that should be enough for anyone to rush to buy it. Read more
Published on July 28 2001 by Tim Huffman
4.0 out of 5 stars Another well-written political thriller
This is a well-written political thriller set in fourth-century Britain, not the Arthurian legend that everyone's familiar with. Read more
Published on Feb. 7 2001 by "otto_von_blotto"
5.0 out of 5 stars The Saga Continues
Enemy of God is the second book of three. The Winter King was the first book in the series. Everything I wrote in my review of The Winter King continues to apply here. Read more
Published on Sept. 14 2000 by AntiochAndy
5.0 out of 5 stars The most Real.
This serise makes you feel like you are right there with Derfel. I mean you knew how it ended, but it was still very good. Read more
Published on Aug. 26 2000 by A read from SC
5.0 out of 5 stars The most Real.
This serise makes you feel like you are right there with Derfel. I mean you knew how it ended, but it was still very good. Read more
Published on Aug. 26 2000 by A read from SC
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