The Singing Sword: The Dream of Eagles, Volume 2 (Camulod Chronicles)
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We know the legends: Arthur brought justice to a land that had known only cruelty and force; his father, Uther, carved a kingdom out of the chaos of the fallen Roman Empire; the sword Excalibur, drawn from stone by England's greatest king.
But legends do not tell the whole tale. Legends do not tell of the despairing Roman soldiers, abandoned by their empire, faced with the choice of fleeing back to Rome, or struggling to create a last stronghold against the barbarian onslaughts from the north and east. Legends do not tell of Arthur's great-grandfather, Publius Varrus, the warrior who marked the boundaries of a reborn empire with his own shed blood; they do not tell of Publius's wife, Luceiia, British-born and Roman-raised, whose fierce beauty burned pale next to her passion for law and honor.
With The Camulod Chronicles, Jack Whyte tells us what legend has forgotten: the history of blood and violence, passion and steel, out of which was forged a great sword, and a great nation. The Singing Sword continues the gripping epic begun in The Skystone: As the great night of the Dark Ages falls over Roman Britain, a lone man and woman fight to build a last stronghold of law and learning--a crude hill-fort, which one day, long after their deaths, will become a great city . . . known as Camelot.
sin. Only baptism will wash away that sin, and only divine grace can enable man to stay away from sin thereafter. He believes that all of life is a temptation and that man should spend his life in prayer, abandoning himself to God’s mercy in bestowing grace upon him.” I nodded. “That, my young friend, is the view one tends to get from an ecclesia. That’s what all the priests say. There’s nothing new in what you’ve told me, except the saintly bishop’s own example … And you say Pelagius finds
had heard arguments over which was which: was 400 the last of the old or the first of the new? Personally, I did not care; the year ahead looked good for the Colony. I suddenly remembered something—I’ve no idea what prompted the memory—and reached into my scrip for the shell I had picked up from the dining table the night before. My fingers found it and I placed it delicately on the work-bench in front of me, squeezing it gently shut. It was a mature cockle-shell, one of a basketful brought to
words pour over me, in one unlistening ear and out the other, thinking that women, even the best of them, could be unutterably blind, even when telling us how blind we are. My other recollections of that day’s proceedings are like my memories of a fight; fragmented, frozen images: the bride, my daughter, radiant with joy, holding her husband’s arm tight to her side, laughing into my eyes; the great, brown hill bear I had seen outside, dancing and beating on a tambourine; some of Ullic’s men
having drunk too much the day before, telling me that I’d missed the most interesting part of the day. I smiled to myself as I imagined what his expression would be were I to tell him of what I had seen and heard in the night on the hillside. Of course, I said nothing, and the others soon joined us so that he left off his teasing. When we arrived at the villa I led them past the house and directly to the forge itself, a move that occasioned some comment, since we had been talking on the way down
me yet again, stopping me before I could begin. “No, wait! I cannot listen yet.” She drew herself even more erect, not looking at me. “I may seem very calm, but in my mind I want to scream and rage and fight with you. I need time … to be alone. You tell me this is Caius’s plan. Well, I want to hear it from his lips. Go now and bring him here. While you are gone, I’ll try to master myself. Go!” In my guilt, incapable of doing otherwise, I bowed formally and left her standing by the couch, and my