Forge, Jan 2001, 14.95, 352 pp.
By the latter half of the fourth century, anyone with a fraction of intelligence could see the pending apocalypse as the Roman Empire is collapsing. Places on the outer rim are becoming increasingly dangerous as civilization nears collapse. Many of the nobles flee for the sanctuary of Rome, but those who remain behind in places like Britain struggle to survive.
Gaius Publius Varrus recognizes the imminent collapse and worries about the future of Britain. With his closest friend General Caius Cornelius Britannicus, Publius decides it is time for Britain to begin its own heritage that breaks away from Rome into something greater before his land descends into an age of darkness. Honor over betrayal and justice over unfairness is his goal symbolized by the forging of a special sword made from the rock that fell from the heavens so that his great-grandchildren can thrive in a wondrous world.
THE SKYSTONE, book one of Jack Whyte's Camulod Chronicles, is a fabulous pre—Arthurian tale that reads more like a historical fiction due to the inclusion of the mundane everyday life especially that of the soldier. Done in a first person narrative that is told in retrospect by Publius looking back over seven decades, the engaging story line is loaded with historical tidbits that make this book a must read for the Camelot crowd and the ancient historical buffs. Though the women are not quite as developed as the men, readers will want to obtain book 2 THE SINGING SWORD that continues to chronicle the pre-legend days of yore.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner
"The Skystone" is the first of the Camulod Chronicles, Jack Whyte's brilliant portrayal of the events leading up to King Arthur. The Romans have recently left Britain, leaving the country open to invasion from the Saxons. Publius Varrus and Caius Brittanicus, Arthur's great grand-fathers, have banned together, with a community of people, to save a part of Britain.
They fight against invaders from within and without, and form a friendship that will last through decades, and carry onto their children. From beginning to end, a truly exciting book.
This report prepared by Pamela Piarowski