The Saxon Shore

Jack Whyte, Author Forge $26.95 (496p) ISBN 978-0-312-86596-2
The fourth book in Whyte's engrossing, highly realistic retelling of the Arthurian legend takes up where The Eagle's Brood (1997) left off. Narrated by Caius Merlyn Brittanicus from journals written at the end of the ""wizard's"" long life, this volume begins in an immensely exciting fashion, with Merlyn and the orphaned infant Arthur Pendragon in desperate straits, adrift on the ocean in a small galley without food or oars. They are saved by a ship commanded by Connor, son of the High King of the Scots of Eire, who takes the babe with him to Eireland until the return of Connor's brother Donuil, whom Connor believes has been taken hostage by Merlyn. The plot then settles into well-handled depictions of political intrigue, the training of cavalry with infantry and the love stories that inevitably arise, including one about Donuil and the sorcerously gifted Shelagh and another about Merlyn's half-brother, Ambrose, and the skilled surgeon Ludmilla. As Camulod prospers, Merlyn works hard at fulfilling what he considers his destiny--preparing the boy for his prophesied role as High King of all Britain. Whyte's descriptions, astonishingly vivid, of this ancient and mystical era ring true, as do his characters, who include a number of strong women. Whyte shows why Camulod was such a wonder, demonstrating time and again how persistence, knowledge and empathy can help push back the darkness of ignorance to build a shining future--a lesson that has not lost its value for being centuries old and shrouded in the mists of myth and magic. Author tour. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/04/1998
Release date: 05/01/1998
Mass Market Paperbound - 719 pages - 978-0-8125-4416-9
Paperback - 496 pages - 978-0-7653-0650-0
Hardcover - 769 pages - 978-0-670-84522-4
Ebook - 496 pages - 978-1-4668-2220-7
MP3 CD - 978-1-5226-7358-3
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