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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fresh and Unique Novel from Jack Whyte
I am a die-hard fan of Jack Whyte, and love his books to peices. The point of views expressed in novels, the characters, the dialogue, the landscape, the history (presented in a none-too-boring way), the romance (and yes, even the very skanky sex) make his books both rewarding for the reader and inspiring. 'Uther' is startling different then his other Camulod Chronicle...
Published on Aug. 4 2001 by Amazon Customer

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, But Not Whyte's Best
In Uther, Jack Whyte attempts to tie up all the tantalizing threads that he left dangling at the end of The Eagle's Brood. He does his best to explain the enigma of Uther, solve the mystery of Deirdre's brutal murder, and clarify the vague circumstances of Arthur's parentage. He makes a valiant effort, but comes up short.
It isn't a dismal failure. Jack Whyte is,...
Published on Sept. 14 2001 by Pat Bracewell


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fresh and Unique Novel from Jack Whyte, Aug. 4 2001
By 
Amazon Customer (New England, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Uther (The Camulod Chronicles, Book 7) (Hardcover)
I am a die-hard fan of Jack Whyte, and love his books to peices. The point of views expressed in novels, the characters, the dialogue, the landscape, the history (presented in a none-too-boring way), the romance (and yes, even the very skanky sex) make his books both rewarding for the reader and inspiring. 'Uther' is startling different then his other Camulod Chronicle novels.
Readers grow almost to hate Uther in books such as 'The Eagle's Brood' and 'The Saxon Shore', due to the often mistaken and harsh judgements of his infamous cousin Merlyn, from whose eyes the books are portrayed. Upon delving into 'Uther', however, I found myself not only loving his character, but approaching the other books with a new understanding. The plot is simple, unlike the other books, and instead of focusing on future plans and dreams of its characters it seems to just naturally go with the flow, following Uther's exciting, sexy, and violent life as it unfolds. Overwhelming pity is at times the strongest emotion when reading this book, as the man Jack Whyte is portraying is misunderstood and seems slighted by destiny. In all, a fabulous read. I couldn't help but read it cover to cover in one sitting, litterally not putting it down. It's a grabber.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alternative historical fiction. . ., April 22 2001
This review is from: Uther (The Camulod Chronicles, Book 7) (Hardcover)
After finishing the first six books of the Camulod Chronicles, I was both delighted and confused to see that the publication of a seventh book was imminent. Delighted because I regard Jack Whyte's Camulod Chronicles to be one of the best retellings of the Arthurian legend, confused because the title was "Uther". By the end of book 6, "The Sorcerer: Metamorphosis", Uther is long dead and his son Arthur just installed as High King of all of Britain. I ignored the anachronism and ordered the book anyway.
My faith in Jack Whyte was rewarded as "Uther" turned out to be one of the crowning jewels (sick pun intended) of the Camulod Chronicles. In the time line, "Uther" covers the same period as book 3 of the series, "The Eagle's Brood". Where "The Eagle's Brood" was told from the point of view of Merlyn, "Uther" is told from the point of view of. . . Uther. I suppose this book can be considered an alternative historical fiction, but I won't go there. . .
This book continues in the same sweeping, luxurious style of the others in the series with the only difference being in narration. The first two books were narrated by Publius Varrus, the next four my Merlyn himself. The all-seeing, all-knowing author narrates "Uther", and I feel that this point of view offers a nice change of pace in the series and works well. Although this book covers the same time period as a previous installment, the overlap of actual events is minimal. In "The Eagle's Brood", Merlyn regards Uther as a pariah. In "Uther", we are given the balancing story in which some of the major mysteries from earlier in the Chronicles are solved.
Overall, the whole series is different from most in its handling of Uther. In the original Mallory and all of the retellings I had read up to this one, the character of Uther is not a particularly well-developed one. He appears as almost an incidental character who co-incidentally sired Arthur. If he is given any ink, as in Mary Stewart's Merlin Trilogy, it is to describe him as a brusque, brutal, and lustful creature with no redeeming qualities other than his great physical strength and prowess as a warrior. Mr. Whyte has made Uther into a man of high nobility, deserving of our respect, admiration, and sympathy. And, this is only fitting if we are to consider that his son Arthur was renown for his nobility, personal strength, and sense of justice. Although Arthur never knew Uther as an adult, we all grow up hearing that the fruit seldom falls far from the tree.
I have read dozens of retellings of the Arthurian saga, and am nowhere near having my fill. I regard the Camulod Chronicles as one of the best. I look forward to reading book 8 of the chronicles as soon as it is written.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, But Not Whyte's Best, Sept. 14 2001
By 
Pat Bracewell (Oakland, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Uther (The Camulod Chronicles, Book 7) (Hardcover)
In Uther, Jack Whyte attempts to tie up all the tantalizing threads that he left dangling at the end of The Eagle's Brood. He does his best to explain the enigma of Uther, solve the mystery of Deirdre's brutal murder, and clarify the vague circumstances of Arthur's parentage. He makes a valiant effort, but comes up short.
