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The Kingmaking


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About the Author

Helen Hollick lives in London, England with her husband, daughter, and a variety of pets, which include several horses, cats, and two dogs. She has two major interests: Roman/Saxon Britain and the Golden Age of Piracy--the early eighteenth century. Her particular pleasure is researching the facts behind the small glimpses of history and bringing the characters behind those facts to full and glorious life. She has an Honours Diploma in Early Medieval History and is co-scriptwriter for the movie project 1066.


In this first volume of what promises to be a monumental historical trilogy, rookie British author Hollick depicts Arthur's rise from A.D. 450, when he was a 15-year-old boy of hidden parentage, to A.D. 457, when he took his place as the King Arthur of legend. The story combines private emotions and public statecraft as marriages, alliances and enemies are made and unmade to suit the politics of the era. Hollick mixes elements from fifth-century history, myth, early romances, contemporary fantasy and other novels about Arthur, adding her own inventions for good measure. The treatment of Gwenhwyfar and her love for Arthur (depicted here as star-crossed even without Lancelot's help) is especially vivid. Though the novel contains no supernatural aspects, with its exotic setting, passionate characters and epic battles and intrigue, it still should appeal to the fantasy fans to whom most Arthurian adventures are addressed. The language, too, is influenced by genre fantasy, especially in its dramatic descriptions and reliance on archaisms; but this big-hearted novel's historical speculations alone should make it of interest to the non-fantasy reader as well. (Nov.)

As the rightful son of Uthr Pendragon, Arthur dreams of uniting the warring kings of Britain. Gwenhwyfar's hope, as the only daughter of Cuncedda, the Lion Lord of Gwynedd, is to join Arthur's cause. Hollick's first novel re-creates the uneasy political climate of fifth-century Britain, a land suffering under the rule of the tyrant Vortigern. Stripped of its medieval trappings, the story of Arthur's rise loses none of its legendary power. Most libraries will want to add this well-researched, skillfully constructed trilogy opener to their collections.

With Hollick's imagination, knowledge and apparent passion, the author pulls the reader into the whirl of life, warring, revenge, loyalty and love.

This book was both educational and entertaining.
The Kingmaking was an amazing read that any fan of historical fiction will enjoy, even those unfamiliar with Arthurian lore. Despite its size, readers will race through the novel, eager to discover what happens to Arthur and Gwenhwyfar. The only disappointment comes in the fact that it ends.

A complex story full of intrigue, drama, emotion, and more, I was swept away by the story as Ms. Hollick brought this legendary figure to life.

The Kingmaking was a fabulous novel, hard to put down and Helen Hollick's writing is fantastic.
I happened to really enjoy The KingMaking and look forward to reading the rest of the trilogy. Grade A+.

Here you will find rich, multi-layered characters, breathtaking drama and aching sadness. A complex, compelling story and a refreshing look at the origins of a legend.

If readers are engaged by books with intrigue, battles, and strategy, this novel will not disappoint.

Hollick's complex character development, plot pacing, and attention to historical details while any afficianado of Athurian legend should appreciate this original vision of the myth. This is first-rate writing, indeed.

I found Helen Hollick's more realistic approach to this beloved legend refreshing and eye-opening.

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