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red snow

Bernard Cornwell - warlord chronicles and beyond

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On 11/10/2018 at 12:37 AM, Esmenet said:

I just finished the Warlord trilogy, a few days ago. The best Author story I've ever read. Derfel is one of my favorite characters in literature, period. Loved what happened to Lacelot, wanted that to happen from the moment Derlel met him. Galahad, Aelle, Issa, Merlin and well I could go on and on were all excellent characters. Nothing I didn't enjoy about these books at all.

Going back to some scifi/fantasy for a bit, but which of his other series would you guys recommend the most? I'm leaning towards the Saxon chronicles. I trust advice here, as this is where i got the itch to try out Warlord. 

The Saxon Chronicles is really the most similar, sort of like a lesser version of it, though by now much longer.

Warlord Trilogy is his best work, as you say, it is superb and many of the characters are excellent. He has another medieval trilogy as well, one of the books is called "Harlequin".

 

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On 11/9/2018 at 11:37 PM, Esmenet said:

 

Going back to some scifi/fantasy for a bit, but which of his other series would you guys recommend the most? I'm leaning towards the Saxon chronicles. I trust advice here, as this is where i got the itch to try out Warlord. 

The Saxon Chronicles are almost a direct sequel, following the descendents of the Saxons who conquered Derfel  and Arthur's kingdoms in what would become England as they battle the Vikings  (we were invaded a lot back then! ), with Uhtred as Derfel's spiritual successor.

I like the Harlequin trilogy too - Crecy and the Black Prince!

And I like the Napoleonic Sharpe books - I learned a lot from them. And Finan's (from the Saxon Chronicles) precursor is Sgt Harper - brilliant character. 

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The last kingdom (TV version of Saxon chronicles) is back on Netflix next week. 

How faithful is the show? As I keep debating whether to read from the start or from where the show has reached. Largely because of the length of the book series it'd be good to skip past if possible.

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1 minute ago, red snow said:

The last kingdom (TV version of Saxon chronicles) is back on Netflix next week. 

How faithful is the show? As I keep debating whether to read from the start or from where the show has reached. Largely because of the length of the book series it'd be good to skip past if possible.

I LOVED it.

It's worth watching for David Dawson's Alfred alone.

It's brutal and very well done. All the characters are very well realised. And I think it gets better as it goes along.

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4 hours ago, Mosi Mynn said:

I LOVED it.

It's worth watching for David Dawson's Alfred alone.

It's brutal and very well done. All the characters are very well realised. And I think it gets better as it goes along.

I'm hoping the longer season allows them to get into full swing as the previous seasons were pretty short. Although I guess it depends on how many books per season they do and guessing the books are variable in length too

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9 hours ago, red snow said:

I'm hoping the longer season allows them to get into full swing as the previous seasons were pretty short. Although I guess it depends on how many books per season they do and guessing the books are variable in length too

The first season covered the first two books, I think.  And the second season ended at a natural break.

Will the Beeb get to show series 3?

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10 hours ago, red snow said:

I'm hoping the longer season allows them to get into full swing as the previous seasons were pretty short. Although I guess it depends on how many books per season they do and guessing the books are variable in length too

 

1 hour ago, Mosi Mynn said:

The first season covered the first two books, I think.  And the second season ended at a natural break.

You're correct. Season One was two books, as was Season Two. But near the beginning of this video, David Dawson says that Season Three is unlike the first two seasons, as it is one continuous narrative. Can't remember what happens in books five and six, so not sure if this means they're adapting one or two books....

Edited by Spockydog

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Fools and Mortals which was published last year was a good story, and quite unlike anything else that Cornwell has written.

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3 hours ago, Spockydog said:

 

You're correct. Season One was two books, as was Season Two. But near the beginning of this video, David Dawson says that Season Three is unlike the first two seasons, as it is one continuous narrative. Can't remember what happens in books five and six, so not sure if this means they're adapting one or two books....

I would never have recognised Aelswith from that video!

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4 hours ago, Spockydog said:

 

You're correct. Season One was two books, as was Season Two. But near the beginning of this video, David Dawson says that Season Three is unlike the first two seasons, as it is one continuous narrative. Can't remember what happens in books five and six, so not sure if this means they're adapting one or two books....

Cornwell mentioned in an interview that they have adapted 6 books and there's another 4 (and more to come) for them to adapt. It was while he was filming his guest appearance. Are all the books self contained? It might be this season covers two connected books? 

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8 hours ago, red snow said:

Are all the books self contained? It might be this season covers two connected books? 

Not sure. I don't want to go and read a synopsis, 'cos I quite like the idea of going into this series not quite sure what's going to happen. 

