Geoffrey's "The History of the Kings of Britain" is an engaging book about the King's who ruled over Britain and the great deeds they accomplished. I will concentrate particularly on the tales concerning Uther Pendragon and Arthur, since these are the characters that, in one way or another, helped form the image of Arthur we relate to in today's society.
The book is, for the most part, event driven. Geoffrey describes one battle after the next after the next. It is almost certain that he will name each and every important character just as he will explain what happens to them at one point or another. He takes great care in describing how the battles take place. You can be sure he will never miss a name. Although these and other little details about battles and events are interseting, they do not make up for the lack of insight into the characters lives, especially Arthur's.
Throughout the novel it is possible to get a feeling that Geoffrey continues to try and convince us that Arthur is the noblest and most generous of men. Arthur's actions, however, don't always seem to be so. Was his generosity true at heart, or was it a form of subtle bribery to keep his people's and allies favor? Why was Arthur so eager to enter battle, one after another, despite losing so many of his mens lives? Geoffrey does a good job of "telling" us of Arthur's greatness, but does a poor job of "showing" it.
Despite these minor flaws, The History of the Kings of Britain is, if not historically acurate, at least entertaining. The constant battles, change of events and the casual appearance of supernatural powers gives the book that old, medieval feel. As for the text, it is not difficult to understand. Some effort is required to completly comprehend the events taking place, but it's nothing too time consuming. Personally, I enjoyed the book and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading about conquest, battles and anything relating to King Arthur.