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Arthur Dux Bellorum (A Light in the Dark Ages Book 4)

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From the ruins of post-Roman Britain, a warrior arises to unite a troubled land. Britain in the late Fifth Century is a troubled place – riven with tribal infighting and beset by invaders in search of plunder and settlement. King Uther is dead, and his daughter, Morgana, seizes the crown for her infant son, Mordred. Merlyn’s attempt to present Arthur as the true son and hei From the ruins of post-Roman Britain, a warrior arises to unite a troubled land. Britain in the late Fifth Century is a troubled place – riven with tribal infighting and beset by invaders in search of plunder and settlement. King Uther is dead, and his daughter, Morgana, seizes the crown for her infant son, Mordred. Merlyn’s attempt to present Arthur as the true son and heir of Uther is scorned, and the bewildered teenager finds himself in prison. Here our story begins… Arthur finds friends in unexpected quarters and together they flee. Travelling through a fractured landscape of tribal conflict and suspicion, they attempt to stay one step ahead of their pursuers, whilst keeping a wary eye on Saxon invaders menacing the shoreline. Arthur’s reputation as a fearsome warrior grows as he learns the harsh lessons needed to survive and acquire the skills of a dux bellorum, a lord of war. Tim Walker’s Arthur Dux Bellorum is a fresh look at the Arthurian legend, combining myth, history and gripping battle scenes. Although in a series, it can be read as a standalone novel. Fans of Bernard Cornwell, Conn Iggulden and Mathew Harffy will enjoy Walker’s A Light in the Dark Ages series and its newest addition – Arthur Dux Bellorum.


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From the ruins of post-Roman Britain, a warrior arises to unite a troubled land. Britain in the late Fifth Century is a troubled place – riven with tribal infighting and beset by invaders in search of plunder and settlement. King Uther is dead, and his daughter, Morgana, seizes the crown for her infant son, Mordred. Merlyn’s attempt to present Arthur as the true son and hei From the ruins of post-Roman Britain, a warrior arises to unite a troubled land. Britain in the late Fifth Century is a troubled place – riven with tribal infighting and beset by invaders in search of plunder and settlement. King Uther is dead, and his daughter, Morgana, seizes the crown for her infant son, Mordred. Merlyn’s attempt to present Arthur as the true son and heir of Uther is scorned, and the bewildered teenager finds himself in prison. Here our story begins… Arthur finds friends in unexpected quarters and together they flee. Travelling through a fractured landscape of tribal conflict and suspicion, they attempt to stay one step ahead of their pursuers, whilst keeping a wary eye on Saxon invaders menacing the shoreline. Arthur’s reputation as a fearsome warrior grows as he learns the harsh lessons needed to survive and acquire the skills of a dux bellorum, a lord of war. Tim Walker’s Arthur Dux Bellorum is a fresh look at the Arthurian legend, combining myth, history and gripping battle scenes. Although in a series, it can be read as a standalone novel. Fans of Bernard Cornwell, Conn Iggulden and Mathew Harffy will enjoy Walker’s A Light in the Dark Ages series and its newest addition – Arthur Dux Bellorum.

30 review for Arthur Dux Bellorum (A Light in the Dark Ages Book 4)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Susan Hampson

    This is the fourth book in the ‘A Light in the Dark Ages’ series and one that I have been holding my breath for because this is the story of King Arthur. Merlin had convinced King Uther that his new-born son, Arthur, was in grave danger, so he took the baby to be raised as an ordinary boy. A boy trained by a very skilled swordsman. When King Uther died Merlyn introduced the now teenager to court but no-one would believe that he was heir to the throne, even after he pulls Excalibur from the stone. This is the fourth book in the ‘A Light in the Dark Ages’ series and one that I have been holding my breath for because this is the story of King Arthur. Merlin had convinced King Uther that his new-born son, Arthur, was in grave danger, so he took the baby to be raised as an ordinary boy. A boy trained by a very skilled swordsman. When King Uther died Merlyn introduced the now teenager to court but no-one would believe that he was heir to the throne, even after he pulls Excalibur from the stone. A little bit of a set up where the secret of how it was done is revealed. Arthur is put in prison, while Morgana, Uther’s daughter, takes the crown for her baby son. Arthur a typical teenager with raging mood swings, soon finds surprising friends from unexpected places that help his escape. The story that follows spans from Arthur’s teenage years to a middle-aged man, that has matured into a wise, respected and feared lord of war, with his constant companion Excalibur. I was mesmerised by this story that each page brought to life. From Excalibur, to the outbursts of frustration that can only be fuelled by raging hormones of youth. The book is bursting with battles both from invaders and fractious leaders of settlements throughout Britain. The Knights that were to become legends themselves, Gawain and Percival are at Arthur’s side every step forging alliances as Arthur’s followers grow. They make their way north, constantly one move in front of the armies of the King. The battles are tremendous, the negotiations tense and Merlyn being more man than magical myth. A man who often steps on the darker side of druids than the church. He is fascinating but someone I wouldn’t like to be on the wrong side of. Tim Walker just doesn’t begin this story with a boy and end it with a man. Arthur’s right of passage wasn’t served on a plate, he earned every man’s respect and grew with age into a legend that is still talked about. The story is mesmerizing, brutal and stunning. Loving this series.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mary Yarde

