Sunday, September 10, 2006
Clothar the Frank Review
Clothar the Frank is the second companion book to the amazing novel series, A Dream of Eagles, and its the first of a two book mini-series.
A Dream of Eagles concluded with the coronation of Arthur as the High King of all Britain, however with all the references Merlyn made about events during Arthur's rule, fans were begging for more, and Jack Whyte has delivered.
Clothar the Frank once again picks up the series' traditional narrative perspective, however the tale is not continued by Merlyn, but instead by Clothar, the man the world will come to know as Lancelot. One thing fans need to understand is that though this tale goes into the events of Arthur, it is the story of Clothar himself, just as A Dream of Eagles was a story about Merlyn. For this reason, be prepared for many events to take place far, far away from Camulod and the affairs of Britain.
That being said, Clothar the Frank is a masterfull piece of historical fiction with all the humanity and charm that allows A Dream of Eagles to be as engrossing as it is. Following the traditional formula, the story begins with Clothar reflecting back on his life and writing his own tale, which will also become the tale of Arthur's life as King, however before we can find out those events, Clothar goes into the details of his childhood, his past secrets, and his training and study at the Bishop Germanus' school to become a champion.
Ultimately, young Clothar is locked in a bloody civial war in his home kingdom of Benwick in Gaul, and he must not only make the passage into manhood, but must also distinguish himself as a capable leader of men and a man of warfare. Then, and only then can he embark upon the journey that will lead him to his destiny.
Clothar the Frank is a deviation from the focus of the affairs of Camulod, however it wonderfully expands the views and state of the world itself, providing the reader with a broader, more informed view of what is happening at this point in history. If you want to continue the tale of A Dream of Eagles, if you wish to see old characters and what becomes of them, if you wish to be intrigued by a realistic take on the legend, than Clothar the Frank is not to be missed.