It is a good season, Igraine tells me, to write of old things and so she has brought me a fresh pile of skins, a flask of newly mixed ink and a sheaf of quills. Tell me of Arthur, she says, of Golden Arthur, our last and best hope, our king who never was king, the enemy of God and scourge of Saxons. Tell me of Arthur.
Arthur, the warlord, has won his victory on the bloody turf of Lugg Vale. The kingdoms are finally united. Mordred's throne is safe; Guinevere carries Arthur's child; Lancelot is to marry Ceinwyn. And then in the spring, a march against the Saxons, one last great slaughter and Arthur will have won his dream of everlasting peace, and be able to rule with his band of warriors, who have taken the hand of friendship with each other.
But Arthur has forgotten the Gods. He believes in the law, the Gods love chaos and the Gods will win.
But one man will never forget the Gods. Merlin. If he can bring together Britain's thirteen sacred objects, scattered when the Romans laid waste to Ynys Mon, the Blessed Isle, the Gods will be restored, the Saxons flung into the sea and the last brief flickers of Christianity snuffed out. For Merlin, Britain without the Gods is nothing. Derfel, the stalwart of Arthur's shield wall, is drawin into Merlin's intrigues, and Arthur's plans are tipped into chaos.
Enemy of God builds on the success of The Winter King, bringing Arthur and his world to vivid life. A man battling for his vision of the future in a brutal age, dragged down by suspicions and magics of the past, surrounded by intrigue, dependent on his skill at war and genius for leadership.
Bernard Cornwell (born 1944) is a prolific and popular English historical novelist.