Clothar The Frank – Jack Whyte

I could not begin to tell you what it was about this book that piqued my interest, but I certainly enjoyed it more than Standard of Honor or Knights of the Black and White.  Perhaps it was the fact that I was, and still am, quite interested in reading more on the King Arthur legend.  Perhaps it was the fact that the book was written in the first person; or maybe it has to do with the fact that I found a connection between this book and my British history class.  It might even have been the fact that I didn’t have to suffer through pages and pages of Religious history.  Whatever the case I found that I wanted to know what happened in this story more than I cared to in the Templar series.


I don’t have a lot to say about this book like I have in the past but here are just a few things that caught my attention:


  • Clothar’s parents, the king and queen of Ganis, are killed by a cousin of the king who then usurps the throne.  This idea of parents dying is hardly new in any form of literature, but the betrayal and murder reminded me so much of Harry Potter as did the idea of being sent away to school under the tutelage of Bishop Germanus, a very powerful and perspicacious individual.  This screamed Dumbledore to me.  However on writing this down I think that someone of great insight and learning would have to be involved.  In history and literature our hero isn’t likely to get places if they have a capricious leader directing their future plans.


  • Again I found, like on so many books and television shows these days, that some of the drama seemed oddly contrived.  Two immediate examples come to mind.  The first is Clothar’s first meeting with Gwinnifer.  She was known by a different name at that time and thus we don’t know until the end of the chapter that she really is going to be the woman of import in Clothar’s life.  This is historical fiction and I admit that I know not whether it was historical fact or Whyte’s fiction that first referred to Gwinnifer as Maia.  I hope it was fact.  The second example that sticks out occurs within the last ten pages of the novel when Clothar and King Arthur match their fighting skills against each other.  Clothar does not know at this time that he is taunting the King and thus displays his formidable fighting skills.


I must now buy or borrow the second book in this two part series for I am woefully ignorant of how the Lancelot and King Arthur myth ends and would like to know Whyte’s take on it.


For now I’m off to study my British history – if I can find enough uninterrupted time!


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