This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Pendragon's Banner: Book Two of the…

Pendragon's Banner: Book Two of the Pendragon's Banner Trilogy

by Helen Hollick

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1497119,175 (3.78)3



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 3 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Four stars. ( )
  Andrew-theQM | Jun 20, 2016 |
This book deals with Arthur trying to build his kingdom as he and Gwen raise their family with the constant threat of enemies and the lingering shadow of Morgause and Winifried. Their relationship is strained with the death of their children and the constant military campaigns that are waged yet somehow they always find their way back to each other.

As stated before, one of the things I love about this book is that it stays away from the bastardisation of the legends that the French did to it in the middle-ages and keeps it very much a Dark Ages book, set in the Dark Ages but even with that, I do sometimes feel that it would have benefited from staying even closer to the original legends. In the original fables the significance of Gwenhywfar was that she was almost considered the goddess of Britain and she would choose who would become king - this was why men competed for her, and why her marriage to Arthur was so significant - their love was symbolic. This Arthur put his kingship above Gwenhwyfar and although he loves her, he refuses to stay loyal to her. Perhaps it's maybe modern ideals influencing this but I find it hard to reconcile that a man would whore about the way this Arthur does if he loves his wife the way that he says he does. In one scene in this book we have him sleeping with his wife, waiting until she's asleep and then leaving to go and meet a whore. Admittedly he is going for information, but he still sleeps with her. In the morning when Gwenhywfar confronts him, he proudly admits that not only did he sleep with her, but that he also enjoyed it.

I just have a love/hate relationship with this Arthur. He is a cruel, vicious, manipulative, lying, manwhore who on every level should be abhorrent, yet for whatever reason, I still like him and it frustrates me that I do. I have no interest in reading about him whoring around and trying to justify it while hearing him tell Gwen that if she ever cheats on him that he'll kill her on the spot, yet that's what we get and although it makes me want to scream, I have no idea why I still can't hate him. It's one of these weird mysteries, and I give credit to Hollick for it.

Watching them lose five children is hard and after the initial deep heartbreak it's actually hard to see how they begin to just accept it happen. Gwen's words at the end about how she's almost happy, because no she doesn't have to worry about anything happening to them now is sad, but true as Arthur's son Cerdic is lurking along with a new son he bore with Morgaine, his half sister (although in fairness to his manwhoring ways he didn't know she was his sister at the time thankfully! Although if he sleeps with her in the next book...*shudder*) who Gwenhwyfar knows nothing of. The book left with their eldest son murdered, Gwen having killed Morgause and the country at peace but as the next book deals with the resolution of the legend I can kinda guess how it all goes down.

Now excuse me, I have to go and see if setting the over/under at 6 about the number of times King Arthur cheats on Gwenhywfar in the next Pendragon book was optimistic or not. ;)

I wrote that before I started reading it and I gotta say, I was closer than I hoped I'd be. I counted 3 that we knew of with the insinuation about more. ;) ( )
  sunnycouger | Sep 20, 2013 |
Arthur is now king of Britain but discovers it’s far from secure. Now he has to find the way to keep it and to get the loyalty of his people. Arthur tries seek peace and tries to make offers on agreeable terms, but his men and his wife doesn’t always understand his reasons and this causes fractions on his marriage on the way.

It’s been too long since I read the first book and I had no idea how the last book ended. But I do remember thinking the first half of the book was ok but really liked the second half. I think this one was better and it was gripping from the start.

I haven’t read much about Arthur but I like how the people are described here. There’s no magic or fantasy elements and it feels real. I love the relationship between Arthur and Gwenhwyfar; it wasn’t an easy marriage and it sure had its rocky patches but I love it’s not all happily ever after – stuff. Arthur can be an asshole, numerous times, and he sure loves women but it sounds more realistic than that they both were faithful. Doesn’t stop me wanting to smack him so many times but believable.

I really enjoyed this and I’m looking forward reading the last book of the trilogy. ( )
  Elysianfield | Mar 30, 2013 |
Pendragon's Banner is the second book in the Pendragon's Banner series following The Kingmaking.

Arthur, Arthur how I do adore thee. Yes, you're an arrogant, self-centered, whoring barbarian at times but somehow none of that matters. I've come to expect you to be this way.

In book two of this series, Arthur has taken up the mantel of King, Gwenhwyfar has given him sons to carry on the Pendragon title, but he still refuses to settle down preferring to fight knowing the minute he stops it might be the end of him and his reign. When the tragic death of their youngest son pushes Arthur and Gwenhwyfar apart, he finally comes to the realization that being Supreme King may not mean anything without his wife and family. Tragedy and heartache follow both Arthur and Gwenhwyfar, political problems arise and fester, and Arthur is constantly watching his back afraid one his own may try to take his kingdom from him. Even after settling down in the beloved Summer Land, Arthur still fights --- with his wife, for his kingdom, and his own worries and fears about what he is doing to lead his people.

