The Kingmaking by P-SourceBooks


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									The Kingmaking
Author: Helen Hollick

This is the tale of Arthur flesh and bone. Of the shaping of the man, both courageous and flawed, into the
celebrated ruler who inspired armies, who captured Gwenhyfar's heart, and who emerged as the hero of
the Dark Ages and the most enduring hero of all time. Who was THE MANWho became THE
LEGENDWe know as KING ARTHUR?"You are the Pendragon, rightful Lord of Dumnonia and the
Summer Land; Lord of less Britain. By all that is right, you ought be seated where Vortigern sits...You
ought to be King."Here lies the truth of the Lord of the Summer Land.This is the tale of Arthur flesh and
bone. Of the shaping of the man, both courageous and flawed, into the celebrated ruler who inspired
armies, who captured Gwenhyfar's heart, and who emerged as the hero of the Dark Ages and the most
enduring hero of all time.This is the unexpected story of the making of a king — the legend who united all
of Britain.Book One of the Pendragon's Banner TrilogyIncludes bonus reading group guide

He was ten and five years of age and, for the first time in his life, experiencing the exhilaration of the open
sea and, for this short while, the novelty of leisure. The boy, with a grin fixed as wide as a new moon,
folded his arms on the rail and leaned forward to watch the churn of foam boiling about the ship's bows.
Salt spray spattered his face, tingling against skin that bore the faintest trace of manhood about the
upper lip and chin. The sharp, sea-tang smell burst up his nostrils like a cast spear to his brain and
hammered behind his eye sockets. He tossed his head high, back, bracing his body with his hands
against the leap and plunge of the deck, and laughed with the pure energy of unequalled pleasure.His eye
sought the furl of the Dragon Banner flying proud from the masthead. He twisted his body to see it
better—a snake-like tubular shape, curling and writhing with a life of its own. Streamers shrieked with the
passing of the wind, and the head flashed gold in a display of fire sparked by the caught rays of the sun.
Ah, but it was good to be out in the open! Out on the sea, heading for Britain with Uthr Pendragon's war
host!A sister ship, the same as this great war-beast, save that she flew no dragon, plunged into the cleft
of a tossing wave, thrust herself forward, gallantly keeping pace. The boy waved to men on board, grinning
the wider to receive a brief flung acknowledgement.Then he saw Morgause watching him, standing as
straight and stiff as the single mast.A fine-bred lady, Morgause, with the figure of a goddess and the
vanity of an empress. She held her cloak tight around her shoulders, her slender fingers clasping a rose-
coloured silk veil that held her sun-gold hair in place against the ripping wind.If the ship was the perfection
of sail, then she, to look upon, was surely the perfection of woman. Venus, Uthr called her in the intimacy
of their lovers' bed. Perfection to the naked eye, often marred when examined close by a flaw within—
hers the arrogance and cruelty that came with high ambition.The boy's pleasure faded as fast as a tossed
stone sinks below the surface of a calm pond. Why did the Lord Uthr need bring her? Why her and not
his wife— although she could be as bad, with her constant praying to God and perpetual muttered
litanies. An invading army was no place for a woman, not even for the mistress of the man who
considered himself to be Britain's rightful king.Her eyes—cold, calculating, ice-blue eyes—bore into him;
evil eyes that never smiled except at the indulgence of her own twisted pleasures. His right hand was
behind his back; he made the protective sign against evil, knew she was aware he made that sign.
Strange, from tales he had always assumed witches to be ugly, dark creatures, not having the beautiful
fair skin of Morgause.He tried again to feel the joy of the ship but the excitement had faded, lost under
this shadow of her foreboding. Instead, the lad ducked below deck and made his way to where Uthr's
soldiers squatted playing dice or board and counter games. He was safe from her down here—she would
not come where the men lodged—although it was so much better to be out there, in the air and
sunlight…Lord Uthr, called the Pendragon, approached Morgause from behind and wrapped his great oak-
branch arms around her slender waist. She stiffened and pulled away from him, not caring at this moment
for intimacy."You ought not let the boy do as he pleases, Uthr," she said. "Give him leave to take holiday
and he will be fit for nought when it comes to returning to duties."Uthr laughed, a deep...
Author Bio
Helen Hollick
Helen Hollick lives in London, England with her husband, daughter, and a variety of pets, which include
several horses, cats, and two dogs. She has two major interests: Roman/Saxon Britain and the Golden
Age of Piracy—the early eighteenth century. Her particular pleasure is researching the facts behind the
small glimpses of history and bringing the characters behind those facts to full and glorious life. She has
an Honours Diploma in Early Medieval History and is co-scriptwriter for the movie project 1066.

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