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Clothar the Frank (The Camulod Chronicles,…
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Clothar the Frank (The Camulod Chronicles, Book 8) (2003 original; edició 2003)

de Jack Whyte

Sèrie: Camulod Chronicles (8)

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5371433,795 (3.91)5
Jack Whyte has written a lyrical epic, retelling the myths behind the boy who would become the Man Who Would Be King--Arthur Pendragon. He has shown us, as Diana Gabaldon said, "the bone beneath the flesh of legend." In his last book in this series, we witnessed the young king pull the sword from the stone and begin his journey to greatness. Now we reach the tale itself-how the most shining court in history was made. Clothar is a young man of promise. He has been sent from the wreckage of Gaul to one of the few schools remaining, where logic and rhetoric are taught along with battle techniques that will allow him to survive in the cruel new world where the veneer of civilization is held together by barbarism. He is sent by his mentor on a journey to aid another young man: Arthur Pendragon. He is a man who wants to replace barbarism with law, and keep those who work only for destruction at bay. He is seen, as the last great hope for all that is good. Clothar is drawn to this man, and together they build a dream too perfect to last--and, with a special woman, they share a love that will nearly destroy them all... The name of Clothar may be unknown to modern readers, for tales change in the telling through centuries. But any reader will surely know this heroic young man as well as they know the man who became his king. Hundreds of years later, chronicles call Clothar, the Lance Thrower, by a much more common name. That of Lancelot.… (més)
Membre:eaglerose88
Títol:Clothar the Frank (The Camulod Chronicles, Book 8)
Autors:Jack Whyte
Informació:Viking Canada (2003), Edition: 1st Canadian Edition, Hardcover, 624 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:
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Clothar the Frank de Jack Whyte (2003)

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  5083mitzi | Apr 4, 2021 |
The eight book in the Camulod Chronicles. This one moves away from Camulod, into Gaul, where we meet a new character: Clothar, whom history will remember as Lancelot. This is my least favourite book in the series. Clothar displayed very little personality, and the things about him I found most interesting (his relationship with his adoptive family, his devotion to Bishop Germanus and his brief intention to become a priest, his grief for his lost friend and his fear in the face of his first battle) were barely touched on, pushed aside in favour of emphasising what a military genius he is and endless rambling about tactics. His backstory as the firstborn son of a deposed king who’s honour-bound to seek vengeance for his father was built up and up but never really went anywhere (and, after reading the final book, I can confirm that it never goes anywhere). I spent the whole book waiting for him to go to Camulod already, and it only happened in the last chapter. ( )
  elusiverica | Aug 15, 2020 |
I have thoroughly enjoy this final book in the Camulod Chronicles series. A foray into a new character, Clothar, extends the story into a new realm. I wish there was more. ( )
  julieandbeli | Jun 28, 2020 |
I thoroughly enjoy Jack Whyte's writing. This eighth edition to the Camulod Series takes us on a new journey with Clothar from Gual. I found myself enjoying the new story line, but missing all the characters and story line from the previous 7 books. At the very end the characters from the previous books are tied in briefly, and I'm looking forward to what the ninth book brings. ( )
  julieandbeli | Apr 23, 2020 |
(Originally published in the now defunct Montreal Mirror, 2004) To say that author Jack Whyte is "bristling" is almost an understatement. Some unfortunate Penguin publicist made the egregious error of promoting Whyte's latest novel, Clothar the Frank (known outside of Canada as The Lance Thrower), as "fantasy fiction" à la Tolkien. Sitting across from me at an Outremont café, cappuccino in hand, little veins begin to pop out the side of Whyte's neck.

"This is not fantasy at all — it's not fantasy," he says, the lilting remnants of the author's Scottish brogue somehow serving to heighten his indignation. "To me, fantasy is high fantasy. Very very few people include the ‘high.' But fantasy to me means orcs, hobbits, magical swords and great deeds of derring-do against the supernatural elements — and I don't deal with any of that."

Clothar is the first novel of a pair — a companion couplet to Whyte's popular A Dream of Eagles series — and recounts the early years of King Arthur's controversial sideman Lancelot du Lac (or Clothar the Frank, as Whyte would have it). "My major hang-up with this kind of treatment of my work is that, because Arthur is not a provable historic figure, anything with the word ‘Arthurian' attached to it ipso facto has to be fantasy.

"According to the pundits who run the publishing world in America today there is no such genre as historical fiction! And that really ticks me off. Especially in the U.S., where anything with the Arthurian connotation is automatically tied to fantasy — and science fiction, that really gets me!"
The problem with the publicist's choice of label is, of course, that over the years the successful B.C. writer has set himself apart from Arthurian novelists in the fantasy genre by reconstructing this legendary world as viable historical fiction. The man prides himself on appealing to bona fide historians and mainstream readers. "My first five books — my original series — is not Arthurian at all, it's pre-Arthurian," Whyte clarifies. "It's a deconstruction of the root elements of the legend — the various events that would, over the next 1,000 years, weave themselves into what we now have as the Arthurian epic. And I tried to strip away all the accretions that were added to it by oral storytellers over the centuries and get back to what might feasibly have occurred."

