Enemy Of God: A Novel Of Arthur Mass Market Paperback – Nov 27 2007
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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!
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!
Most recent customer reviews
Great read - well-written gripping story of the rise of King Arthur and the harsh life in fifth century England. Read morePublished 4 days ago by guineafowlSA
Part two of the trilogy set in the early dark ages. The book is a war book that gets strength from the setting. Read morePublished 18 months ago by MS
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 18 months ago by Trenton Farewell
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 morePublished on Sept. 4 2011 by Matt Sanderson
As an English teacher, I am always on the hunt for novels that will interest the young men in my classes. Read morePublished on May 21 2009 by Lesley A. Bird
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 morePublished on Feb. 11 2009 by Reads bookman
This book is Cornwell at the top of his form and that should be enough for anyone to rush to buy it. Read morePublished on July 28 2001 by Tim Huffman
This is a well-written political thriller set in fourth-century Britain, not the Arthurian legend that everyone's familiar with. Read morePublished on Feb. 7 2001
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 morePublished on Sept. 14 2000 by AntiochAndy