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 buff knows that things are about to get much ... Read More
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 — (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.
The Skystone by Jack Whyte
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 made and the colony — now named Camulod — slowly overcomes its enemies and the hurdles of adminis... Read More
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.
However, they haven’t let power go to their heads. Instead, they take the task of running t... Read More
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 (still known as Caius), who finds himself the leader of a beleaguered Camulod. Last bastion of civi... Read More
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.
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.