Bernard Cornwell

Hi All

I have read warlord trilogy and I'm re-reading Harlequin at the moment and I really enjoy them but does anyone have any words of incouragement about stone henge I started reading it but just couldn't get into it! is it just me, sometimes I need a little push to get past the first bit.

Anyone thats read it, let me know what you think, is it worth it?:)
Stonehenge was probably one of his worst novels but having said that it is still enjoyable to read.
chump said:
Stonehenge was probably one of his worst novels but having said that it is still enjoyable to read.

i read Stonehenge a couple years back so i can't remember how easy it was to get into, but i do remember still finding it enjoyable :)
I love the Grail Quest trilogy. i still have to read the last one though. Only problem is i let years go by in-between reading these particular books, so ive forgoten details :eek:
(shrug) i can always read them again :D
I love Bernard Cornwell's Grail Quest, Sharpe, and Warlord series. I havent read any of his go alone novels yet. Which one should I read?
I quite enjoyed the Grail Quest but preferred Stonehenge. I found it very easy to read, although as a 'history fan' I found it far more interesting.
Well, I finally got my hands on the final book in the Warlord Chronicles, and I cried my eyes out at the end...That series is definitely going on my 'to read again, often' list...

I don't think I'll go after the rest of Cornwell's work for a long time, I've found in a few cases that if I read and really enjoy something and author has to offer, a different setting and new characters sometimes just don't have the same effect on me...And I have to admit the Sharpe novels never really tempted me, Sean Bean or no Sean Bean :)
I’m proud to say I have read every book in the Sharpe, Starbuck, Grail quest, Warlord series(s) plus the first 2 of the "Saxon Stories". In addition to this Gallows thief, Red coat (not the butlins variety thank god) and Stonehenge.
75% of all these books are brilliant while none of them are below good.
The Sharpe series is still my favourite although there are a few books which have repetitive themes/plots I recommend to anyone to start off with Sharpe's Tiger and I bet you will be reading Sharpe's Devil (the 20th(I think) and last (until the next one is published) chronological book in the series).
For all those not in the know the Sharpe series is set in the Napoleonic wars. It follows the story of a private Richard Sharpe of the 33rd Regiment of foot (Havercakes) in his majesty King George III army, and follows his rise to fame in this most exciting (and I feel neglectedly forgotten (due to the PC brigade)) period of history.
Starbuck Chronicles is set in the American Civil war again follows a Confederate soldier Nathaniel Starbuck in his battles versus the north. (Although most feel these chronicles are equal to Sharpe I disagree basically due to the fact I hate this period of history, even so the stories are quite excellent thanks mostly to Cornwell's superb writing ability)
I wont sing the praises of the Warlord and Grail quest Trilogy's as they already have been.
Of the three remaining Historical Novels, Red Coat is average (set in American Revolution era), Stonehenge is quite remarkable considering how little historical evidence there is to base a book on one of the greatest archaeological mysteries of our time. I like Cornwell’s version of why the henge was built as well as any other. Finally comes my favourite "single" novel Gallows thief breaks away from the usual blood guts and thunder of Cornwell’s books and is basically a whodunit set in the Georgian period. But the setting, plot and background are quite spectacular 10/10. I'm hoping Mr Cornwell will make a series out of this book's main character(s)
Any Cornwell book is great but choose Sharpes Tiger or the Warlords/Grail quest Trilogy to start off with. Dont blame me if you spend a fortune on all his books :)
I can't imagine him writing anything better than the Warlord series but I may buy a Sharpe novel to see what they are like.
What are the Saxon stories? Do you mean the new books, The Last Kingdom and The Pale Horsemen?

Likewise have not read any Sharpe books, but it's not really a subject that does much for me, so I don't know how much of a rush I'll be in to read any of them. But I might have a looksee.
I am currently reading the second book of the Saxon Stories, The Pale Horsemen. It's good, though not nearly the equal of the Warlord books. Written in very much the same style, first-person and from a young warrior's perspective. Though Uhtred is not nearly as likeable a character as Derfel. Actually, I often think he's a bit of a git....
I thought exactly the same about Uhtred. Bernard Cornwell came to our local reading group in Oct and I mentioned (probably more tactfully than calling him a git but maybe not) that Untred didn't seem as likeable. Bernard Cornwall ( i have to keep using his full name as otherwise I will sound like a lovey name dropper) admitted he'd tried to make him very real and also said he would grow up over the 3 books. He then signed my copy of Pale Horseman and added " a tale of an oaf".

He was a very funny chap and really passionate about the history and research.
Man, I am so jealous. I can't believe Bernard Cornwell visited your reading group. Is there any chance he'll be coming back? Because I might have to join. Though the commute would be a killer....
The only book I've read of Cornwell's is Stonehenge. I've got the Warlord Chronicles, but just haven't gotten around to reading them yet. But getting back to Stonehenge - it wasn't the best read in the world, but it wasn't the worst either. It was fascinating to read one man's theory as to how the ancient monument was built, but I really never developed much in the way of feelings for the characters. I guess you could say that main reason I stuck with the book was to see the construction through to the end.

And here's a little bit of trivia regarding Sean Bean and the Sharpe series:

In every film or production that Bean has been involved in since he began his involvement with the Sharpe series, he makes sure that at some point in his character's dialogue the word "sharp" is used.

For example: in The Fellowship of the Ring - the scene where he's picked up one of the shards of Narsil, he utters the words "Still sharp."
stone henge is by far the worst book cornwell has written, while it is an interesting read, ie the concept the story just never got going.

his warlord series is his best IMHO and the sharpe books are allways fun.
I have had Bernard Cornwell's first book of Saxon Stories, The Last Kingdom sitting in my 'to read' pile for months than I care to admit. Every time the book makes its way to the top it gets shuffled downward again...for some unknown reason I cannot seem to find the motivation to read it.
You are missing a treat in my view, Sapha, by not starting "The Last Kingdom". This series has long been a favourite of mine and I recently persuaded my wife to have a go at it. She is now hooked and we are both waiting eagerly for the next book to be published.
Just recently got a copy of The Winter King and Stonehenge. Really enjoyed the Sharpe character on screen with actor Sean Bean but haven't yet read any of the Sharpe books... His Arthurian trilogy seems to be a favorite of many so I will want to finish that next.
I enjoyed the Sharpe books, though I felt they got more than a bit repetitive as time went on. I read Stonehenge last year. My take on it:

I've read most of [Cornwell's] Sharpe books but this is the first of his other historical novels, though this book probably doesn't count as "historical" since archaeological evidence can only go so far, and he can have little or no research to support the social, political and religious elements which form such a large part of the story as we watch the building of the great temple on Salisbury Plain. So despite the absence of any actual, as opposed to character-perceived, magical elements I'm tempted to categorise the book as fantasy. Anyway, an interesting, though very male-character-dominated, take on life 5,000 years ago, with a great emphasis on the role of ritual and the gods, with shamanistic priests and sorceresses, but distinctly – and very oddly – mealy-mouthed and sanitised in both language and action.

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