We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.co.uk/access.
The Winter King Audiobook

The Winter King: The Warlord Chronicles, Book 1

Regular Price:£16.99
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • £7.99/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

Uther, the High King of Britain, has died, leaving the infant Mordred as his only heir. His uncle, the loyal and gifted warlord Arthur, now rules as caretaker for a country which has fallen into chaos - threats emerge from within the British kingdoms while vicious Saxon armies stand ready to invade.

Uther, the High King of Britain, has died, leaving the infant Mordred as his only heir. His uncle, the loyal and gifted warlord Arthur, now rules as caretaker for a country which has fallen into chaos - threats emerge from within the British kingdoms while vicious Saxon armies stand ready to invade.

As he struggles to unite Britain and hold back the Saxon enemy, Arthur is embroiled in a doomed romance with beautiful Guinevere.

©1995 Bernard Cornwell (P)2014 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (237 )
5 star
 (159)
4 star
 (56)
3 star
 (8)
2 star
 (7)
1 star
 (7)
Overall
4.5 (217 )
5 star
 (148)
4 star
 (49)
3 star
 (9)
2 star
 (5)
1 star
 (6)
Story
4.6 (214 )
5 star
 (154)
4 star
 (40)
3 star
 (11)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
 (5)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Matt 29/08/2014
    Matt 29/08/2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Simply Brilliant"
    Would you listen to The Winter King again? Why?

    This is the kind of story you can enjoy over and over again. The Winter King boasts an engrossing, complex and compelling storyline rarely found in stories based on the Arthurian legends, which tend toward the tradition of chivalry, knights, round tables and simple good/evil battles against Mordred, Oberon and Morgan Le Fay. Bernard Cornwell has done a masterful job in The Warlord Chronicles of creating an Arthur that is believable, an Arthur desperately trying to hold post-Roman Britain together when the stabilising forces of the empire have gone and the chaotic forces of inter-kingdom warfare, religious conflict and Saxon invasions have come. This brilliant story is told by a brilliant narrator, Jonathan Keeble, whose voice and performance are absolutely perfect for this dark historical fantasy.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Perhaps the story's strongest aspect is Bernard Cornwell's careful maintenance of historical realism. It is easy to imagine a Britain in the grip of the early Dark Ages, unsure of itself and vulnerable in the aftermath of the departure of the Roman legions and the arrival of hordes of Saxons. It is all the more moving when you realise that history holds the eventual end of the story; we know that the Saxons succeeded in conquering much of Britain, and it doesn't matter how hard Arthur fights. The Saxons will win in the end.


    Which character – as performed by Jonathan Keeble – was your favourite?

    Jonathan Keeble's performances of all the characters in this audiobook are brilliant - he is the perfect narrator for this story. But perhaps his greatest success is in his portrayal of Arthur himself. The voice that Keeble uses for Arthur is only slightly different than the voice which he uses to portray the main character, Derfel, but it is enough. A slight tone in Arthur's voice immediately identifies him and carries across his humanity, compassion, ambition and altruism all at the same time.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    The only downside to this audiobook is its sheer length. At almost 20 hours, it is impossible to listen to the whole thing in one sitting - unless you are possessed of resolute determination, an iron will, and a lack of need for sleep. I would have liked to listen to all 20 hours without a break, as I found that when I had to turn it off to sleep and resumed it in the morning the story became a little disjointed. However, this is only a minor complaint and I would much rather have a long audiobook that takes multiple sittings than a short one that's over too soon.


    Any additional comments?

    This is an excellent example of historical fiction and of a legend being historicised. I cannot recommend this audiobook highly enough and eagerly await next month's credit so I can download the next instalment in the trilogy.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RJB1 UK 08/01/2015
    RJB1 UK 08/01/2015 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    41
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The start of a great trilogy"
    Any additional comments?

    Another excellent series by Bernard Cornwell. In my opinion this is his second best series behind The Saxon Stories. His portrayal of magic is excellent such that it becomes believable in a historical fiction setting, rather than fantasy where magic usually belongs.

    As always with Cornwell, the battles are marvelously described, seeming to put you in the middle of the shield wall with the protagonist, Derfel.

    The narration is superb, Jonathan Keeble has a powerful orators voice and is able to do a wide variety of accents so you immediately know the character who is speaking.

    If you enjoy historical fiction, fantasy or other novels by Bernard Cornwell you should definitely try this one.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    TheOutsSeeker 30/11/2014
    TheOutsSeeker 30/11/2014 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Just excellent - well narrated and catching story"
    What did you like most about The Winter King?

