(Cover picture courtesy of Jack Whyte’s website.)
Born of the chaos of the dark ages, the dream of eagles produced a king, a country and an everlasting legend—Camelot.
Publius Varrus is a veteran Roman officer and a maker of swords. In the early fifth century, amid the violent struggles between the people of Britain and the invading Saxonx, Picts and Scots, he and his former general, Caius Britannicus, forge the government and military system that will become known as the Round Table, and initiate a chain of events that will lead to the coronation of the High King we know today as Arthur.
A Dream of Eagles is yet another series that I didn’t start at the beginning. Instead, I received one of the spin-off books, Uther, for my birthday. I loved Uther, which made me track down The Skystone, the first book in the series. But in the back of my mind I was wondering if I would like Jack Whyte’s earlier writing just as much as I liked his later writing.
The answer? Absolutely! Jack Whyte’s A Dream of Eagles (or The Camulod Chronicles, depending on when it was published) is a series that documents how the Arthurian legends could have really happened. That means there’s no magic and a bit of historical speculation, but otherwise the series is accurate. Rome really did withdraw from Britain in the late 300s AD when the Motherland was being threatened (hint: it didn’t help). Before the chaos of Roman withdrawal, we meet Publius Varrus, our narrator, and his best friend, Caius Britannicus.
Publius is an amazing man, but is also a flawed character. He can be incredibly wise and Jack Whyte has given him an unique voice, but he does things that will make you want to reach in and slap him. Publius is far from perfect, but I guarantee you’ll love him anyway. Caius doesn’t feature nearly as prominently as I would have liked, but he undergoes an amazing transformation in the last hundred pages or so. And the ending was fabulous, tying together the mystery of the skystone and one of the very, very important parts of the Arthurian legends. I can’t wait to read the next book, The Singing Sword.
I give this book 5/5 stars.