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Stephen Lawhead is the author of some 14 outstanding fantasy and science fiction novels, including The Dragon King Trilogy (Lion), The Song of Albion Trilogy (Lion), and Byzantium (HarperCollins). Sales of his books have reached over 2 million copies worldwide. An American, he moved to Britain to research Celtic mythology. He now lives in Oxford with his wife and two sons. website: www stephenlawhead.com
The early years of Arthur's reign-his crowning, marriage and the first major test of his leadership-are chronicled in this atmospheric fourth volume of Lawhead's Pendragon Cycle (Taliesin; Merlin; Arthur). When Myrdinn Emrys (known in later ages as Merlin) failed to unite the British kings after Uther Pendragon's death, he took the young Arthur, son of Aurelius (once Pendragon himself), to be raised in hiding. When the boy came of age, he defeated the various kings and gained their sometimes grudging allegiance (as chronicled in Arthur). Now he is to be crowned in Londonium, where the Irish warrior princess Gwenhwyvar comes to claim his hand in marriage, as previously promised. While Arthur and his closest companions dally in Ierne (Ireland), a calamity occurs as hordes of vandals, harried from Carthage, fall upon the nearly defenseless island. Led by Arthur and aided by the British, the Irish repel the invaders, who turn their attentions to Britain, where they initiate a scorched-earth war that tests Arthur's leadership and the loyalty of the reluctant kings. Though Lawhead brilliantly creates an authentic and vivid Arthurian Britain, he never forsakes the sense of wonder that has graced the Arthurian legend throughout the ages. (Oct.)
'An excellent mix of ancient history, legend and mysticism, all wrapped up in a rattling good yarn.' Alpha Magazine