    “We live in dangerous times…” When King Uther Pendragon died, his daughter, Morgana, placed her son upon the throne. However, Mordred is just a child, and therefore it is Morgana that rules the kingdom, and she will quash her enemies, even if they are of her blood, if it serves her purpose to do so. Artorius’ destiny, if you can call it that, was nothing more than a conjurer’s trick that had been planned and executed by the overly zealous healer, although some say sorcerer, Merlyn. But it is not M “We live in dangerous times…” When King Uther Pendragon died, his daughter, Morgana, placed her son upon the throne. However, Mordred is just a child, and therefore it is Morgana that rules the kingdom, and she will quash her enemies, even if they are of her blood, if it serves her purpose to do so. Artorius’ destiny, if you can call it that, was nothing more than a conjurer’s trick that had been planned and executed by the overly zealous healer, although some say sorcerer, Merlyn. But it is not Merlyn that languishes in prison. For it was not he that pulled the sword from the stone. Merlyn does not have to suffer the squalor and indignity of a prison cell. Artorius' succession to his father’s throne may not have gone exactly the way Merlyn had envisaged, but he wasn’t one to give up. He would vanquish Morgana and her son. All he had to do was to break Artorius out of prison and then convince the other tribes that Artorius is Uther’s son and therefore is the heir apparent and should be sat where Mordred sits. However, such things are easier said than done. Merlyn must use his wit and cunning to achieve that which seems, on the face of it, impossible. From a dark and filthy cell to the coronation of one of the most celebrated legendary kings of all time, Arthur Dux Bellorum (A Light in the Dark Ages Book 4) by Tim Walker is the story of a young teenage boy, who despite all the odds, takes the throne that is rightfully his. Following in the footsteps of the great Arthurian authors, Walker has penned a story that is as rich in historical detail as it is in all its mythological traditions. Drawing on the works of Monmouth, Nennius and Welsh folklore, Walker has presented a hero who has to desperately fight a seemingly invincible foe to win his throne and take his place in British history. Walker’s compelling narrative caught my attention from the opening sentence. Walker’s careful blend of mystery, treachery, deceit, war, honour, and the knightly code made this book unputdownable. The skilfully described battle scenes were so real in the telling that I could almost taste the terror and the chaos as our intrepid hero fought for not only his life, but for the throne and the kingdom which was rightfully his. All of which is set against a very believable historical backdrop. The forces of good and evil run through the heart of this book. Morgana’s desire for power is as seemingly unstoppable as the tide. She is determined to secure her son’s throne. However, one could surmise that it is not in Mordred’s interest that Morgana is so despotic in her ambition to vanquish her enemies, but in her own insatiable lust for power. Morgana is often portrayed as the anti-hero in the story of Arthur, but I thought Walker brought a refreshingly new take on the character. She is deplorable, but at the same time she drives this story forward, and I found myself holding my breath as she continued to plot and scheme to thwart her adversaries. In comparison to Morgana, her half-siblings, and in particular Artorius, came across as level headed and for the most part compassionate. Artorius does struggle with some of the things he has done, particularly in the heat of battle, which I think gave his character a tremendous depth, and made him very believable. Likewise, Merlyn was a character I enjoyed reading about. His ingenuity and his use of the tools available to him made his story compulsively readable. I enjoyed following his progression throughout this wonderful book. There are several secondary characters that fans of Arthurian fiction will be familiar with — Gawain, Percival, Bors and Tristan — all of whom Artorius looks up to for advice. I thought these characters were well fleshed, and I look forward to reading more about them in the next edition of this remarkable series. Like a heroic poem from times of old, Tim Walker’s Arthurian saga continues to mesmerise. A must read for those who love everything Arthurian, but also for those who have a keen interest in the Dark Ages. I Highly Recommend. Review by Mary Anne Yarde. The Coffee Pot Book Club.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Bobbie

