HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Shadow of the King by Helen Hollick
Loading...

Shadow of the King

by Helen Hollick

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations
104None115,531 (4.18)None
None

None.

Loading...

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

No current Talk conversations about this book.

Showing 4 of 4
Finally finished the trilogy. I'm actually kinda sad. Not only has the trilogy finished, but Arthur the scummy, manwhoring, cruel, bullying immoral bastard also died. It's wrong that it makes me sad, but I couldn't help but be somewhat attached to him, faults and all. It helped that he was mostly faithful in this book - I say mostly, there was the one exception but apart from that he wasn't as repellent as normal. The book starts with him taking a foolhardy mission to Gaul and getting stuck there for a year while Gwenhwyfar and their daughter Archefeld are back at home. The war wages and Arthur gets word about Gwen being sick and not expecting to live and he's wrecked and heads off to the battle (not before sleeping with his taken whore again right enough - gotta love Arthur) where he is badly injured and his men, believing that he is dead leave him behind as they go home. Morgaine who followed Arthur is the one who convinces the men to leave him with her, but then taking advantage of his weakened state and mental frailty since the defeat she conspires to make him stay.

In England Gwen is distraught and with the death of their sons in the last book she finds Arthur's uncle trying to exert his influence on the country and one of his tasks is to try and force her into marriage to try and curb her potential influence over the country. She tries to resist, until finally settling on marrying Arthur's cousin, Bedwyr but even with the knowledge that she cares for him, she can't fully commit to marriage and chooses to join a Holy house instead until word reaches her that Arthur may indeed be alive. She goes to try and reclaim him but Arthur's changed and at first resists until he realises that he's been drugged by Morgaine. Finally breaking free of her influence he takes Mordreud and rejoins his wife where they fight to reclaim the country back.

I really loved this book - it spans around thirty years and we get to see the true bond between Arthur and Gwenhwyfar as she coaxes him back to greatness and fights alongside him, shoulder to shoulder and as his equal in every other battle. The fights are brutal and the description of what happened to poor Ider (Gwenhwyfar's most loyal guard) and Archefeld's husband and child are truly horrific. Even Winfred's end at the hand of her own son was brutal (although it was hard to be overly sympathetic) but it didn't feel gratuitous. It was horrific and difficult to read, but it fit in the context of the times.

I loved that like so much in this story that it harped back to earlier legends although without Merdraud being the villain, just a foolish boy who was ultimately looking for his place and never being able to find it. (Although, ngl - I was almost hoping for the Mordred pulling Guinevere off her throne and beating her scene from some legends just because I wanted to see this Arthur's reaction - although I can imagine. When Mordraud kidnapped Gwen, Arthur nearly killed him so there was little chance he would have let anything else pass.) He didn't bring about Arthur's end, but he did die beside him and I was pleased for him. Ultimately after his mistakes he found his peace at long last. I think the fact that Cedric (Arthur's son to Winifred) won in the end makes it hard to forget. Ultimately any story on Arthurian legend is going to end tragically but the fact that it ended with them defeated like that and Cedric taking over the throne was hard to read. At least Arthur lived to an old age, and he died in Gwenhwyfar's arms which seemed fitting, because it was always about them. Everything, everyone else came and went but in the end it was always about them.

*sigh* I'm going to miss this series and I'm looking forward to being able to read it again in the future. I imagine it will get many re-readings in time. ( )
  sunnycouger | Sep 20, 2013 |
3.5 stars

Arthur is planning to go fighting to Gaul for Rome yet all isn’t well in his kingdom. His uncle Aurelianus Ambrosius wishes to bring back old Roman ways and his son Cedric is starting to become a real problem.
Discovering treachery in Gaul, Arthur comes to realize he’s very close to defeat for the very first time on his career.

This is the final book of the trilogy and I’ve loved watching Arthur’s and Gwenhwyfar’s relationship through. It wasn’t easy marriage but I loved seeing how they managed to make it work despite everything.
Arthur is still a bastard at times but we see more humane and emotional side of him in this book. And I noticed there was no mentions of his women towards the end. I’d like to think he spent less time womanizing but I’m most likely just dreaming. He might be asshole most of the time but I still liked this realistic version of him.

It was great seeing Bedwyr and Ider again. Poor Bedwyr nearly got what he wanted…

The book started little slow and the parts during Arthur staying away from Britain dragged little bit but when he returned the book got lot better. Surprisingly I think the middle book was the best and for me didn’t have any dragging parts. ( )
  Elysianfield | Mar 31, 2013 |
Veni, vidi, vici. I came, I saw, I conquered. Helen Hollick's Pendragon's Banner series is one of, if not the best, Arthurian re-tellings that I have read so far. She takes a well-known story and makes it fresh and exciting.

Shadow of the King is the third book in the Pendragon's Banner series following The Kingmaking and Pendragon's Banner.