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Finished the latest, #11, War of the Wolf, in the Saxon Stories.  Have just about finished the second, The Enemy of God, of the Warlord Chronicles.  Woo, is this a gleeful evisceration of the Arthurian legends and myths or what?  Woo!  The glee with which Cornwell goes after all these well-known characters -- even Merlin, even though the protagonist-narrator is so fond of him -- is rather infectious too.  I wonder why I hadn't read them before, when I've read, or at least attempted to read, as in the Copperhead books, all Cornwell's other books?  Honestly, I have no idea.  Probably I thought I already had read them, when it was another writer's series about Arthur that employs a lot of the same tropes, including Mithras, etc.?

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Quote

 

Will the Beeb get to show series 3?

 

 
No. Netflix bought the series outright from the BBC.

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1 hour ago, Zorral said:

FHave just about finished the second, The Enemy of God, of the Warlord Chronicles.  Woo, is this a gleeful evisceration of the Arthurian legends and myths or what?  Woo!  The glee with which Cornwell goes after all these well-known characters -- even Merlin, even though the protagonist-narrator is so fond of him -- is rather infectious too.  

I love what he does to Lancelot in particular.  :devil:

I think he fleshes out Galahad, Nimue, Guinevere, Morgan, Mordred and Merlin brilliantly.  Plus the old Welsh heroes that get sidelined in later legends.  Morgause and Gawain get short-shrift - Cornwell does not seem to care about the Orkney family at all!

What I love most, though, is how he treats Arthur.  From Malory onwards Arthur is often sidelined: a cuckolded king sending his knights out to be chivalrous.  Cornwell gives us a flawed hero, a man you can really believe would become legendary, and who we would still be waiting for 1500 years later.

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1 hour ago, Mosi Mynn said:

I love what he does to Lancelot in particular.  :devil:

I think he fleshes out Galahad, Nimue, Guinevere, Morgan, Mordred and Merlin brilliantly.  Plus the old Welsh heroes that get sidelined in later legends.  Morgause and Gawain get short-shrift - Cornwell does not seem to care about the Orkney family at all!

What I love most, though, is how he treats Arthur.  From Malory onwards Arthur is often sidelined: a cuckolded king sending his knights out to be chivalrous.  Cornwell gives us a flawed hero, a man you can really believe would become legendary, and who we would still be waiting for 1500 years later.

The extended scene in which Derfel and Arthur are in face-to-face conflict over the matters of friendship and loyalty, oath and honor, in the events of Tristan and Iseult and Mark in Enemy of God -- this is what makes these Cornwell series of the Saxon Stories and the Warlord Chronicles so much more than movies ever are -- maybe can be?  These are real conflicts, and both of these men have also fallen short of their own convictions in these matters when it came to their own convenience too, and they both know it.  This is real conflict, and not manufactured conflict, and inevitable conflict, both for kingdoms and rulers and within the individual hearts of the characters.

And then there's the sly delight that Cornwell takes in making these named saints such as Derfel so different in their presentation during the years they live than in their dead saint biographies.  I, for one, enjoy this very much.

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10 hours ago, Zorral said:

The extended scene in which Derfel and Arthur are in face-to-face conflict over the matters of friendship and loyalty, oath and honor, in the events of Tristan and Iseult and Mark in Enemy of God -- this is what makes these Cornwell series of the Saxon Stories and the Warlord Chronicles so much more than movies ever are -- maybe can be?  These are real conflicts, and both of these men have also fallen short of their own convictions in these matters when it came to their own convenience too, and they both know it.  This is real conflict, and not manufactured conflict, and inevitable conflict, both for kingdoms and rulers and within the individual hearts of the characters.

That is such a brilliant, heart-breaking scene.  It totally captures the tragedy of Tristan and Iseult, and puts it in the grim reality of the fifth/sixth century.  Arthur breaks pretty much every oath he ever takes, except this one :bang:  Bloody Mark.  

Quote

And then there's the sly delight that Cornwell takes in making these named saints such as Derfel so different in their presentation during the years they live than in their dead saint biographies.  I, for one, enjoy this very much.

I love that he puts characters like Derfel and Culwch front and centre in the legends, where they once were.  It's at the expense of Gawain, Gareth et al - but I can see why he did that.

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9 hours ago, Mosi Mynn said:

That is such a brilliant, heart-breaking scene.  It totally captures the tragedy of Tristan and Iseult, and puts it in the grim reality of the fifth/sixth century.  Arthur breaks pretty much every oath he ever takes, except this one :bang:  Bloody Mark.  

I love that he puts characters like Derfel and Culwch front and centre in the legends, where they once were.  It's at the expense of Gawain, Gareth et al - but I can see why he did that.

Because none of these sorts of matters are part of films such as Outlaw King, Outlaw King is without effect and affect, and don't touch the viewer in mind or emotion.  Hack and whack alone are just not enough to make us care.  That Cornwell dared to give an installment  book in Saxon Stories in which for most of it Uhtred and some of his friends are enslaved, nearly die, and some of them do die in terrible ways, as unpleasant to read -- and watch -- as this is, makes a character, makes a man, makes us care, and makes us think.

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