    This is a new take on the classic of the Arthurian Legend featuring Arthur, Morgaise, and Merlin before Arthur becomes King of Camelot. It's an action packed adventure created vividly by the historical author Tim Walker. I had read his first Arthurian book, and I enjoyed this one even more! This is a new take on the classic of the Arthurian Legend featuring Arthur, Morgaise, and Merlin before Arthur becomes King of Camelot. It's an action packed adventure created vividly by the historical author Tim Walker. I had read his first Arthurian book, and I enjoyed this one even more!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Joan Dawson

    I really like historical fiction and legends. King Arthur, the Knights of the Round Table, Merlin have been my favorite heroes since childhood. I really like the Tim Walker's book series. He has a completely new and fresh look at all the famous events and my favorite characters. I am very pleased to read about their adventures and look forward to the release of new books. This book is one of the most interesting - adventures, legends, secrets - there are everything that people love about adventur I really like historical fiction and legends. King Arthur, the Knights of the Round Table, Merlin have been my favorite heroes since childhood. I really like the Tim Walker's book series. He has a completely new and fresh look at all the famous events and my favorite characters. I am very pleased to read about their adventures and look forward to the release of new books. This book is one of the most interesting - adventures, legends, secrets - there are everything that people love about adventure genre! I highly recommend this book to people of any age!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Susan Neal

    Arthur Dux Bellorum (A Light in the Dark Ages Book 4) by Tim Walker is one of my favorites in this series. The continuation of the legendary adventures of King Arthur is something that is impressive a lot and I could not tear myself away from the book until I read it completely. Very often the sequels of the series become worse, the plot is more banal, but not in the case of the books by Tim Walker. His books only get better. Each next book is more interesting and exciting than the previous one. I Arthur Dux Bellorum (A Light in the Dark Ages Book 4) by Tim Walker is one of my favorites in this series. The continuation of the legendary adventures of King Arthur is something that is impressive a lot and I could not tear myself away from the book until I read it completely. Very often the sequels of the series become worse, the plot is more banal, but not in the case of the books by Tim Walker. His books only get better. Each next book is more interesting and exciting than the previous one. I am a big fan of Tim Walker's writing talent and I look forward to his new books.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Good Reader

    This book has all the ingredients one would expect to be included in a medieval fiction brew. Epic treks, sword-clanging battles and a wizard named Merlyn. The plot develops nicely as it is stirred to adequate thickness with each page turned. From the opening line, you get the sense that it is part of an ongoing series and you already have a lot to catch up on. And indeed, as this is Book Four in the series. The premise of the story is engaging enough. Young Arthur is the true heir to the throne This book has all the ingredients one would expect to be included in a medieval fiction brew. Epic treks, sword-clanging battles and a wizard named Merlyn. The plot develops nicely as it is stirred to adequate thickness with each page turned. From the opening line, you get the sense that it is part of an ongoing series and you already have a lot to catch up on. And indeed, as this is Book Four in the series. The premise of the story is engaging enough. Young Arthur is the true heir to the throne but must survive like a fugitive and escape persecution before fulfilling his true destiny. The wizard provides a charming literary companion as this concoction percolates. The vengeful Morgana wears the villain hat well and provides the much needed conflict that allows the story-line to simmer where it should. This book is quite entertaining on the whole if you normally enjoy this genre. Medieval stories will always have a charm that will see them continue to be an ongoing part of literature and cinema. So in saying that, this novel is a welcome addition.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Gates

    A country impossible to unite? Resonance with modern Britain? i do hope not. But in this novel by Tim Walker, the legendary King Arthur is portrayed as a young man (teens to twenties) on the cusp of doing just that: uniting a country where every bush and tree seems to hide yet another enemy, probably speaking yet another language. Just to complicate the task. Written in a clean reporting style, Walker ticks off Arthur’s battles, each of which represent another stage in the development of a united A country impossible to unite? Resonance with modern Britain? i do hope not. But in this novel by Tim Walker, the legendary King Arthur is portrayed as a young man (teens to twenties) on the cusp of doing just that: uniting a country where every bush and tree seems to hide yet another enemy, probably speaking yet another language. Just to complicate the task. Written in a clean reporting style, Walker ticks off Arthur’s battles, each of which represent another stage in the development of a united Britannia and Arthur’s development from a teenage warrior in training to a fully-fledged leader of a nation. He explores how the necessary qualities are nurtured and teased out step by step by not only Merlyn (who bears more than a passing resemblance to Gandalf) but also the traditional luminaries of the Arthurian legends (Gawain, Bors abd Percival, for example) but in this story they appear as flesh and blood and as vulnerable in human terms as you and I. Fascinating reading.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

