With its wealth of historical and mythical information, this book is a truly fascinating read. I loved the lyrical sound of the Celtic and Gaelic names, and the author's deep knowledge of his subject shone through clearly. I was effortlessly guided back through the ages to a time of warring tribes, warrior kings and early Christian saints; secretive Druidic cults and ancient bards. Simon Stirling wields a masterful pen as he skilfully unpicks the deliberate web of deceit and misdirection surrounding the figures of Arthur, `Merlin' and Taliesin, to reveal the human beings beneath.
Despite my interest in the premise behind this book I confess I was reluctant to have the trappings of legend stripped away from my idea of `King Arthur' (probably because I'm an author of fantasy novels!). After reading it, however, I find I can appreciate and admire the man of history while leaving the myth untouched. I now have a longing to visit the places of Arthur's great battles, to walk beside his grave, and to admire for myself the great cauldron that came to be known as the Holy Grail.
I would recommend this fascinating and well written book to anyone with a love of history, a taste for drama, or simply a desire to understand how legends are formed.