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Jack Whyte

Jack Whyte (1940- )
Jack Whyte
is a Scots-born, award-winning Canadian author whose poem, The Faceless One, was featured at the 1991 New York Film Festival. The Camulod Chronicles is his greatest work, a stunning retelling of one of our greatest legends: the making of King Arthur’s Britain. He lives in British Columbia, Canada. Here’s Jack Whyte’s website.

The Camulod Chronicles

The Camulod Chronicles — (1992-2005) Publisher: Everyone knows the story — how Arthur pulled the sword from the stone, how Camelot came to be, and about the power struggles that ultimately destroyed Arthur’s dreams. But what of the time before Arthur and the forces that created him? How did the legend really come to pass? Before the time of Arthur and his Camelot, Britain was a dark and deadly place, savaged by warring factions of Picts, Celts, and invading Saxons. The Roman citizens who had lived there for generations were suddenly faced with a deadly choice: Should they leave and take up residence in a corrupt Roman world that was utterly foreign, or should they stay and face the madness that would ensue when Britain’s last bastion of safety for the civilized, the Roman legions, left? For two Romans, Publius Varrus and his friend Caius Britannicus, there can be only one answer. They will stay, to preserve what is best of Roman life, and will create a new culture out of the wreckage. In doing so, they will unknowingly plant the seeds of legend — for these two men are Arthur’s great-grandfathers, and their actions will shape a nation… and forge a sword known as Excalibur.

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The Skystone: What if there was enough to make a sword?

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The Skystone by Jack Whyte

You’ll be forgiven for overlooking that Jack Whyte’s The Skystone is an adaptation of Arthurian legend. Believe it or not, Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table are nowhere to be found. Instead, Whyte’s story is about Roman general Caius Britannicus’ dream for Britain.

The Skystone is set amidst the Roman withdrawal from Britain. Britannicus’ legion has faced hard fighting along Hadrian’s Wall. They have retreated to Londinium, and the Romans are about to leave permanently. The Romans may be retreating, and their Empire may be ending, but Britannicus elects to retire to his British estates. What’s more, Britannicus is determined to create a bastion of civilization that will survive the fall of Rome.

It’s a compelling premise and even the most modest history b... Read More

The Singing Sword: Storytelling is about the details

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The Singing Sword by Jack Whyte

In some ways, The Singing Sword, second in Jack Whyte’s A Dream of Eagles (Camulod Chronicles in America) series, is just like The Skystone. The Roman Empire is in retreat and soldier/ blacksmith Publius Varrus chronicles the early days of Caius Britannicus’ Roman villa. Arthur is still nowhere in sight.

Whyte has a great talent for outlining battles and duels, but his passion is for world building through dialogue, particularly dialogue that allows him to explore the ideas of this time as they might have been created at the time. Still, progress is steadily made, however patiently. Publius is tempted by another woman, while alliances with the Celts are mad... Read More

The Eagle’s Brood: Fine historical adventure

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The Eagle’s Brood by Jack Whyte

The Eagle’s Brood, by Jack Whyte, is the third book in the A Dream of Eagles series (Camulod Chronicles, in America) and it does something that up to this point has been unthinkable: characters that are recognizably from Arthurian legend take center stage.

For two novels, Whyte’s take on the Arthurian legend has focused on the exploits of Publius Varrus and his visionary general Caius Britannicus. Now, a new generation has taken over, one including Uther Pendragon and Caius Merlyn Britannicus. Still known as Caius, our narrating Merlyn is decidedly surprising. He’s young, he’s a warrior armed with a sword, and he’s into debauchery. He and Uther are the princes of Camulod, and they know it.
Read More

The Saxon Shore: This series begins to pay dividends

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The Saxon Shore by Jack Whyte

When we think of Arthurian legends, we tend to imagine certain things. Merlyn is ancient and wise, and Arthur is strong and a leader of men. In his A Dream of Eagles series (Camulod Chronicles in America), Jack Whyte does his best to undermine these expectations. When we meet Merlyn in The Eagle’s Brood, the third book of the series, he is a warrior. Now, we meet Arthur, a toddler with golden eyes. Will he prove fit to carry the sword that Publius Varrus forged in The Singing Sword?

Unfortunately, we don’t find out in The Saxon Shore.

Instead, The Saxon Shore follows Caius Merlyn Britannicus (... Read More

The Fort At River’s Bend: Half a story

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The Fort At River’s Bend by Jack Whyte

The Fort At River’s Bend is the first half Jack Whyte’s The Sorcerer, which publishers decided to divide into two novels: The Fort At River’s Bend and Metamorphosis. Whyte apparently preferred that they would have been read as one entry.*

When The Fort At River’s Bend begins, our narrator, Caius Merlyn Brittanicus of Camulod, is reaching middle age. He is a warrior, a soldier, and a governor who has lost friends, family, and his wife to treachery and war. Now, he commits his life to raising Arthur Pendragon in safety.

Given that their enemies have already tried to assassinate Arthur, Merlyn has decided to remove the boy from danger and to raise him in secret. Merlyn sails to Read More

The Sorcerer: Metamorphosis: The Sword in the Stone

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The Sorcerer: Metamorphosis by Jack Whyte

Merlyn does not want to return to Camulod. He has found happiness in Mediobogdum with his wife, Tressa, and his charge, Arthur Pendragon. However, war is coming. Merlyn’s enemy, Peter Ironhair, has hired mercenaries to attack the Pendragon lands in order to advance the claim of Carthac, a distant relative of Uther Pendragon and a monstrous — some say invincible — psychopath. Meanwhile, the Saxons continue to invade along the southeast coast and there are also rumors of an invasion from the northeast.

Clearly, the Britons need a savior king, but Merlyn still worries that Arthur’s metamorphosis into the Riothamus — the high king — is not yet complete. They return to Camulod, where Merlyn and his brother, Read More

More fantasy novels by Jack Whyte

Templar Trilogy — (2006-2009) Publisher: A brother of the Order — a medieval secret society uniting noble families in a sacred bond — Sir Hugh de Payens has emerged from the First Crusade a broken man seeking to dedicate his life to God. But the Order has other plans for him: to uncover a deadly secret that could shatter the very might of the Church itself.

1. The Knights of the Black and White 2. Standard of Honor 3. Order in Chaos1. The Knights of the Black and White 2. Standard of Honor 3. Order in Chaos1. The Knights of the Black and White 2. Standard of Honor 3. Order in Chaos


The Guardians (William Wallace) — (2010) Publisher: In the pre-dawn hours of August 24, 1305 a.d., in London’s Smithfield Prison, the outlaw William Wallace, who is to be executed at dawn, is visited by a Scottish priest who has come to hear his last Confession. So begins The Forest Laird, the first book in Jack Whyte’s masterful new trilogy. Wallace’s story leads us through his many lives — as an outlaw and a fugitive, a hero and a patriot, a rebel and a kingmaker. He is the first heroic figure from the Scottish Wars of Independence brought blazingly to life in Jack Whyte’s new trilogy, the Guardians, and will be followed by his two compatriots Robert the Bruce, King of Scots; and Sir James Douglas, known as The Black Douglas. Their exploits and escapades, desperate struggles and medieval savagery, high ideals and fierce patriotism are the stuff of legends, and the soul and substance of these epic novels.

The Guardians (William Wallace) 1. The Forest Lairdfantasy and science fiction book reviews


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