In The Singing Sword
, the second book in the Camulod Chronicles, Jack Whyte's multivolume rendition of the history and prehistory of Arthurian England, the Roman Empire is nearing its end in Britain and a community of Roman colonists is attempting to create a society to outlast the difficult times they see ahead. As in its predecessor, The Skystone
, the main character in The Singing Sword
is Gaius Publius Varrus, one of the founders of the community. Old feuds (a vengeful senator) and new dangers (raiding Franks) make up most of the action, but much as Publius's life has moved far beyond that of a soldier's, so The Singing Sword
is much more than an action-adventure novel. A sword fight is as likely to be followed by a discussion of the theology of Saint Augustine as by a consideration of the novel use of cavalry in warfare. The characters are as concerned with the philosophical basis of their society as they are with fighting for it, and the end result will be a community still legendary in our time.
The Singing Sword is an intriguing historical novel with a touch of legend, featuring characters who have a convincing knowledge of and some influence over events at the last stages of the Roman Empire. And those looking for the arrival of King Arthur will note the birth of two grandchildren with famous names and the forging of a sword that sings. --Greg L. Johnson
From Publishers Weekly
A sequel to The Skystone, this rousing tale continues Whyte's nuts-and-bolts, nitty gritty, dirt-beneath-the-nails version of the rise of Arthurian "Camulod" and the beginning of Britain as a distinct entity. In this second installment of the Camulod Chronicles, Whyte focuses even more strongly on a sense of place, carefully setting his characters into their historical landscape, making this series more realistic and believable than nearly any other Arthurian epic. As the novel progresses, and the Roman Empire continues to decay, the colony of Camulod flourishes. But the lives of the colony's main characters, Gaius Publius Varrus?ironsmith, innovator and soldier?and his brother-in-law, former Roman Senator Caius Britannicus, are not trouble-free, especially when their most bitter enemy, Claudius Seneca, reappears. Through these men's journals, the novel focuses on Camulod's pains and joys, including the moral and ethical dilemmas the community faces, the joining together of the Celtic and Briton bloodlines and the births of Uther Pendragon and Caius Merlyn Britannicus. Whyte provides rich detail about the forging of superior weaponry, the breeding of horses, the training of cavalrymen, the growth of a lawmaking body within the community and the origins of the Round Table. It all adds up to a top-notch Arthurian tale forged to a sharp edge in the fires of historical realism.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.