The Singing Sword by Jack Whyte

The Singing Sword by Jack Whyte

(Cover picture courtesy of The Templar Trilogy by Jack Whyte.)

Born of the chaos of the Dark Ages, the dream of eagles produced a king, a country and an everlasting legend—Camelot.

It is 395 A. D., and as the Roman armies withdraw from Britain, anarchy threatens the colony that will one day be known as Camelot.  Creating their own army and joining with the Celtic people of King Ullic Pendragon, the colonists emerge as a new breed of Britons, ready to forge the government that will be the Round Table and its Knights and to prepare the groundwork for the future coronation of Arthur, first High King of Britain.

I’m the sort of person that loves doing jigsaw puzzles, which is part of the reason why I loved The Singing Sword.  It’s a lot like a jigsaw puzzle, what with tiny, barley recognizable pieces of the Arthurian legends slowly being dropped into place.  We got the outline or the edge pieces in the first book in A Dream of Eagles (formerly known as The Camulod Chronicles), The Skystone, and now we’re starting to fill in the easy parts.

Publius is obviously more mature than he was in the first book and it’s almost more interesting to see this more mature, worldly point of view as he and Caius struggle to build up the Colony.  Their alliance with King Ullic, the growing threat of foreign invaders reaching Roman territory and an old villain reappearing made The Singing Sword very exciting and an entertaining read.  Of course, there are the bad parts of the novel as well and I would definitely not recommend it for people who are sensitive to gore.  Jack Whyte writes as Publius would have in the times and is less sensitive to the violence all around him.  Therefore, it’s difficult for someone with modern views on violence to accept the ancient world for what it was, but The Singing Sword feels all the more authentic for that.

Not only is Publius more mature than when we left him at the end of The Skystone, all of the other characters are more mature.  Their newly acquired maturity does not mean that they’re boring or that they don’t have character arcs.  Quite the opposite, in fact.  Fans of the first book will love to see their favourite characters change even more and will learn to love the new generation that helps bring the legend of Camelot closer to reality.

I give this book 5/5 stars.

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