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Book Club Thread: The Winter King – Part 1 **SPOILERS**

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This topic contains 10 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  zorg 1 week, 6 days ago.

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  • #1634329

    avernos
    Keymaster
    26317xp

    The Winter King by Bernard Cornwell begins a three-novel story of Arthur, showing him intending to unite Britain against the invading Saxons and Irish, the following thread is open for discussion about part 1 A Child in Winter, pgs. 3-94

    Feel free to discuss the first part of the book here, if you have not yet read it to completion be aware that this is likely to be spoiler heavy.

    There will be a catch up on Discord in two weeks, the exact day and time to be confirmed, if you can join in then please do, for others who can’t due to work or timezones then this is your chance to chat to others about the book.

    Happy Reading

    #1634695

    torros
    20047xp
    Cult of Games Member

    First read it when first published in the UK and myself and the wife loved it so much we bought all 3 books on audio cassette as well

    Although nominally book about Arthur and the continued invasion of Britain by the Saxons  at its heart its really a book about the slow Christian take over of Britain. Many of the characters like Derfel and Nimue were in the original Arthur stories but were later replaced by Lancelot, Gallahad and a few others

    For those who have read both there is certainly a few similarities between the Characters in this book and the first couple of books of the Last Kingdom

     

    #1634845

    templar007
    50548xp
    Cult of Games Member

    This is my first reading of ‘‘THE WINTER KING’.

     

    Maybe, at this point in my life, I’ve read too many Arthurian stories already.

     

    When I reached this assignments stopping point, I asked myself to sum up my first impression in one word.

     

    ‘Soap-Opera’

     

    There is some action but mostly political intrigue and sitting the groundwork for what’s to come.

     

    I’m personally hoping for more battles and Warlords organizing their warbands.  After all, I have been hoping this book will help me in some way to be a better SAGA player.  Maybe not a Grand Master like @lloyd & @avernos but at least a little better.  🧐👍

     

     

    #1634947

    wurzzel
    2035xp
    Cult of Games Member

    @templar007

    “There is some action but mostly political intrigue and sitting the groundwork for what’s to come.”

    Yeah I think this is because the book is written in the first person with the narrator now an old man telling the tale of Arthur through his own personal history. This in itself leads to a problem with action scenes as we know that Arthur and the Narrator obviously survive so any suspense is diminished, and in the case of The Winter King led to a few predictable moments.

    This is one of the reasons I dislike books written in the first person although I have persevered with this one as I am a fan of Cornwell’s Sharpe series and the descriptions of life in the dark ages with the decaying Roman architecture are brilliant.

    Saying that the book was ok

     

     

    #1635328

    templar007
    50548xp
    Cult of Games Member

    Thanks for chiming in @wurzzel

     

    I’ll have a look at ‘Cornwell’s Sharpe series’.

    #1635416

    ninjilly
    8290xp
    Cult of Games Member

    Yeah, part one is definitely a bit of a slow set up. I’ve very little knowledge of Arthurian legend beyond a couple of movies but as you say @wurzzel there are constraints on the narrative because it’s written as a reflection that lessen any drama surrounding certain characters.

    @templar007 I have very fond memories of the Sharpe books though I haven’t read one since the last one came out in 2007. I keep meaning to go back but I’m also happy to have them as good memories without the burden of a more modern reading

    #1635420

    torros
    20047xp
    Cult of Games Member

    I dont think it being told in 1st person puts any restraints on the story. You know at the start that both Derfel and Samson survive.  The tale is not if they live or die but how they ended up where and why they do

    #1635421

    wurzzel
    2035xp
    Cult of Games Member

    @torros I think it does in relation to Derfel there’s a moment quite late in the book that should be full of suspense and dread at what is going to happen to our protagonist but it isn’t there as you know he is going to live to a ripe old age.  But you’re right it is about the journey and there are some questions thrown up later on almost like an afterthought  which make you want answers

    #1640220

    enginseer
    6548xp
    Cult of Games Member

    @torros has an interesting point about perspective. While we may know that the narrator and other characters must survive to tell the tale, there are many questions about how they ended up the way they became.

    How did Derfel lose his hand? What events led Derfel, a proud heathen, to accept the yoke of a christian monk? What machinations elevated the Mouse Lord to Living Saint, bishop status?

    I’m listening to the Audible production, narrated by Jonathan Keeble. He also narrates many of the 40K audiobooks. When I first started the book, it amused me a vast amount to picture that voice coming from a grizzled old Astra Militarum veteran telling the tales of his battles for the Emperor. 😀 😛 😀

    #1640232

    sundancer
    30642xp
    Cult of Games Member

    I just finished the second book… and I have almost forgotten everything from book one by now. That being said: apart from Derfel and Samson being alive later…. boy there is a lot to unpack.

     

    Sidenote: I love the authors notes on the story after each book. really brings it together even more.

    #1642232

    zorg
    14617xp
    Cult of Games Member

    A good gritty story that doesn’t pull any punchies with the gory side of people or battles.

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