• Title: The Crimson Chalice
  • Author: Victor Canning
  • ISBN: 9780441121908
  • Page: 485
  • Format: Paperback
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    The Crimson Chalice Another reworking of the Arthurian legend but so bereft of Arthurian resonance that it might have worked better as an unvarnished or unvarnished historical novel of the Roman twilight in Britain As t
    Another reworking of the Arthurian legend, but so bereft of Arthurian resonance that it might have worked better as an unvarnished or unvarnished historical novel of the Roman twilight in Britain As the Saxon pillagers sweep ever farther west, young Baradoc, Roman army veteran son of a British tribal chief, meets Tia, a Roman girl fleeing the troubles Their son ArtAnother reworking of the Arthurian legend, but so bereft of Arthurian resonance that it might have worked better as an unvarnished or unvarnished historical novel of the Roman twilight in Britain As the Saxon pillagers sweep ever farther west, young Baradoc, Roman army veteran son of a British tribal chief, meets Tia, a Roman girl fleeing the troubles Their son Arturo, a child hugely endowed with wildness, blarney arrogance, grows up to inherit his father s dream of uniting Britain against the Saxons The story is chiefly concerned with the slow building of his campaign, from his early rebellion against the delaying tactics of the anti Saxon forces to the great victory of Mt Badon Like many imaginers of an earlier Britain, Canning is best when describing the wild countryside the homely skills of its inhabitants His attempts to graft this material onto the Grail legend are effortful platitudes Merlin appears disappears at climactic moments, saying things like Only the gods know that Speeches are peppered with ritual interjections of Aie to indicate deep thought People look at each other instinctively know something, or undergo some tremendous change from that moment Canning s Arturo does occasionally come to life during his stormy childhood in the Tribe of the Enduring Crow once he is grown, one feels that Canning, like Sir Bedivere, has lost sight of the barge Kirkus Beginning note At the time of this story roughly 450 AD any effective Roman presence in Britain had long gone The shadow of the Dark Ages which were to last nearly 300 years had already fallen across the country The Saxon mercenaries, hired originally to fight against the Pictish invasions from the North, were now breaking out of the lands granted to them in the East Constantly reinforced by of their kind they were beginning to sweep westwards across the country, massacring pillaging, to make it their own Postscript Although there are no incontrovertible facts about King Arthur, the renown of his life deeds in the Dark Ages was lodged for over 600 years in folk memory folk, being what they are, invariably alter embroider a good story Wm of Malmesbury, Geoffrey of Monmouth then Sir Thomas Malory were landed with the result Lesser as well as better writers have followed them Acknowledging that I come in the first of these two categories, I feel no shame in entering the lists poorly armed but securely mounted on a horse I have ridden for years called Imagination.

    One Reply to “The Crimson Chalice”

    1. Originally published on my blog here in September 1999.There seems to be something about the Arthur legend which attracts thriller writers. Best known are probably Mary Stewart's books, but other authors who have tackled the subject include Bernard Cornwell and Victor Canning. Canning's trilogy, beginning with The Crystal Chalice, is less a straight retelling of the legend than a story inspired by it - particularly the Holy Grail elements. In The Crimson Chalice, for example, Arthur and Merlin h [...]

    2. Libro molto avvincente su Artù; in effetti ricalca poco la leggenda dei cavalieri della tavola rotonda, come generalmente conosciuta: l'Autore ha cercato di dargli un'appropriato quadro storico, ispirandosi al personaggio, ma costruendo una storia ambientata in una credibile Britannia del V secolo (in particolare nell'attuale Cornovaglia), con la sua frammentazione tribale e le lotte contro gli invasori sassoni. In effetti si avvicina più ad un romanzo storico (tipo Le storie dei re Sassoni, d [...]

    3. Of the many books I have read concerning the legend of King Arthur, this is my favorite. An imaginative tale that wanders outside the traditional lines set forth by Mallory and Tolstoy, it gives the reader all that can be asked of fine literature. A sweeping tale, told in three parts, immediately draws you in with its wonderfully descriptive prose. We begin with the forest meeting of Gratia and Baradoc, who, during their travels fall in love. More adventures await them, including the birth of th [...]

    4. It has been more than twenty five years since I read this book, but time has not changed the pleasure I got from re-reading an enchanting tale of the meeting of King Arthur's parents, and an interesting take on the legend. I love the kindle version as there are so many references to Roman names for places in Britain that it is really handy to keep checking where in England Baradaoc and Tia are, and to relate to the lovely descriptions of the landscapes. It's a historical romance with a differenc [...]

    5. This was REALLLY hard to read! And that's saying something for me, generally I find these kinds of historically-ish things kind of fun to get through but not this time. It just didn't hold my interest!

    6. Marked as didn't finish as I only managed the first book (of the three combined in this ed). Not bad, just found myself page-counting, and at this point I'm unlikely to go back to it.I recommend Jo Walton's Tir Tanagiri books for anyone on the look-out for Arthur variants.

    7. This is a better-than-average reworking of the Arthurian and Grail matter written with an intelligent grounding of the history of the Britons after the Roman withdrawal.

    8. Never got past the first few chapters -- pretty much covers every cliche that YET ANOTHER retelling of the King Arthur story can. Skip it.

    9. very masculine, very preshistoric, probably closer to an historically accurate Arthur than many of the other retellings.

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