In Clothar, Whyte posits the beginnings of Arthur's fairweather friend as taking place in house of Clothar's uncle, King Ban of Benwick, a Ripuarian Frank with a small kingdom in Genava (Geneva, today). Set in the mid-400s (at least 50 years earlier than many place Arthurian times), Whyte weaves a pretty fine epic tale around young Clothar, redefining his origins as the son of an ousted, murdered Frankish king from the north, saved and raised in Genava by his mother's sister Vivienne — known by locals as the "Lady of the Lake" due to her wondrously unusual habit of swimming in the unforgiving depths of Lake Geneva.

In some senses, it's easy to see why a publicist would try to sell Tolkien fans on Clothar. Readers who exult in Aragorn's heroic "deeds of derring-do," who're traumatized by Boromir's fatal weakness and gripped by the bloody battles against beastly orcs — these people will find ample heroism, vice and brutal warfare on the pages of Whyte's novels.

But in reading Clothar there's no escaping that this is a historical novel. Whyte paints his scenes with a pretty heavy-handed didactic brush. Keenly aware that modern readers are undereducated when it comes to ancient history, Whyte charges ahead whole hog trying to fill in the gaps. There are detailed explanations of Roman civic structure, military structure and weaponry, summaries of the victories of major strategists and on and on. "Well, I'm a teacher," Whyte readily admits. "I'm an old school teacher and you can never get rid of it. But that's a storyteller quality too. There's no point in telling a jaded, modern reader a story about something that happened 1,600 years ago unless you can give them enough detail so that the reader can get their claws into it and feel it and smell it and taste it. And that's storytelling. That is not literary writing, but it is storytelling."

Debate this definition as you may, if we'd had teachers like Whyte in school we'd know our history inside and out. His passionate lessons are the kind that students rave about years later. The quibble, at least in the case of Clothar, may have more to do with Whyte's use of the first-person narrative. "First person seems to be my natural voice — it's my preferred voice," says Whyte. "There are limitations, in that you can only talk about what your character actually experiences, but for all its shortcomings I find myself most comfortable in that voice. My prime motivation is to create real characters — real people — and when I do that, particularly with a protagonist, then I find that I tend to become that character." And here Whyte has unwittingly hit the crux of the problem. His need to lecture his readers sometimes forces his protagonist into the role of the ventriloquist's dummy — and too often we can see the master's lips moving.

Read as a standalone novel, the strongest part of the tale begins when Clothar leaves his school days behind and is initiated into manhood. There's a wicked ambush scene vividly portrayed — a gory, visceral account as told by our traumatized protagonist portrayed in the best storytelling tradition. Many will be most drawn in when Whyte leaves behind the fireside chats expounding on historical events and digs into the hardcore fiction, fleshing out Clothar's adventures: depictions of slaughter and treachery, tense confrontations with unknown assailants, and friendships borne out of brave feats.

Fans of Whyte's Dream of Eagles series may find themselves rushing ahead, falsely assuming the main story arc here to be Clothar's introduction to Merlyn or even Arthur. To do that is to miss the most salient storytelling in the book. But all the groundwork for that story is introduced here: pretty young Gwinnifer and her prowess with a spear, and a fun little Merry Men-ish encounter when Clothar and Arthur meet for the first time. You'll have to wait for Book 2 for Whyte's interpretation of the Arthurian legend as we know it. After seven volumes of setup, the follow-up to Clothar the Frank is set to be Whyte's last Arthurian hurrah. From there he'll be putting his meticulous style towards a trilogy involving the Knights Templar. ( )
  NaomiQC | Aug 8, 2017 |
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Original title: Clothar the Frank, also published as "The Lance Thrower" in the USA
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Jack Whyte has written a lyrical epic, retelling the myths behind the boy who would become the Man Who Would Be King--Arthur Pendragon. He has shown us, as Diana Gabaldon said, "the bone beneath the flesh of legend." In his last book in this series, we witnessed the young king pull the sword from the stone and begin his journey to greatness. Now we reach the tale itself-how the most shining court in history was made. Clothar is a young man of promise. He has been sent from the wreckage of Gaul to one of the few schools remaining, where logic and rhetoric are taught along with battle techniques that will allow him to survive in the cruel new world where the veneer of civilization is held together by barbarism. He is sent by his mentor on a journey to aid another young man: Arthur Pendragon. He is a man who wants to replace barbarism with law, and keep those who work only for destruction at bay. He is seen, as the last great hope for all that is good. Clothar is drawn to this man, and together they build a dream too perfect to last--and, with a special woman, they share a love that will nearly destroy them all... The name of Clothar may be unknown to modern readers, for tales change in the telling through centuries. But any reader will surely know this heroic young man as well as they know the man who became his king. Hundreds of years later, chronicles call Clothar, the Lance Thrower, by a much more common name. That of Lancelot.

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