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The Saxon Shore (A Dream of Eagles, Book 4) [Mass Market Paperback]

Jack Whyte
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 29 2005 A Dream of Eagles (Book 1)

Born of the chaos of the Dark Ages, the Dream of Eagles produced a king, a country and an everlasting legend—Camelot

The orphaned baby Arthur—heir to the Colony of Camulod and born with both Roman heritage and the royal blood of the Hibernian Scots and the Celtic Welsh—has been adopted by his cousin Caius Merlyn Britannicus. Merlyn is now the sole custodian of the great dream of his ancestors: that of independent survival in Britain amid the ruins of the imperial Roman world. He is also the keeper of Excalibur, the wondrous sword crafted by his great-uncle Publius Varrus. It is up to Merlyn to teach the young Arthur all that he needs to know to unify the diverse clans of Britain under his kingship. And it is Merlyn’s laborious responsibility to see that the young Arthur survives the deadly threats to this destiny—threats that arise from the bloody Saxon shore.

Frequently Bought Together

The Saxon Shore (A Dream of Eagles, Book 4) + The Eagles' Brood (A Dream of Eagles, Book 3) + The Singing Sword (A Dream of Eagles, Book 2)
Price For All Three: CDN$ 32.46

Product Details

Product Description

From Amazon

The story of The Saxon Shore, the fourth novel in Jack Whyte's Camulod Chronicles, is largely that of Merlyn, who continues his struggle to preserve the refuge of Camulod and protect the infant king, Arthur. Merlyn, in Whyte's version, is a fascinating mix of pragmatism and naïveté, blending the observational skills of Sherlock Holmes with the oratorical gifts of Marc Antony. Because he thinks a bit more deeply than most around him, thinking things through and staying a step ahead, it's easy to see how he gains a bit of a reputation as a magician. He also has his failings, most particularly an over-confidence that leads him to believe he is just as right about matters he is ignorant of (such as leprosy) as he is about things he actually understands. It's also interesting to note that Merlyn's failings are in many ways the failings of his community. Preserving Roman ways has meant preserving Roman attitudes toward outsiders and barbarians, and on a trip to Eire and a later journey through the south of Britain, Merlyn learns just how out of touch Camulod has become with its new neighbours.

Thus the story leads us inexorably to a new generation that knows little or nothing of Roman culture. In this way, The Saxon Shore continues with the same strength as preceding volumes. Jack Whyte's most splendid achievement is the creation of an historical period so well grounded in fact that the legend becomes real and Arthur lives again. --Greg L. Johnson --This text refers to an alternate Mass Market Paperback edition.

From Publishers Weekly

The fourth book in Whyte's engrossing, highly realistic retelling of the Arthurian legend takes up where The Eagle's Brood (1997) left off. Narrated by Caius Merlyn Brittanicus from journals written at the end of the "wizard's" long life, this volume begins in an immensely exciting fashion, with Merlyn and the orphaned infant Arthur Pendragon in desperate straits, adrift on the ocean in a small galley without food or oars. They are saved by a ship commanded by Connor, son of the High King of the Scots of Eire, who takes the babe with him to Eireland until the return of Connor's brother Donuil, whom Connor believes has been taken hostage by Merlyn. The plot then settles into well-handled depictions of political intrigue, the training of cavalry with infantry and the love stories that inevitably arise, including one about Donuil and the sorcerously gifted Shelagh and another about Merlyn's half-brother, Ambrose, and the skilled surgeon Ludmilla. As Camulod prospers, Merlyn works hard at fulfilling what he considers his destinyApreparing the boy for his prophesied role as High King of all Britain. Whyte's descriptions, astonishingly vivid, of this ancient and mystical era ring true, as do his characters, who include a number of strong women. Whyte shows why Camulod was such a wonder, demonstrating time and again how persistence, knowledge and empathy can help push back the darkness of ignorance to build a shining futureAa lesson that has not lost its value for being centuries old and shrouded in the mists of myth and magic. Author tour.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is my first review on amazon but I think the effort that will go into it is only half of what it should be because the Saxon Shore was such a good book that I will be hard pressed not to find things to say about it.
The Saxon Shore is the fourth book to the Camulod serious written by Jack Whyte. They all are a fabulous blends of History and Arthurian legend. In this particular book gives a detailed account of Merlyn's life and how he became the wizard we all think of him as. It is a new look at an old legend from a point of view that should have been put to use long before Whyte came along. The change in Merlyn from man of myth and legend like other Arthurian novels to a man of arms with problems and sorrows just like anyone else places this book on a level of its own. Although it is a very long book it is worth nearly every minute. It is a fantasy book, history lesson, and a great way to spend a rainy day all put into one. If you have every fell in love with knights, chivalry, or kings this book will restore that childhood dream or if it never left keep it burning bright. I know it has done so for me. If you ever just want to get away form life and find like me that a book helps this one is great for just that purpose. It has the ability to take you out of this time and to place you thousands of years ago with the characters your reading about. It makes Arthur seem like he really existed rather then just a character for our enjoyment. I look forward to reading the rest of the serious as soon as possible.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Historical fiction on a grand scale. . . March 11 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Although this is ostensibly a review of "The Saxon Shore", it in actuality covers all four books of the series to date ("The Skystone", "The Singing Sword", "The Eagles' Brood", and "The Saxon Shore"), primarily focusing on the last two, since I've already written a review of the first two. Now, that I've totally lost you, I'll begin again. . .
This series, The Camulod Chronicles, outlines the story of King Arthur as it might have been in a historical perspective, beginning with the end of the Roman occupation of Britain. If there were such a person as Arthur, he would have lived during this time. Most likely, he was a composite character, based on some of the more influential warlords and petty kings of the day. As an aside, I am reminded of a vacation in southern England that my family took in 1995. My sons, who were 11 and 13 at the time, could not understand my excitement in viewing the ruins of Tintagel Castle in Cornwall, asking "How can this be the birthplace of someone who never was?" But, that's a different story. . .
The first two books of the series, which outlined the founding of Camulod (or Camelot) and Avalon and the forging of the sword Excalibur, were told from the viewpoint of an old Roman soldier. These last two books, which detail the birth of Arthur and his early boyhood years, are told from the viewpoint of Merlin, or, "Merlyn" in the Chronicles. As an avid reader of Arthurian legend and all its various retellings, let me tell you that the character of Merlin is probably one of the most varied of them all, probably due to the fact that he was actually a minor character in Mallory. Hence, the details are free to be filled in by the current chronicler.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I've read them all, and I love them! April 27 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I only review books that I like. It seems to me childish and petty to attack an author's work simply because you don't like it. I usually don't bother to finish books I don't like, let alone waste time reviewing them. Why would anyone continue to read a book that bores them?

