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!
The Winter King is a realistic portrayal of the Arthurian tales that is executed in a perfect manner, being both brilliant and immersive. One of my favourite books of all time!
"The bards sing of love, they celebrate slaughter, they extol kings and flatter queens, but were I a poet I would write in praise of friendship."
If you love stories consisting of memorable characters you love and despise, fantastic storytelling, stunning action sequences and moral lessons, then you will adore this historical retelling of the chronicles of Arthur.
The Winter King is the first book in The Warlord Chronicles that is a unique take on the story of Arthur set during the dark ages. I have always loved tales of this variety, with Arthur and the round table, and this is no exception. It is the best book I have read that incorporates this as the main concept, because of a fantastic balance of character development, plot and action.
"Fate is inexorable."
Cornwell chooses certain aspects from the tales and adapts them to create a plot that cannot be predetermined by the reader, so the story is told is a new, unique, immersive journey. He produces this book in a masterful style overflowing with intriguing plots and fantastic characters.
The sole point of view is Derfel, who was born a Saxon, but raised a Briton in the Kingdom of Dumnonia. He features as the main character and recounts the past in the style of an omniscient narrator, as he records his experience both prior to Arthur and with Arthur. He is a man who values loyalty and kindness, and proves it many times. It is hard not to fall in love with him as the story progress and you discover his faults and virtues, and how he treats all around him.
“How much of our earth has been wet by blood because of jealousy! And at the end of life, what does it all matter? We grow old and the young look at us and can never see that once we made a kingdom ring for love.”
The prose of Bernard Cornwell is superb and flows brilliantly, with a perfect amount of description and action. It is fluid and smooth, making it an easy job to consume quickly as the plot constantly develops in a manner that disallowed any boredom.
The setting is in the south-west of Britain in the Kingdom of Dumnonia during the Dark Ages. It is a gritty place presented realistically and vividly, with a mixture of strongholds both large and small, along with outlying villages that are poorly prepared for imminent attacks.
The Winter King is a definite five star review in my opinion due to it being written in one of my favourite writing styles I have encountered, and the incorporation of some subjects I am most interested in.
When it comes to reading and reviewing, I’m gratified to say that this is the best year of reading I’ve had in my entire life. Getting to know some authors—some even gave me dedicated signed books as thanks for my review!—and bloggers, getting to experience all these creations birthed from different individuals, but most of all, forming friendships with people all around the world who love books as much as I do, have all been amazing bonuses that have further improved my reading experiences. It’s finally the end of the year and it’s only fair for me to close it with some of the best books I’ve read this year.
I need to say a few things first regarding this list. This is my first full year of reading and reviewing novels. This year alone I've read and reviewed 122 books. To me, this is not a small amount. I’ve sacrificed a lot of socializing time in order to achieve this quantity, not to mention that almost all my reviews comprised of 1000-2000 words which required at least one or two hours to write. Suffice to say I don't think I can achieve this amount of reading in a single year again as my life will only get busier with the passage of time. Considering the number of books I've read and reviewed this year, there will be three rules I set in this list in order for me to give appreciation to more authors rather than having only a few authors hoarding this list. The rules are:
- Rereads don’t count
- One book per author
- The book listed here are not exclusively published this year.
All the books listed received a rating of 4.5 or 5 out of 5 stars from me. Without further ado, here we go! (All full reviews of these books can be found on Booknest or on my Goodreads page.)
20. Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft
19. The Providence of Fire by Brian Staveley
18. The Crimson Campaign by Brian McClellan
17. The Core by Peter V. Brett
16. The Guns of Empire by Django Wexler
15. The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie
14. Saint's Blood by Sebastien de Castell
13. The Armored Saint by Myke Cole
12. Excalibur by Bernard Cornwell
11. Heir of Novron by Michael J Sullivan
10. The Mirror's Truth by Michael R. Fletcher
9. The Stone Sky by N.K Jemisin
8. The Dark Forest by Cixin Liu
7. Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames
6. Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
5. Golden Son by Pierce Brown
4. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
3. Blood Song by Anthony Ryan
2. Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson
1. Wrath by John Gwynne
I wish I could include more books because there are still plenty more great books I’ve read this year. But it was extremely hard for me to narrow down 122 books to 20 books already. Once again, thank you, everyone, for the experience. I look forward to reading and reviewing more books next year! :)