William
William

William

William is from Sussex, UK.

He has a passion for literature and enjoys reading all sorts of books. His hobbies are numerous and consist of medieval/viking reenactment, writing, karate and of course reading.

Excalibur (The Warlord Chronicles #3) by Bernard Cornwell - Book Review 04, Aug

Excalibur is a magical finale to this Arthurian tale, infused with heroism and tragedy. It swept me from one emotion to the next.

"Tell your father" I said, "That I loved him to the end."

Excalibur is the third and final book in The Warlord Chronicles by Bernard Cornwell. It brings about the conclusion of the best Arthurian novels I have ever had the privilege to read.

"This tale of Arthur, my Lord, my friend and the deliverer of Britain."

Excalibur was utterly brilliant, just like its predecessors. It is the finale of a story that has immersed me into the lives of the characters and sent me on an emotional rollercoaster, from euphoria to misery.

This book contained the largest scale conflicts of the trilogy, with numerous wars taking place and great battles deciding the fate of the country. One of the best duels I have had the pleasure to read was in this, as I am sure any previous reader will remember! It was mesmerising, the tension and description moulding together to make the scene truly incredible. I will remember this duel for many years to come.

Cornwell's prose, as expected, was as marvellous in this instalment. It just glides perfectly from one scene to the next, painting a vivid representation in his flawless manner. His humour is witty and perfectly used with Merlin, who makes dry and sharp comments that made me laugh out loud.

"Only a fool wants war, but once a war starts then it cannot be fought half-heartedly. It cannot even be fought with regret, but must be waged with a savage joy in defeating the enemy, and it is that savage joy that inspires our bards to write their greatest songs about love and war."

So many acts of heroism were performed that had me physically grinning. And then there were the despicable actions that had me weeping as characters I have grown to love were mistreated by those whose ambitions were insatiable. Some of my most loved and hated characters in fiction are in this book! I will genuinely miss Derfel and Arthur.

While Excalibur had its fair share of tragedy to say the least, it was also made complete with moments of bitter satisfaction and heroic deeds that softened the blow, but not enough to stem the tears and state of mourning that ensued. This antithesis of emotions formed a truly unique reading journey that has placed Excalibur as one of my top ten books of all time.

"So, in the morning light, where they flapped in the drying wind, the bear and the star defied the Saxons."

Excalibur and the series on the whole was a wonderful, brutal, heart-wrecnhing, beautiful story about friendship and loyalty. I wept at multiple points and was left in shock at how much my emotions were manipulated during this read.

But now I must say farewell to this novel and all its contents. So goodbye to Derfel and his inspiring loyalty, Merlin and his wisdom, Galahad and his kindness, and of course, Arthur, the Lord and saviour of Britain.

5/5 STARS

The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle #1) by Patrick Rothfuss - Book Review 30, Jul

The Name of the Wind was a mesmerising journey that was utterly enjoyable!

 

"When we are children we seldom think of the future. This innocence leaves us free to enjoy ourselves as few adults can. The day we fret about the future is the day we leave our childhood behind."

 

This was my first time reading The Name of the Wind, and I had high expectations when I started. Wow, were those hopes reached and surpassed!

The impressive aspects of this book are countless. From unique characters, to interesting plot and fantastic world building. There was no weakness or piece that was lacking. This was a masterpiece!

 

The Name of the Wind is a large novel that numbered over 700 pages in the edition I read. But despite its size, there was no dull moment for me. There was constantly something happening. Be it character development, or a plot twist, or historical content. I was left wishing the book was even longer, so do not let the size phase you!

 

"Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts."

 

When I started reading this book, I was instantly struck by the incredible prose of Rothfuss. His style of writing is so smooth, and fluid, and poetic. It was wonderful to read and glide from page to page with the constant enjoyment I received from his writing.

 

One of the strongest aspects of the book was the characters. It follows the story of one character who is reminiscing about his past, Kvothe. So there is a lot of time and development dedicated to him, which quickly established him as one of my favourite characters of the fantasy genre. The rest of the cast was also great with a wide range of personalities, from the crazy but hilarious Master Elodin, to Simmon, one of Kvothe's friends.

 

It's like everyone tells a story about themselves in their own head. Always. All the time. That story makes you what you are. We build ourselves out of that story."

 

The plot was interlined with major and minor events that created a great balance, allowing the tension to build as character development took place and I became more and more intrigued. This was another marvellous part of the story that was never weak and was always leading onto something better.

The Name of the Wind is one of my favourite books of all time. It has one of the best writing styles I have encountered. Had excellent characters throughout. An immersive plot. What more could you ask for? I would change nothing in this book!

 

5/5 STARS

 

Enemy of God (The Warlord Chronicles #2) by Bernard Cornwell 24, Jul

Enemy of God was an immersive journey that transported me into the Dark Ages to experience this incredible Arthurian tale.

"So many dead. Their footsteps will not stir a rush on the floor nor frighten the mice that live in the monastery's thatched roof."

Enemy of God is the second book of The Warlord Chronicles by Bernard Cornwell. It continues the unique historical perspective about the origins of Arthur and his band of loyal warriors.

Enemy of God reached the lofty heights of its predecessor and continued to grow past it. This wonderful, thrilling, heart-wrenching, tense novel contains all of the brilliant aspects of the first in the series. It continued to captivate me with the brilliant characters and plot and action and unique take on the Arthurian tales.

"For this is his tale, the tale of our dear warlord, our law-giver, our Arthur."

Enemy of God is from the perspective of Derfel Cadarn, as was The Winter King. He reminisces on his experiences of Arthur, whom he accompanied through his struggles and shared the failures and successes of. Derfel has cemented his position as one of my favourite characters of all time with his loyalty, daring, determination and kindness.

Cornwell continues to write with that magical prose of his that guides my eyes from page to page as I accompany the characters the characters through their adventures. Each scene is so vivid and fluid, and there was not one dull moment. Rather, each page was consumed with an interesting event, description or character.

"Fate is inexorable."

The plot continues to develop brilliantly and had me laughing out loud once again. I deeply despise certain characters and cherish others, just what I want from any book that I read. This novel was filled with unexpected twists, extremely satisfying moments and times of despair. I was weeping at one point of the book, I am sure any former reader of the series will remember what scene I am referring to, and think of it with sorrow.

The gritty realistic world is developed as before, with Cornwell's historical knowledge leaking into every page with intricate details that add a much sought after depth, and create a vivid experiance.

"It's only when you're lost and frightened and in the dark that you call on the Gods, and they like us to call on them. It makes them feel powerful, and that's why they like us to live in chaos."

I strongly advise any lovers of historical fiction, or the stories of Arthur to read this. You will not be disappointed!

5/5 stars