I have bought and read all six of Jack Whyte's Camulod Chronicles: The Skystone; The Singing Sword; Eagle's Brood; The Saxon Shore; Fort at River's Bend and The Sorcerer. It is a great series, and I enjoyed each one of them.

It is to be expected that Whyte departs from the (rather sketchy) history Aavailable of the period, in a fiction series. And yet he has done his research, obviously, which is important to me in historical novels.

There have been several very good books written about the pre-Arthurian period in England, many of which I've read. Jack Whyte's worked ranks right at the top, with me. I am familiar with what history is available, having read much of the period, and his research effort is obvious.

He begins with a couple of Roman legionaires as his protagonists, before the Legions pulled out of England: Publius Varrus and Caius Brittanicus. The series then follows their lives and their family's lives through a series of gripping adventures, as they strive to maintain order and peace on the colony they have created in the South of England.

Publius Varrus, a blacksmith, creates a great and beautiful sword from a meteorite before he dies, which he names Excalibur, King Arthur's famous blade. Of course, eventually the series chronicles the lives of Merlyn (Merlin) and Arthur.

I was caught up in the story, and I strongly recommend it. It is entertaining and a delightful way to learn a bit of history. Buy them, you won't be sorry.

Joseph Pierre,
author of THE ROAD TO DAMASCUS: Our Journey Through Eternity
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Fine series for youth and adult.
Fast delivery, excellent condition. This is the fourth in a series started with The Skystone, a new and interesting look at the survival of civilized life after the Roman... Read more
Published 28 days ago by Sara Emond
2.0 out of 5 stars Dream of Eagles series (Saxon Shore)
I am someone very interested in the setting of these books. I'm interested in the roman empire, and it's fall. I'm interested in the dark ages. Read more
Published on Jan. 2 2012 by Peter
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but padded
While I enjoyed book 4 in this series,I can't help but feel that this is just a bridge between the days of the colony and what is obviously about to follow in book 5. Read more
Published on May 17 2001 by Beverley Strong
3.0 out of 5 stars Critical Review
This book is fun like the others but can get darned ridiculous at times (like the others), so my recommendation is read them if you want a decent yarn and can't resist Arthurian... Read more
Published on May 3 2000
3.0 out of 5 stars Arthurian Junkies
I have enjoyed these books although they have a recipe that is a little heavy. Anyone who is addicted to the Arthur / Merlin stories might enjoy these as well. Read more
Published on Feb. 22 2000
2.0 out of 5 stars Even hedonistically it's not very good
This book isn't that bad, but it certainly isn't that great, either. Overall unremarkable next to so many other excellent historical fiction novels or just plain adventurous... Read more
Published on Jan. 12 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars The Once and Future King Lives Again
Jack Whyte's chronicles get better as they continue. The Roman history is a fascinating read and is easy to follow for anyone not familiar with the Roman conquests and traditions. Read more
Published on Nov. 25 1999 by michaeljcallahan
5.0 out of 5 stars For All the Fans Who Love the Legend of King Arthur
Amazing. I am not done with the book yet (I got a few 300 pages to go) But I recommend to anyone who loves the legend of King Arthur. It's long but worth reading. Read more
Published on Sept. 29 1999
4.0 out of 5 stars Whyte light shines through holes in old story.
If you're looking for a history lesson, you shouldn't be reading Aurtharian tales in the first place. Read more
Published on Dec 19 1998 by L. Cyphert
1.0 out of 5 stars The Great Train Wreck continues...
I have to wonder to myself why I even bother to continue reading this man's work (see my previous reviews of the earlier volumes). Read more
Published on Nov. 29 1998 by J. Angus Macdonald
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