    The Winter King features an catching, complex and compelling storyline rarely found in stories based on the Arthurian legends, which tend toward the tradition of chivalry, knights, round tables and simple good/evil battles against Mordred, Oberon and Morgan Le Fay.This brilliant story is told by a brilliant narrator, Jonathan Keeble, whose voice and performance are absolutely perfect for this dark historical fantasy.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The careful historical realism maintained by Bernard Cornwell. It is easy to imagine a Britain in the grip of the early Dark Ages, unsure of itself and vulnerable in the aftermath of the departure of the Roman legions and the arrival of hordes of Saxons. Especially in the light of history, we know that the Saxons succeeded in conquering much of Britain, and it doesn't matter how hard Arthur fights. The Saxons will win in the end.


    Which character – as performed by Jonathan Keeble – was your favourite?

    Jonathan Keeble's performances of all the characters in this audiobook are brilliant - he is the perfect narrator for this story. But perhaps his greatest success is in his portrayal of Arthur himself.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I laughed out loud a few times, thanks to both Cornwell's understated writing and Keeble's acting.


    Any additional comments?

    This is an excellent example of historical fiction and of a legend being historic. I cannot recommend this audiobook highly enough and eagerly await next month's credit so I can download the next installment in the trilogy.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    The Wolf Glasgow 20/11/2014
    The Wolf Glasgow 20/11/2014 Member Since 2014

    Author of Wolf's Head, The Wolf & The Raven, Rise of the Wolf, Knight of the Cross and Friar Tuck & The Christmas Devil.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    35
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    45
    24
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Classic"
    Would you listen to The Winter King again? Why?

    The narrator was entertaining and brought the story - one of my favourites - to life.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Winter King?

    The part where Gundlias comes to the Tor....


    What does Jonathan Keeble bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    I really liked his various voices for the male characters. The female characters were sometimes OTT and verging on the Monty Python, Life of Brian "He's not a naughty boy" kind of thing but, overall, Keeble was an excellent narrator.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I laughed out loud a few times, thanks to both Cornwell's understated writing and Keeble's acting.


    Any additional comments?

    I read this series when it first came out and thought the audiobook would be a good way to go through it again without actually reading it. I wasn't disappointed and look forward to listening to the next two books with my membership credits.

    Steven A. McKay, author of WOLF'S HEAD.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nigel Hollingworth North Lincs UK 29/09/2016
    Nigel Hollingworth North Lincs UK 29/09/2016 Member Since 2013

    Nigel Hollingworth

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not too bad but a long haul"

    I'll be honest, I'm fairly new to Cornwell's works but this one I just fo

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Chipperfield Frimley Green, England 08/09/2016
    Paul Chipperfield Frimley Green, England 08/09/2016 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Oh Dear, this one wasn't for me"
    Would you try another book written by Bernard Cornwell or narrated by Jonathan Keeble?

    Oh yes, and I have loved the Lords of the North series, which I bought from iTunes, but I shouldn't say that should it. This one just didn't do it for me and I haven't managed to get through it yet. Narration was very good


    Would you ever listen to anything by Bernard Cornwell again?

    Yes, but I will be careful next time


    Which character – as performed by Jonathan Keeble – was your favourite?

    No, I couldn't get into the book regardless of how good it was read.


    You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    None struck me.


    Any additional comments?

    I will come back once I have managed to get to the end, but that isn't in my thoughts at this time.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jamie Nelson 05/07/2016
    Jamie Nelson 05/07/2016 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Highly recommended, one of my favourite books."
    What did you like most about The Winter King?

    The fresh take on a familiar story, giving it a more realistic setting than the romanticised version most people are familiar with.
    I read this book years ago and it has been one of my favourite books ever since. The narration in this version has only reinforced and enhanced my opinion.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The character of Derfel is very likeable as he guides you through the legend of Arthur, but the development and story arc of Nimue is one that stands out for me.


    What does Jonathan Keeble bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    The pronunciation of the difficult names and places is a big advantage over the paperback and his use of different voices for the characters adds personality to each of the main players in the tale.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    It was too long for me to listen to in a sitting, although if I had the time I certainly would!


    Any additional comments?

    The only drawback of the audio version is the lack of the map from the front of the printed book. Otherwise this book is flawless.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lawrence York 30/04/2016
    Lawrence York 30/04/2016 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Mr. Cornwall at his finest."

    A fine story. Gripping and fast paced, well worth it. The narrator brought the book to life. Can't wait to listen to the next instalment.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Ian Smith UK 21/03/2016
    David Ian Smith UK 21/03/2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Nothing beats this!"

    Excellent fun from start to finish and expertly narrated. Nothing beats this. Buy it and then buy the rest of the series. You won't regret it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicholas Bennett Caernarfon, Gwynedd United Kingdom 21/03/2016
    Nicholas Bennett Caernarfon, Gwynedd United Kingdom 21/03/2016 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Recommended"

    Great story, fast paced, interesting take on the Arthur myth. Narrator's bad pronunciation of Welsh names and stumbling over Welsh constants is a distraction.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.