The Skystone

By Jack Whyte,

Book cover of The Skystone

Book description

In a time preceding King Arthur and Camelot, two Roman men, Publius Varrus and Caius Britannicus, Arthur's great-grandfathers, try to preserve the best of Roman life and build a new culture out of the wreckage of the old and, in doing so, create a legend, in a new edition of…

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2 authors picked The Skystone as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Mentions of the historical Arthur—a war duke, not a king—date him to the late 5th and early 6th centuries. Merlin’s dates are fuzzier. Whyte sets this tale of Merlin’s origins in Roman Britain, consistent with the historical Arthur, as the withdrawal of Rome’s legions leaves the colony subject to invasion and insurrection. Young Publius, nicknamed Merlin, is a soldier and a blacksmith. He and his cousin Uther battle to keep Britannia from crumbling around them as Roman society is beset by external marauders and internal strife. Through it all, Merlin is intrigued by stories of a stone that…

I had had this book on my shelf for a number of years when, working late at school one night, I took a break and pulled it out to look at it. After reading a few pages, I could hardly wait to get home to read the whole thing, and I don’t think I have ever read a book more quickly. I went on to devour all the novels in Whyte’s series The Camulod Chronicles because his writing is superb. This is historical fiction that grounds the King Arthur legend in the dangerous years of post-Roman Britain. The details are…

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