    Arthur Dux Bellorum, is book number four in the, ‘ A Light in the Dark Ages’ series but can be read as a standalone story. Tim Walker gives the old Arthurian legends a fresh look and by, “combining myth, history and gripping battle scenes”, writes a thrilling novel full of adventure. The story is based in fifth century Britain, in the ruins of post Roman rule, and focuses on a warrior emerging to unite the troubled land, dealing with tribal infighting and invaders. At the beginning of the book K Arthur Dux Bellorum, is book number four in the, ‘ A Light in the Dark Ages’ series but can be read as a standalone story. Tim Walker gives the old Arthurian legends a fresh look and by, “combining myth, history and gripping battle scenes”, writes a thrilling novel full of adventure. The story is based in fifth century Britain, in the ruins of post Roman rule, and focuses on a warrior emerging to unite the troubled land, dealing with tribal infighting and invaders. At the beginning of the book King Uther is dead and his daughter Morgana has taken the crown for her baby son Mordred, whilst Merlyn presents Arthur as the true king as Uther’s son. This leads to teenager Arthur being taken to prison but with the help of friends manages to escape. Arthur has to deal with his pursuers, Saxon invaders and a harsh and unforgiving landscape but quickly gains a reputation as a fearsome warrior and gains the skills needed as a ‘dux bellorum’, a lord of war. This is a fast paced story, well written and it gives a new look at the Arthur legends. I read it as a standalone novel happily

  9. 4 out of 5

    M.S.

    Well written and researched, historical fiction meets fantasy for an enjoyable read! This well written, well researched story visits the familiar tale of Arthur Pendragon, focusing on the time between freeing Excalibur and the eventual time when he’s actually ready to press his claim as King. Alas, not having read the previous three novels, I often felt I was missing the backstory on some of the best bits — the previous adventures of the infamous knights often alluded to, what exactly damaged Mor Well written and researched, historical fiction meets fantasy for an enjoyable read! This well written, well researched story visits the familiar tale of Arthur Pendragon, focusing on the time between freeing Excalibur and the eventual time when he’s actually ready to press his claim as King. Alas, not having read the previous three novels, I often felt I was missing the backstory on some of the best bits — the previous adventures of the infamous knights often alluded to, what exactly damaged Morgana so badly to make her the power hungry and malicious creature she is, what exactly it is that Merlyn is looking for, and other such topics. Still, this was a very engaging tale where historical fiction meets fantasy, with harrowing battles, peoples at war on all sides, an ever-maturing Arthur preparing to fulfill his destiny, and hints at the magic and might of one of the greatest sorcerers of literature. All in all a satisfying and enjoyable read!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Alana

    This book is part of a series but can be read as a standalone. However there were elements of the story that now mean I want to go back and read the previous! This book is about the legend of King Arthur, a story which has been told and retold numerous ways. You have the mythical retellings, but this one is more realistic, showing Arthur as a young man, following him for 10 years to a battle hardened warrior. Merlyn is shown to be a wily wizard - less magical and more full of tricks (as shown by This book is part of a series but can be read as a standalone. However there were elements of the story that now mean I want to go back and read the previous! This book is about the legend of King Arthur, a story which has been told and retold numerous ways. You have the mythical retellings, but this one is more realistic, showing Arthur as a young man, following him for 10 years to a battle hardened warrior. Merlyn is shown to be a wily wizard - less magical and more full of tricks (as shown by how Arthur got Excaliber from the stone). I enjoyed the story – enjoyed seeing new aspects to characters I am aware of – Morgana, Gawain, Percival – and seeing a different side to the story, and to their personalities. The story was a great pace – battles interspersed with political intrigue, calmer moments of reflection with Arthur’s sisters. I enjoyed it – historical fiction with a smattering of magic – a really good read.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Simon Leonard

