Shadow of the King (Pendragon’s Banner 3) by Helen Hollick
Britain lies uneasily at peace, and Arthur Pendragon, King of Britain, is secure in his stronghold in the heart of the Summer Lands. Ever the fighter, he defies the advice of his wife Gwenhwyfar to sail for Gaul to defend his territories in Less Britain, leaving his country vulnerable and leaderless.
When word comes that the Pendragon has fallen in battle, Gwenhwyfar, at Caer Cadan with their small daughter, faces overthrow by the powerful council headed by Arthur’s uncle, who is anxious to reassert Roman ways. Also opposed by Arthur’s ambitious ex-wife, Winifred, keen to advance her own son as the rightful heir, Gwenhwyfar must struggle to carve out a future for herself and her daughter.
But, unknown to Gwenhwyfar, events abroad mean a far mightier battle for the Pendragon throne – and the very future of Britain itself – lies ahead. (Goodreads)
Arthur is planning to go fighting to Gaul for Rome yet all isn’t well in his kingdom. His uncle Aurelianus Ambrosius wishes to bring back old Roman ways and his son Cedric is starting to become a real problem.
Discovering treachery in Gaul, Arthur comes to realize he’s very close to defeat for the very first time on his career.
This is the final book of the trilogy and I’ve loved watching Arthur’s and Gwenhwyfar’s relationship through. It wasn’t easy marriage but I loved seeing how they managed to make it work despite everything.
Arthur is still a bastard at times but we see more humane and emotional side of him in this book. And I noticed there was no mentions of his women towards the end. I’d like to think he spent less time womanizing but I’m most likely just dreaming. He might be asshole most of the time but I still liked this realistic version of him.
It was great seeing Bedwyr and Ider again. Poor Bedwyr nearly got what he wanted…
The book started little slow and the parts during Arthur staying away from Britain dragged little bit but when he returned the book got lot better. Surprisingly I think the middle book was the best and for me didn’t have any dragging parts.
Published: SilverWood Books (2011)