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Enemy Of God: A Novel Of Arthur Mass Market Paperback – Nov 27 2007

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin UK; 2nd Revised edition edition (Nov. 27 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140232478
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140232479
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 3.1 x 18.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 281 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #201,469 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Amazon

Cornwell furnishes a provocative look at the Arthurian legends in Enemy of God, the second book in the Warlords Chronicle. This version of the tale takes place during the Dark Ages, when even the lords of the land lived in thatched huts. Arthur, still defending Britain for his younger half-brother Mordred, faces religious uprisings, Saxon invasions, and disloyalty at the heart of the kingdom. His uncompromising belief in oaths and his optimistic blindness to human betrayal isolate him from even his closest friends. At the same time, Merlin's quest for the Cauldron (read Holy Grail) also becomes entangled in treachery.

Cornwell's writing skills have continued to evolve since his journeyman Sharpe series, and Enemy of God combines intriguing descriptions of Druidical magic with the war-ravaged landscape of Dark Ages Britain, without holding back on the brutality of vengeance and war. The Matter of Britain always commands interest, and Cornwell invests the usual splendor and tragedy with the human squalor of the times. --Blaise Selby --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Eduardo Arechaga on Oct. 9 2000
Format: Paperback
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 By J. Creamer on Nov. 9 2000
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Kendall on Sept. 8 2000
Format: Paperback
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 By WeberSTHistStudent on July 18 2000
Format: Paperback
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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