Eagles' Brood

Eagles' Brood

Whyte, Jack

Book 3.0 of Camulod Chronicles

Language: English

Publisher: Tor Books

Published: Jun 15, 1998

Words: 220196
Pages: 884


The Eagles’ Brood* continues the saga of the Colony known as Camulod, and the tale of the descendants of those brave Romans who forged a new way of life for the Celt and Roman peoples when the Roman legions departed Britain. Most know the new leader of the Colony as Merlyn; all call him Commander. Cauis Merlyn Britannicus is responsible for their safety, and all look to him for guidance, leadership, justice, and salvation. It is a harsh life but a good community, and Merlyn is dedicated to spreading the influence of Roman culture beyond the Colony’s borders. Uther Pendragon, the man who will father the legendary Arthur, is the cousin Merlyn has known and loved since they were birthed, four hours apart on the same day, the year the legions left Britain. He is the tireless warrior--the red dragon to Merlyn’s great silver bear--and between the two of them, the Colony knows few enemies. As different as they can be, they are inseparable: two faces of the same coin. In a world torn apart by warfare and upheaval, each is the other’s certainty and guarantee of the survival of the Colony . . . until a vicious crime, one that strikes at the roots of Merlyn’s life, drives a wedge between them. A wedge that threatens the fate of a nation . . . . From Kirkus Reviews In the author's The Skystone (1996), set in the last years of the Roman occupation of fifth-century Britain, the sword Excalibur was forged, presaging the reign of King Arthur years later. This time, the narrator, grand-nephew of the forger of the sword, is none other than that (traditionally) eerie being, Merlin the sorcerer--sanitized here to the most high-minded of soldiers who survives wars, betrayal, and a tragic love affair. Caius Merlyn Britannicus, born in a.d. 401, is the son of the Commander in Chief of the forces of the fortress/town of Camulod, a community of Romans and Britons. Merlyn's best friend from boyhood is his cousin Uther Pendragon, a mighty warrior and the son of a Celtic king, though with a terrible temper that can show itself off the fields of war. Torturing Merlyn is the suspicion that it might have been Uther who brutally beat the waif whom Merlyn will name Cassandra after she violently resists Uther's sexual games. The deaf and dumb Cassandra (her real identity will be a surprise) is healed and then secluded, eventually becoming Merlyn's wife until her savage death. There are wars and invasions, waged principally by King Lot of Cornwall, wars that bring awful innovations like poisoned arrows. There are also theological conflicts, since the free-will doctrines of Pelagius are condemned as heretical by the Church. Merlyn's trek to a seminal debate of theologians is marked by skirmishes--he rescues the warrior/bishop Germanus at one point--and by the discovery of a half-brother. All ends with the deaths of those fierce antagonists Lot and Uther, and with Merlyn holding up Uther's baby son by Lot's dead queen, a baby who has ``the deep golden eyes of . . . a mighty bird of prey . . . a King perhaps, to wield Excalibur.'' With plenty of hacking and stabbing, pontifications, dogged sex, and a few anachronistic mind-sets: another dipperful from the fertile Arthurian well, sans magic but brimful of action. -- *Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. Review “From the building blocks of history and the mortar of reality, Jack Whyte has built Arthur's world, and showed us the bone beneath the flesh of legend."--Diana Gabaldon “The very best storytellers keep their readers glued to the story with plot, character, and a keen sense of the dramatic. . . . Whyte breathes life into the Arthurian myths by weaving the reality of history into it.”--Tony Hillerman