~ Synopsis ~
"Camelot is less a romantic kingdom than a lusty and fragmented realm in this spirited retelling of Arthurian legend, the second novel in Hollick's projected trilogy (The Kingmaking). Over the years, Arthur Pendragon and Gwenhwyfar have accumulated a vast array of estranged relatives, rivals and half-mad adversaries. Among the most formidable of their enemies are Winifred, Arthur's embittered ex-wife, who's plotting to ensconce her son, Cerdic, as heir to the throne, and Morgause, a manipulative priestess who wants to consolidate her power in the north to become queen of the realm. Hollick manipulates a large cast of characters with a deft hand. She is most successful in depicting Arthur and Gwenhwyfar not as a newly married couple but as parents who grieve as their three sons are endangered by many calamities.
In an author's note, Hollick writes: "Arthur Pendragon, to those people who study him, is a very personal and passionately viewed character. We all have our own ideas, insist ours is the correct one, and argue like mad with anyone who disagrees!"
Hollick's interpretation is bold, affecting and well worth fighting to defend."
Publishers Weekly, November 11 1996
"Helen Hollick has once again shown why publishers Heinemann were so keen to sign her up. This is the second of her Arthurian trilogy and is another excellent read.
This time Arthur, now king of Britain, has to fight off a number of dangerous threats to his crown - from his first wife Winifred, Morgause, Queen of the North, and an ever increasingly powerful Christian church.
The writing style is simple, yet effective, cleverly capturing the feel of such far away days. Helen has not only relied on legend to create her stories, but has
spent 11 years researching the history of her chosen time - and it shows. A magic read from an inspired new writer."
A National Publication
"Arthur's legend lives on. Anyone who enjoys a good historical yarn will be well satisfied with Pendragon's Banner by Helen Hollick. The tale begins with Arthur, at just 23, King of Britain. But tragedy strikes when Gwenhwyfar finds herself in perilous disharmony with Arthur."
Western Morning News - Plymouth, 2 Aug 1996