Bernard Cornwell,
Stonehenge: 2000 B.C.
(HarperCollins, 2000)

Bernard Cornwell's particular literary talent lies in his marvelously rich imagination and ability to extrapolate relevant, intelligent and highly entertaining stories from the merest and scantest of archeological and historical data. In Stonehenge: 2000 B.C., he vividly imagines the people who built the mysterious monument well before the time of Christ.

Cornwell's characters are always very realistic and easy for 21st century readers to relate to. Whether writing of the sea in his Sharpe series or dealing with Arthurian material in his Warlord Chronicles, all with grand stage settings and unforgettable background events, the lives of ordinary people become as true and relevant as the latest breaking news.

This book deals with three brothers who are as different as brothers can be -- but they are united in their vision of what the great temple we know as Stonehenge should become. Cornwell includes a lot of creative pagan mythology here and the influence of such scholars as Joseph Campbell and Carl Jung can readily be discerned in his writing. But don't be misled; this is still an action-packed page-turner as are all of Cornwell's books. This novel is a great read for those exhausting dog days of August.

by Stephen Richmond
8 October 2005

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