It isn't a dismal failure. Jack Whyte is, after all, a remarkable writer. But it's difficult to write yourself out of a corner, and he'd boxed himself in pretty tightly at the end of Eagle's Brood. What he gives us here is at least one new character, Nemo, who is almost completely unsympathetic and whose actions are utterly bizarre and incomprehensible despite Whyte's efforts to provide good motivation. As for Uther, Whyte has only limited success at demystifying his erratic personality, mostly because the author is forced to use the third person in order to tell this part of the tale. His previous books, which are first person narratives, are much more immediate and visceral.
There are other disappointments, as well. The love scenes are painful reading, but mercifully short. Whyte's battle scenes, although written with the same painstaking detail as in previous books, are difficult reading here. The outcome is a given, and the slow progress of Uther's troops is laborious and layered in dread. This is one time where I would have appreciated a little less detail.
What does the author do right? He immerses us, once again, in a world that is brutal and black and frightening and that strikes me, anyway, as utterly realistic. Against that backdrop he sets human beings who are trying to make sense of it all, trying to create a civilization out of chaos. In this book, as in all the others, he takes myth and roots it firmly in history. It's a worthy effort, just not his best.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Arthurian legend tale, March 29 2001
By 
This review is from: Uther (The Camulod Chronicles, Book 7) (Hardcover)
When his father died, Uther became King of Cambria ruling over the feral Pendragon tribes. At around the same time his cousin Caius Merlyn Britannicus becomes the monarch in Camulod.
However, Uther's life as the sovereign of Cambria is wrought with constant skirmishes with his offensive neighbor King Lot of Cornwall. Uther travels all over England on adventures that would destroy a lesser person especially his fights against the treacherous Lot. Still, Uther falls in love with his arranged bride, Ygraine of Ireland. Surprisingly, she returns his feelings even though she mistrusts males after being a victim of the bellicose Lot. Their love culminates with the birth of the future king.
UTHER: THE CAMULOD CHRONICLES is a fascinating look at the Arthurian legend by focusing on Arthur's parents mostly his sire. The plot is cleverly designed so that the story of the house of Uther fits quite comfortably within the previously established legend as scribed by Jack Whyte in his other Camulod Chronicles. This is a must read by Arthurian fans as is the previous works in this series, especially THE EAGLE'S BROOD (Merlyn's companion tale).

Harriet Klausner
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5.0 out of 5 stars What a wonderful discovery!, Oct. 30 2005
By 
LalaBee (Vancouver, BC) - See all my reviews
I bought Uther before a trip that would put me on a plane for 12 hours and I needed a good book.
I picked it up and thought "this seems very interesting" and all I can say now is WOW! Like many others I have come to find, I did not know about the "Dream of Eagles" series until getting in to Uther and telling myself "I need more!" I bought the whole series which was hard because at the time some of the books were out of print, but it has been the most thoroughly entertaining thing I have vere done, no movie or book I have read even comes close.
Just try to tell me that Jack Whyte's books aren't the gospel of Arthurian Legend, you can't. Everything else falls extremely short to my vision of the story as painted by Jack Whyte.
I truly think that if you read at all, you have to love this tale and I was so happy to see the story of Uther's life told through two different perspectives after reading the series and then re-reading Uther.
I can't speak highly enough of this story and what is has done to enrich my imagination and my life, really.
