This completes Cornwell’s well-received Warlord Chronicles, an Arthurian trilogy (The Winter King, 1996, and Enemy of God, 1997). And, yes, this is the same author who wrote the wonderfully entertaining Sharpe series of 18th-century military adventure. Here, a revisionist Cornwell moves away smartly from Malory’s Morte d—Artur (not to mention John Boorman’s magnificent film Excalibur), which is all Frenchified romance and not sixth-century British history, which itself is very sketchy. Cornwell’s Guinevere has betrayed and left Arthur, while Lancelot too departs as both coward and traitor. In this last of the series, Arthur strives to unite Britain under one throne, while Merlin and Mordred bring down upon him the Druidic gods, who can be stopped only by Arthur’s baptism into Christianity. Splendid, white-hot storytelling.