The Warlord Chronicles is a series of novels by popular British author Bernard Cornwell. The first of the Warlord Chronicles novels was The Winter King published in 1995. The novels are a mix of Arthurian mythology and historical fiction, set in Dark Age Britain. They tell the Arthurian legend, as King Arthur tries to unite the British Kingdoms against the Saxon tribes determined to wipe out the fledgling kingdom.
Order of Warlord Chronicles / The Arthur Series
|1||The Winter King||1995|
|2||Enemy of God||1996|
Similar to other Arthurian novels, the trilogy asserts that the inhabitants of Britain faced a dark and uncertain future in Post Roman Britain. Internal struggles, raids from the Irish from the West, and threat of invasion by the Anglo Saxons from the East made life so much harder. There was also friction between Christianity and the old Druidic religions of the native Britons.
The Winter King, the first novel in the series opens with the Death of Uther the High King who has died leaving an infant son Mordred as heir to the throne. Arthur, the gifted warlord, loyal friend, and great-uncle to Mordred, takes over the reigns as regent of the kingdom, which has deteriorated into unbridled chaos. The squabbling British kingdoms are threatening to bring down everything Uther worked so hard to build, even as a Saxon invasion is imminent.
Struggling to stave off the Saxon invasion and unite Britain, Arthur finds himself distracted by a wild romance with the beautiful Guinevere. In a tale full of intrigue, romance, and suspense, Cornwell tells an incredible story of struggle and bravery in the face of insurmountable odds that just goes to explain why he is deemed one of the best historical fiction authors in Britain.
BEST WARLORD CHRONICLES BOOKS
The Winter King: The first novel is regarded as one of the best books in the Warlord Chronicles series of novels. It is an interesting take of the Arthurian legend and tells the story from the perspective of a footman rather than from the great man himself. The narrator is Derfel the footman that tells King Arthur’s story, and as such, he is not privy to Arthur’s thoughts and emotions. Through the narrator, Cornwell thus makes Arthur a noble, courageous, and enigmatic character, which brings out the best in the legend about the mythical king. Arthur is struggling against the rebellious British kingdoms while dealing with a budding romance. Cornwell writes of a realistic king Arthur, that is human and fallible and of stories that are historical more than legend.
Excalibur: The second novel in the Warlord Chronicles series is one of its most highly regarded. It is a story of unearthly and unearthly forces, which threaten to rob Arthur of everything he has. Peopled by magicians, warriors, bards, and princesses, it is a saga of betrayal, loyalty, love and war. The final novel in the series tells the story of Arthur as he fights against the invading Saxons. In the meantime, he is also fighting for ravaged dreams and the chance to repair a broken marriage. Mordred has also come of age and is looking to take over the kingdom that is his, as King Arthur bows out. Even as Arthur bows out, Cornwell makes it so compelling by incorporating such brutality, mystery, and courage in his characters that makes this one of his greatest ever works.
Enemy of God: The second novel in the Warlord Chronicles series of novels is another outstanding book. King Arthur’s kingdom and its longevity is threatened by Merlin, who seeks to possess the last of Britain’s thirteen treasures. Britain’s war with the Anglo Saxons and the conflict between the new Christianity and the old religions of the Isles still loom large. The novel is a master class of intrigue and suspense by a master storyteller at the top of his game.
OTHER BOOK SERIES YOU MAY LIKE
Many a Warlord Chronicles fan also loves the “Pendragon’s Banner” series of novels by Hellen Hollick. These historical fiction novels are some of the most accurate depiction of the Arthurian legend. The Warlord Chronicles fans also enjoy the “Oathsworn” series of novels by Robert Low. The novels tell the story of a band of Nordic brothers who call themselves the Oathsworn. They are committed to each other, and sail the high seas of Europe and the Mediterranean, in search of glory and vengeance, fearing no one and feared by many.