Read Pendragon's Banner by Helen Hollick Free Online
Book Title: Pendragon's Banner|
The author of the book: Helen Hollick
Edition: St. Martin's Press
Date of issue: December 1st 1996
ISBN 13: 9780312146993
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 660 KB
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Reader ratings: 3.2
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Pendragon's Banner is book two in this King Arthur trilogy. As often happens with the middle book in a trilogy, I just don't love it as much as the first. I guess it's because things happen, but not as many thing happen as in the first book. The characters just aren't as fresh and you know that the story hasn't reached fruition yet. That's not to say that nothing happens - there is a lot of tragedy at this point in King Arthur's reign as Arthur works tirelessly to consolidate his power and to rout out his enemies.
The problem I had is that while I enjoyed the novel, I just didn't tear through it as quickly as I normally do. I think this is because I really don't like Arthur all that much. He's selfish and ruthless and he's a pretty terrible husband. I realize that Hollick is trying to show what Arthur may have been like, given his historical role and the context of his reign. But I wish Arthur would have been more likeable.
Notwithstanding my mixed feelings, I do intend to finish this trilogy. I think the idea of how Arthur forged his empire is fascinating. I also really like to consider what the Dark Ages may have been like. I hope, though, that the third installment is a bit more "magical" for me than this middle installment.
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Read information about the authorI escaped London in January 2013 to live in North Devon - but was born in Walthamstow, North East London in 1953 I began writing at the age of 13. Desperately wanting a pony of my own, but not being able to afford one, I invented an imaginary pony instead, writing stories about our adventures together at every spare opportunity. In the seventies I turned to science fiction - this was the age of Dr. Who, Star Trek and Star Wars. I still have an unfinished adventure about a bit of a rogue who travelled space with his family, making an honest(ish) living and getting into all sorts of scrapes. Perhaps one day I might finish it.
I had wanted to become a journalist when leaving secondary school, but my careers advice was not helpful. "Don't be silly," I was told, "you can't type." (I still can't, I use four fingers.) Instead, I worked in a Chingford library where I stayed for 13 years although I was not very happy there - I did not realise it, but I wanted to write. The one advantage of the library, however, was the access to books, and it was there that I came across the Roman historical novels of Rosemary Sutcliff, the Arthurian trilogy by Mary Stewart, and the historian Geoffrey Ashe. I was hooked on Roman Britain - and King Arthur!
Reading everything I could, I eventually became frustrated that novels were not how I personally felt about the matter of Arthur and Gwenhwyfar (Guinevere).
By this time, I was married with a young daughter. I had time on my hands and so I started writing my idea of Arthurian Britain . I deliberately decided not to include Merlin and Lancelot, there was to be no magic or Medieval myth. My book was to be a "what might have really happened" historical novel, not a fantasy, and most certainly not a romance! What I didn't know, when I started, was that my one book was to grow into enough words to make a complete trilogy.
I found an agent who placed me with William Heinemann - I was accepted for publication just after my 40th birthday. The best birthday present I have ever had.
I had previously had a smaller success with a children's personal safety book (stranger danger) called "Come and Tell Me," a little story that I had written for my daughter when she was 3. I wanted to tell her how to keep safe in a clear and simple manner - with a message that could be easily remembered. "Always come and tell me before you go anywhere with anyone" fitted nicely. I was immensely proud when my little story was taken up as an official safety book by the British Home Office to be used nationally by the police and schools. An updated and revised version of "Come and Tell Me" was re-published by Happy Cat Books but is now out of print.
I followed on with two Saxon period novels A Hollow Crown and Harold the King - both are about the people and events that led to the Battle of Hastings in 1066 - from the English point of view.
(these titles are published as The Forever Queen and I Am The Chosen King in the US)
When Heinemann did not re-print my backlist I took my books to a small UK independent publisher with their even smaller mainstream imprint, adding my historical adventure series the Sea Witch Voyages to my list.
Unfortunately Discovered Authors / Callio Press, were not as organised as they should have been and the company closed in the spring of 2011. Not wanting my books to fall out of print in the UK I took them to an indie company - SilverWood Books of Bristol UK - and with their technical assistance "self published"
I am also with Sourcebooks Inc in the US, and with Artemis Yayinlari in Turkey.
I was delighted to make the USA Today bestseller list in 2011 with The Forever Queen (US title of A Hollow Crown)
I have no qualifications, nor have I been to college or university, although I have studied part-time for my Medieval History Diploma, which, I'm pleased to report, I passed with honours. One day I may find the time to complete the degree!
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