    Having read and enjoyed the previous three books in this series I was waiting anxiously for this one, which brings the legend of Arthur up-to-date and puts a whole new twist on the legend. All the people you would know about are featured in this story and brought together perfectly. Tim has certainly done his research with this book as it covers all the old legends along with all the new information that has been found recently to make this the most up to date story based on Arthur that I have eve Having read and enjoyed the previous three books in this series I was waiting anxiously for this one, which brings the legend of Arthur up-to-date and puts a whole new twist on the legend. All the people you would know about are featured in this story and brought together perfectly. Tim has certainly done his research with this book as it covers all the old legends along with all the new information that has been found recently to make this the most up to date story based on Arthur that I have ever read. As with the previous books the story flows brilliantly and the fight scenes are really well written along with the locations and characters. The story follows Arthur as he tries to get what is rightfully his, the crown, whilst also fighting off the armies invading from the Saxon Shores and just generally surviving in the world where everyone seems to be out to get him.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Karen Cole

    The enduring legend of King Arthur means he is an instantly recognisable character to many people and there are scores of stories featuring him and his famous Round Table of chivalrous knights. The folkloric myths surrounding Arthur are often romanticised tales of magic and faeries but Tim Walker's novel eschews the fantastical, placing him as a young warrior who needs to convince his fellow Britons that he is the true successor to the throne. At the beginning of the book, he is a teenager, known The enduring legend of King Arthur means he is an instantly recognisable character to many people and there are scores of stories featuring him and his famous Round Table of chivalrous knights. The folkloric myths surrounding Arthur are often romanticised tales of magic and faeries but Tim Walker's novel eschews the fantastical, placing him as a young warrior who needs to convince his fellow Britons that he is the true successor to the throne. At the beginning of the book, he is a teenager, known as Artorius and although he pulled the sword, Excaliber from its stone in front of a cheering crowd (a sleight of hand trick, we learn, facilitated by Merlyn and his bodyguard, Varden), his triumph merely resulted in his arrest and imprisonment. His half-sister, Morgana's young son, Mordred has been declared king and the teenage Artorius angrily blames the ambitious Merlyn for his perilous predicament. After he is helped to escape, he must immediately go on the run to avoid the wrath of Morgana and her husband, Caradoc but with the prospect of danger coming from all quarters, will he survive long enough to claim his birthright? Arthur, Dux Bellorum follows his story from this daring nighttime escape, alongside Merlyn, Varden and the knights Gawain and Percival through some ten years until he is eventually recognised as a true leader who may be the man to unite the fractured land. In order to stay ahead of his enemies, he is forced to keep moving and this gives a real sense of pace to the novel, as he travels from south to north forming alliances and battling various foes along the way. The book is set after the end of the Roman occupation of Britain and although their influence is still apparent everywhere, the ever-present threat now comes from the likes of the Angles, Saxons and Jutes and Arthur realises how vital it is for the native Britons to unite against their potential invaders. This is not a period of history I know that well and although I was aware that this is a work of fiction, Tim Walker's research and attention to detail brought it to life and I loved reading about the various tribes who defended their lands against both homegrown and foreign enemies. The battle scenes are exciting but it's the politicking I found particularly intriguing as Arthur, often under the guidance of Merlyn, attempts to convince others that he is indeed the son of Uther Pendragon and that it would be wiser to swear fealty to him rather than Mordred. Merlyn is a fascinating character; less magic than in other versions of the story but his perpetual scheming and the hints that he may also use sorcery to achieve his ends mean he is as memorable as ever. Most of the book follows Arthur's adventures but some scenes allow readers to discover what is happening elsewhere in the country, most notably with regards to his mother and sisters and serve to underline how dangerous Morgana can be. Arthur, Dux Bellorum is actually the fourth book in Tim Walker's A Light in the Dark Ages series but I am happy to recommend it as a standalone and certainly didn't ever feel at a significant disadvantage at not having read the previous novels. I really enjoyed following Arthur's physical and emotional journey from inexperienced and reluctant novice to a confident warrior and leader of men. Arthur, Dux Bellorum is the sort of engaging historical fiction I'm always delighted to discover; this is described as book four of four but I hope there is more to come as I will definitely be reading any future books in the series and look forward to catching up with the previous novels.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Melinda Sharp

  14. 4 out of 5

    Debra McLelland

  15. 4 out of 5

    Diana John

  16. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

  17. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Hansen

  18. 4 out of 5

    J F MCCABE

  19. 4 out of 5

    Alicia Bartz

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jacquelyn Henson

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sallie Fife

  22. 4 out of 5

    Deanna Sundquist

  23. 4 out of 5

    Doris McCarty

  24. 5 out of 5

    Emily Pelchat

  25. 5 out of 5

    Shirley

  26. 4 out of 5

    Paul Morgan

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mary Wilhite

  28. 5 out of 5

    Josefina

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ethel Burnham

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mandy Walkden-Brown

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