The Round Table (Arthur the Legend - Book II) Jack Whyte

ISBN: 9780751550863

Published: April 3rd 2014

Paperback

432 pages


Description

The Round Table (Arthur the Legend - Book II)  by  Jack Whyte

The Round Table (Arthur the Legend - Book II) by Jack Whyte
April 3rd 2014 | Paperback | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, talking book, mp3, RTF | 432 pages | ISBN: 9780751550863 | 6.64 Mb

(Due to the rather weird, unhelpful way the reissues are listed, I am reading this as book two in the Legends Of Camelot series as that is how they work out chronologically in terms of the story arc - so this book should only be read after The War Of The Celts)Dont get me wrong, there are a few good things in this book, but for the most part this is a remarkably tedious & turgid affair.It says a lot about the mostly tepid feel of a book when a number of massacres drenched in blood and an invasion by barbarian Franks fail to lift the general feel of the book beyond wooden.I wont go into too much detail on that front, save ruining any of the plot, but suffice to say that there will be a number of chapters where youll gladly skip ahead entire paragraphs as it feels far more like reading through a bureaucrats take on Arthurian legend rather than an authors.

All red tape, musings, deliberations and wistful thinking and very little action.There is also a pretty significant anachronism here in the authors adamant suggestion that the main protagonists invented the idea of cavalry using a longer sword instead of a spear, when that method had already been adopted and used by imperial cavalry for over a century before the time period in which this book is set.

On top of that, the author also makes the insinuation that the Celts living in (what would later become) Wales had no knowledge of longswords, only using axes as weapons, even though its practically the most basic of common knowledge that the majority of barbarian tribes the Roman Empire went up against, especially the latter ones (who hadnt been co-opted into the Roman army itself), had used longswords for generations.It is that double-edged anachronism, on top of an overall stodgy feel to the book that prevents me from being able to particularly praise the story.Aside from the long, tedious parts of the story dedicated to military planning or boredom inducing bureacracy, the novel is still relatively easy to read and compelling enough to keep you ploughing through.Theres a rather farcical reappearance of the main protagonist from the last book, Claudius Seneca, who extremely conveniently has survived being impaled on a sword and left for dead for hours- a factor that far from impressing you actually makes you roll your eyes a little at a lazy regurgitation of an element from the last book.

Without wanting to spoil it, there is a large section of this book that Seneca mercifully doesnt feature in, though he does reappear at the end with pretty significant, rather unnecessary, consequences almost as if the author couldnt be arsed with him any more and just wanted to use him to tie up a few looose ends.Overall, this is okay. What few generally good parts in the book there are, are lost amid an incredibly turgid pile of blandness. The author is undeniably one who can craft a credible character but time and time again uses them so little or explores them so little that you end up wondering why he bothered.Okay but a distinct plateau.



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