Enjoy!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not Whyte's Best, Sept. 9 2001
By 
Joel Mayer (Richardton, ND) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Uther (The Camulod Chronicles, Book 7) (Hardcover)
Jack Whyte has over the past several years written some masterpieces (I loved Eagles Brood and Sorceror) but Uther did not live up to his other works. The book didn't really give me any more insights into Uther's fascinating character. I do not really know him any better than when I read Eagles Brood. Further, Ygraine's character was shallow and undeveloped. I realize that the other books were all written first person as if we were reading their memoirs which Uther would not have the patience to write, but I wish I would have had more insight into his character. Go more into the conflict within him about his feelings of envy for Camulod, his insecurity about the fear he inspires. This book was just a series of events practically unconnected. I expected it to follow the storyline of Eagle's Brood closer as well. I would have loved to hear what Uther thought of things and tell what happened when Merlyn would show up at a hostelry and save Uther who was already embroiled in a fight. Whyte should have had the two books more dependant on one another. Just my opinion.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not Whyte's Best, Sept. 9 2001
By 
Joel Mayer (Richardton, ND) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Uther (The Camulod Chronicles, Book 7) (Hardcover)
Jack Whyte has over the past several years written some masterpieces (I loved Eagles Brood and Sorceror) but Uther did not live up to his other works. The book didn't really give me any more insights into Uther's fascinating character. I do not really know him any better than when I read Eagles Brood. Further, Ygraine's character was shallow and undeveloped. I realize that the other books were all written first person as if we were reading their memoirs which Uther would not have the patience to write, but I wish I would have had more insight into his character. Go more into the conflict within him about his feelings of envy for Camulod, his insecurity about the fear he inspires. This book was just a series of events practically unconnected. I expected it to follow the storyline of Eagle's Brood closer as well. I would have loved to hear what Uther thought of things and tell what happened when Merlyn would show up at a hostelry and save Uther who was already embroiled in a fight. Whyte should have had the two books more dependant on one another. Just my opinion.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but get on with it!, May 4 2001
By 
Matt McDougall (Austin, TX USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Uther (The Camulod Chronicles, Book 7) (Hardcover)
At seven volumes, Whyte's Camulod Chronicles are already well fleshed-out, and the young Arthur Pendragon has just become king. While I hope that we will have another seven volumes on Arthur's reign, I found myself underwhelmed by Whyte's latest offering, Uther. Uther follows the plot structure of The Eagles' Brood, though it fails to live up to the greatness that was that work for a few reasons. First, most readers know the plot already. This novel merely fills in the gaps (Deidre's fate, how Uther gets to know Ygraine, the war against Lot, and Lot's fate) that were left to speculation. Second, we are without Merlyn's wondrously analytical mind, and are forced to endure Uther's less inquisitive action-oriented thoughts, which are nowhere near as deep. Had I been able to read this novel immediately prior to Eagles' Brood, I probably would have been far more impressed, though at this point, I want to hear the continuing story of Arthur's world, not of Merlyn and Uther's, which after The Sorcerer is essentially wiped away forever.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Dashed Hopes, May 1 2001
This review is from: Uther (The Camulod Chronicles, Book 7) (Hardcover)
I've had mixed feelings about most books in this series, but found The Sorcerer to be good and so was hoping for Whyte to match that novel. However, I found this book to be the worst of the bunch, not worth finishing, in fact.
Uther is void of drama or tension. Instead, it is 600+ pages of overly explicit, meaningless detail regarding uninteresting happenings, loosely structured around a story told in previous volumes of this series. If a character shifts a stool during a meal, you read about it. You read about the exact motions a character uses to wash his groin area. But the worst is the dialogue and text describing characters' ruminations. Previous novels featured monotonous dialogues in which characters reason to each other, or thought-by-thought descriptions of how they are thinking through their problems. The trouble with Uther is that these scenes comprise the novel, to the point I put it down, which is past mid-book. This pattern is only occasionally broken by brief flurries of combat or other activities.
I think Whyte is a good writer, he can craft sentences and put them together in a meaningful and often pleasing way. However, this book is a poor example of storytelling. There's very little of a story inside the busy heads of these characters.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Strangely Enough, April 24 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Uther (The Camulod Chronicles, Book 7) (Hardcover)
I've read all the books to date, and waited long months while this one took its time to hit the shelf. I find Whyte's writing absorbing, and his depth and detail incredible. The stories, as one work, are a testament to the man's incredible imagination, and the historical backdrop is rich. Uther, long-awaited as it was, lived up to my expectations in most regards. The story of Uther is tragic, and Whyte writes excellent tragedy, a requiem for romance in every line. He fleshed out a real man from the legend, and created terrific balance with the other novels. The disappointment came in only a few places. Some of the retelling of the other stories was not accurate, for example, Uther says of Lot, "He insulted my dead mother!" when Veronica wasn't dead. There were countless places in the book that made me think the galleys weren't read, because of obvious punctuation problems and word choice errors, that were printing errors, publication problems having nothing to do with the author. The story around the death of Deirdre was satisfying, finally getting to hear and believe Uther's side of the story, made all the more tragic when we realize throughout that Uther and Merlyn never got to sort it out and regain their trust and love of each other. The warfare is, as expected, meticulous, and well drawn out through the novel, leading up to the Fall of Uther. Whyte managed to detail the events that in the third novel were only Merlyn's guesses, and the story, for us, is complete. Whyte is to be highly commended for this series, and this novel, for his attention to a larger vision of the Arthurian legend he created. He is not without fault, but in a saga seven books long, one can expect at least a few slips. The books are treasures.
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Uther (The Camulod Chronicles, Book 7)
Uther (The Camulod Chronicles, Book 7) by Jack Whyte (Hardcover - 2001)
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