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Adult fiction: Myth and Legend

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Page: 12

Enemy Of God

Author: Bernard Cornwell

Part of a series: The Warlord Chronicles

Publisher: Penguin (2011)

Following a hard-fought victory, Arthur appears to have at last won the unity of the British Kingdoms. He turns his attention towards the invading Saxons, while Merlin begins a quest to uncover the sacred Treasures of Britain, believing they will bring the might of the old Gods behind Arthur for one last decisive battle. But the quest soon unravels the fragile peace, as bitter rivalries come to the fore and threaten to undo Arthur's successes, while those closest to him move to betrayal.

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Author: Bernard Cornwell

Part of a series: The Warlord Chronicles

Publisher: Penguin (2011)

Arthur has crushed Lancelot's rebellion, but at a cost. Guinevere's betrayal has left him reeling, and his Saxon enemies seek to destroy him while he is weak. Chaos threatens to engulf Britain. Yet Arthur is a military genius and noble leader. As the battle draws close, he prepares to fight his way to victory at Mount Badon and also win back the woman he lost. But in the final journey of the warlord, the intrigues of Mordred, now the adult heir to the throne of Britain, and the magics of the priestess Nimue could prove to be Arthur's downfall.

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Fantastic Fables

Author: Ambrose Bierce

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2014)

Ambrose Bierce was a journalist and satirist, working in the late 1800s and renowned for his caustic wit. His style of writing may be challenging for the modern reader, being rather verbose and containing contemporary vernacular. But if you can get past this, you will be rewarded with being entertained by his sardonic humour, which often takes the form of truly hilarious jibes at politicians and the upper classes.There are no morals as such to these 245 very, very short fables but each contains a message to the reader. A good book to pick up at odd moments.

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Gates Of Fire

Author: Steven Pressfield

Publisher: Doubleday (1998)

GO TELL THE SPARTANS, STRANGE PASSING BY, THAT HERE, OBEDIENCE TO THEIR LAWS, WE LIE. Nearly 2,500 years ago, in 480 BC, at a bleak pass in a far flung corner of eastern Greece, three hundred Spartan warriors faced the army of King Xerxes of Persia, a massive force rumoured to be over a million strong. Their orders were simple to delay the enemy for as long as possible while the main Greek armies mobilised. For six days the Spartans held the invaders at bay. In the final hours, their shields broken, swords and spears shattered, they fought with their bare hands and teeth before being overwhelmed. It was a battle that would become synonymous with extraordinary courage, heroism and self-sacrifice. Its name was Thermopylae. Gates of Fire tells the epic story of those legendary Spartans: the men and women who helped shape our history and have themselves become immortal as their gods. 'Breathtakingly brillianta work of rare genius. Savour it!' David Gemmell 'A tale worthy of Homer, a timeless epic of man and wara new classic, deserving a place beside the very best of the old. 'Stephen Coonts 'ExcellentPressfield has succeeded in recreating an ancient world and telling a rousing and moving story. Yorkshire Post

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Hannibal - Clouds Of War

Author: Ben Kane

Part of a series: Hannibal

Publisher: Arrow (2014)

213 BC. Syracuse. Under the merciless Sicilian sun, a city is at war. Outside the walls, a vast Roman army waits. Yet the city’s incredible defences, designed by Archimedes, mean that Syracuse will not be taken easily. A veteran of the bitter war since its beginning, Quintus is ready to give his life in the service of the Republic. But dangers face him from within his own ranks as well as from the enemy - who include his former friend, the Carthaginian, Hanno. Hanno has been sent by his general Hannibal to aid Syracuse in its fight against Rome. Pledged to bring death to all Romans, he is diverted from his mission by the discovery of Quintus’ sister Aurelia, a captive within the city. Two friends on opposing sides. A woman caught between them. They are about to meet in one of the most brutal sieges of all time. Who will survive?

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Murder Most Royal

Author: Jean Plaidy

Part of a series: The Tudors

Publisher: Random House (2006)

The fifth book in Jean Plaidy's Tudor series telling the tragic stories of two Queens betrayed and beheaded - Katharine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn. At the decadent French court of King François, the young Anne Boleyn grows into an enigmatic and striking woman, a temptation to many courtiers. But whilst Anne's ambitions are high, she has learned from her sister's unfortunate reputation. Unlike Mary, Anne refuses to become even a King's mistress. So when Anne returns to the English court of Henry VIII, it is the King who is led a dance by this mysterious young beauty. Before long Henry is lured away from his stale marriage to Katharine of Aragon. But the new Queen Anne is not loved by the people, and it is only a matter of time before Henry's patience runs out...

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The Adventures Of Robin Hood

Authors: Patricia Leitch, Peter Archer

Publisher: Fontana Books (1979)

In the cruel, dark days of King John, the poor people of England were taxed to starvation, while the rich barons lived off the fat of the land. One man was bold enough to fight back. Robin of Loxley, once a nobleman and now a fugitive in Sherwood Forest, gathered about him the finest archers and swordsmen in the land, all sworn to righting injustice. No wealthy lord or abbot who ventured through the forest was safe from the cunning of Robin Hood, and many a peasant, later finding a gold coin on his doorstep, had cause to bless him and his daring followers. But life in the forest was full of danger, for Robin’s enemies would stop at nothing to capture him ...

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The Bear And The Nightingale

Author: Katherine Arden

Publisher: Del Rey (2017)

In a village at the edge of the wilderness of northern Russia, where the winds blow cold and the snow falls many months of the year, an elderly servant tells stories of sorcery, folklore and the Winter King to the children of the family, tales of old magic frowned upon by the church. But for the young, wild Vasya these are far more than just stories. She alone can see the house spirits that guard her home, and sense the growing forces of dark magic in the woods...

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The Buried Giant

Author: Kazou Ishiguro

Publisher: Faber & Faber (2016)

The Romans have long since departed, and Britain is steadily declining into ruin. But at least the wars that once ravaged the country have ceased. The Buried Giant begins as a couple, Axl and Beatrice, set off across a troubled land of mist and rain in the hope of finding a son they have not seen for years. They expect to face many hazards - some strange and other-worldly - but they cannot yet foresee how their journey will reveal to them dark and forgotten corners of their love for one another. Sometimes savage, often intensely moving, Kazuo Ishiguro's first novel in a decade is about lost memories, love, revenge and war.

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The King Must Die

Author: Mary Renault

Publisher: Four Square (1961)

Theseus is the grandson of the King of Troizen, but his paternity is shrouded in mystery - can he really be the son of the god Poseidon? When he discovers his father's sword beneath a rock, his mother must reveal his true identity: Theseus is the son of Aegeus, King of Athens, and is his only heir. So begins Theseus's perilous journey to his father's palace to claim his birth right, escaping bandits and ritual king sacrifice in Eleusis, to slaying the Minotaur in Crete. Renault reimagines the Theseus myth, creating an original, exciting story.

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