While the relationship between Arthur and Gwenhwyfar is tempestuous, I like it. She's a match for him in strength, anger, love, and stubbornness. While there is much to love about Gwenhywfar, there is much to hate in two other women Arthur can't seem to extricate himself from --- his ex-wife Winifred who still calls herself the Pendragon's wife, and Morgause, his father's ex-lover and his aunt. Both women cause so much pain and destruction wherever they go. They are so annoying yet so riveting.

I liked the liberties Hollick took with this story, and while it's more realistic, I also enjoyed the small throw backs to some of the original more fantasy oriented tales. For instance, at one meeting of the Council, Arthur mentally notes how he dislikes the Roman bleacher type seating arrangement for the meeting and makes an internal comment about building a round table so he doesn't have to turn around to see who is speaking. His sword, while not named Excalibur, has a long Saxon name and a lovely legend to go with it as well.

As I said, Arthur can be a dolt of a man, especially with his own wife. He can't ever seem to find the words I love you or I'm sorry. He'd rather show anger than fear and while I don't like admitting it, I couldn't get enough is his debauched ways. He's not overly kind or gentle but after meeting this Arthur, I don't know if I want the old version back.

This series is fast becoming my favorite Arthurian re-telling. ( )
  justabookreader | May 17, 2010 |
Though it got off to a rocky start, the second book in the Pendragon Trilogy did not disappoint! I was extremely impressed to discover that The Kingmaking was Helen Hollick's first novel. The writing, storyline and characters were superb. I loved it. So when this one started off a little awkwardly, I was upset. The narrative was clunky, the dialogue a little stilted - it just seemed to be missing that magic that captivated me in the first book. Fortunately, that feeling only lasted about thirty pages and then the author hit her stride and the book took off from there.

Arthur and Gwenhwyfar, who overcame so much to be together, are having a difficult time of it. They've spent three years leading his army all over the country, squashing small rebellions, forging alliances and reminding the people of Britain that Arthur is their supreme king. But Gwen longs for a home of her own, a safe haven in which to raise her family, and a husband who is as devoted to them as he is to ruling the country. Gwen's unhappiness and Arthur's unwillingness to compromise cause a rift to grow between them and a terrible tragedy ultimately separates them.

Both of these characters undergo growth and transformation, but particularly Arthur, and I came to care about him so much more through the course of this book. Arthur is a man who can put his emotions aside when it comes to making ruthless decisions about war and leading a kingdom, but at his heart he is very much still like that lost little boy he was when we first met him. That theme comes to the forefront of this story as he is forced to face Morgause, his father's mistress who abused Arthur as a boy, and who, in her new position of power, is determined to make him suffer as a man. And Arthur still has his evil ex-wife, Winifred to deal with as well, along with several plotting warlords who refuse to accept him as their rightful king. Now more than ever, he needs the one person he has always loved and trusted. But can they overcome their differences, the hurt they've caused each other, the fears and misgivings, to love again and unite in the face of their enemies?

This book zips along at a breakneck pace; there are some gripping battle scenes, tender love scenes, death, sadness, tears and laughter all culminating in a very satisfying ending that had me turning the last page and sighing, "Wow! What a book!" ( )
  jdquinlan | Feb 15, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
With an exhausted grunt of effort Arthur, the Pendragon, raised his sword and with a deep intake of breath, brought it down through the full force of weight and momentum into the skull of an Anglian thegn.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
The Pendragon is King, but the battles are not over.

Winifred, jealous, resentful and vindictive, wants to be re-instated as wife to the King – Arthur.

Arthur wants peace for his kingdom and an end to the misunderstandings that arise between him and his wife – Gwenhwyfar.

Gwenhwyfar, frightened for the safety of her three sons, faces grief and turmoil and plots an end to the woman who may cause them harm – Morgause.

Morgause, bitter and determined to achieve power, manipulates those who fall under her spell, except for – Bedwyr.

Bedwyr loves both Gwenhwyfar and his cousin, Arthur Pendragon.

But passion, love and hatred runs side by side and becomes so entangled that even King Arthur finds it hard to unravel the knots from the woven threads.
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

At age twenty-four, King Arthur has the kingdom he fought for - and a new young family. But keeping the throne of Britain - and keeping his wife and two sons safe - proves far from easy. There are two enemies who threaten everything that is dear to him: Winifred, Arthur's vindictive first wife, who is determined to use the fledgling Christian church to ensure succession for her own son; and Morgause, priestess of the Mother and malevolent Queen of the North.… (more)

» see all 3 descriptions

LibraryThing Author

Helen Hollick is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

profile page | author page

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (3.78)
2 4
2.5 1
3 3
4 10
5 7


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 134,078,681 books! | Top bar: Always visible