Picking up where Pendragon's Banner left off, Arthur has brought peace to Britain but has been talked into going to Gaul to protect interests that are not his own. While there, word reaches him that Gwenhwyfar has become sick and he believes her to be dead. He falls into a deep depression and wonders why he ever let himself be talked into leaving his home. He throws himself into the battle wishing to die and all but succeeds. Morgaine, a healer once known as the Lady of the Lake and, unbeknownst to Arthur, the mother of one of his sons, offers to stay behind and bury him while the others try to outrun the approaching enemy. What Morgaine knows that the others don't is that Arthur is still alive. She nurses him back to health and, knowing he has nothing left to return to, he stays in Gaul living unhappily without his wife or kingdom.

Gwenhwyfar, who survived her illness, now lives a life almost a mirror image to Arthur's sad existence. When others convince her that she must re-marry to protect what is left of Arthur's kingdom and herself, she stalls and has trouble getting over the feeling that Arthur isn't dead. When a man tracks her down to tell her that Arthur lives, she leaves everything to find him. Unfortunately, when Gwenhwyfar finds him, he's not the Arthur she knew and he tells her that he won't be returning. Heartbroken, she decides she needs to live even if he will not and leaves. When circumstances convince Arthur he needs his life back, he finds Gwenhwyfar and they both begin to recover from the emotional wounds of their separation. They return home to find one more fight that needs to be fought. When his son by his ex-wife Winifred makes a move to take over his kingdom, Arthur overcomes his fear and leads his men to defeat, but not destroy, his son leaving the door open for a final battle that everyone knows will bring about an end to a world they all know.

I was truly sad to see this series end. While Arthur is tempered in book three, he's still that brooding man I fell for in the previous two books. Gwenhwyfar becomes the strong one and a great ruler in her own right. Hollick takes the tale of Arthur and moves it to epic proportions of a different nature. Yes, some of the same faces appear in this story as in others but it has a new feel to it and one I couldn't get enough of.

If you like historical fiction and especially Arthurian legend, Hollick's trilogy is not to be missed. ( )
  justabookreader | May 19, 2010 |
From My Blog...

Shadow of the King is the third book in Helen Hollick's Pendragon Series, which opens with King Arthur, his wife Gwenhwyfar and their daughter Archfedd living at Caer Caden. Arthur is now 33 and has been King of Greater and Lesser Britain for 11 years and while Winifred's second husband, Leofric, has passed away, she continues to remain a threat to Arthur even though they have been legally divorced for 13 years. Their son Cerdic has run off to his step-father's lands hoping to one day claim his rightful lands held by Arthur but Cerdic is not alone when it comes to plotting and scheming for the throne and the lands owned by King Arthur. Helen Hollick does a superb job in this third novel, picking off where her second in the trilogy, Pendragon, left off. Political battles replace the more physical battles of her previous novels. King Arthur is summoned to help the Romans and what he believes will be a swift trip for him and his Artoriani turns out to be not at all what it first appeared. To say much more would give away the surprises that lie in store for Arthur, Caer Caden, as well as the reader. Suffice it to say, Hollick once again has written a novel that not only engages the reader, but keep the reader busy thinking with all of the politics, scheming, and plot twists. Shadow of the King is an excellent book in its own right and a brilliant finish for the trilogy. The Shadow of the King is a wonderful rendition of Hollick's view of the final battle for Camelot. ( )
  knittingmomof3 | Mar 3, 2010 |
Showing 4 of 4
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
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
Britain is at peace but Arthur, the Pendragon, is missing the clash of swords and the battlefield.

Sidonius lures the Pendragon to Brittany on a fool's errand, leaving his country in the inept hands of – Ambrosius.

Ambrosius craves the old, disciplined and organised ways of Rome. He cannot accept the new, young kingdom or the physical disability of his son – Cadwy.

Cadwy, desperate to find love and pride from his father, seeks solace with the Queen, Gwenhwyfar, but is to meet his death from – Cerdic.

Cerdic, the son of Winfred and Arthur, brought up to be vindictive and cruel, will stop at nothing to get the kingdom he believes is his; but there is another son – Medraut.

Medraut, born of the Pendragon's mistress, must choose which path of fate to follow. His mother's, his own, or the Pendragon's?

When Arthur is presumed dead the vultures descend, vying for the throne and he power it represents. But Gwenhwyfar refuses to accept he has gone. Her heart, her very soul, belongs to Arthur – the Pendragon, the King.
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

At long last, the peace King Arthur was born to usher in has settled over the realm. But Arthur was also born to be a warrior, and all true warriors are restless without a fight. Yearning for battle and ever-loyal, Arthur is easily deceived into setting sail for Gaul to defend its territories--leaving his country vulnerable and leaderless. A beacon of hope in a land of desolation, he was to be the Lord of the Summer Land for now and forever. But first, the Pendragon must face the ultimate test, one that will take all his courage, strength of will, and honor to survive.… (more)

LibraryThing Author

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

profile page | author page

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
1 avail.
64 wanted
2 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4.18)
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3 2
3.5
4 5
4.5
5 4

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 89,430,085 books! | Top bar: Always visible