BOOK IV - The Red Dragon



Ambrosius' intention of frightening the Saxons with the burning at Doward does the trick and they withdraw to fortify themselves north of the Humber. For awhile, the Saxon arrogance keeps them there as Hengist believes Ambrosius has little more than his invasion force and the Saxons have no respect for the fighting abilities of the Britons. But then he changes his mind and decides to meet the Red Dragon forces at a place of his own choosing where he might surprise Ambrosius and defeat him.

The end comes the second week of May when Ambrosius finds Hengist and the Saxons with their preparations half complete at Kaerconan. Ambrosius has the advantage of the land and speed in his arrival: the Saxons are trapped between his forces and the narrow pass where they had begun to set up their ambush. The Saxons are also afraid of .........


This chapter presents the Battle of Kaerconan as part of the destiny foretold by Merlin. The Saxons are presented as having no chance, because the god has decided that the Britons are the victors. That which should always have been-Ambrosius as the true king of Britain - has come to past at last. Merlin's role is finally.........



The sights Merlin sees and the sounds he hears as he approaches the battlefield are horrific: the screams of the wounded, the cries of the dying, the ravens circling overhead, looters stealing from the dead, the Britons killing the wounded Saxons, and stretcher-bearers running the British wounded into the castle among mingled shouts of victory. He comes across a looter who has been speared by a Briton sword for his efforts. He is still alive and looks at Merlin for help, but Merlin knows the man is doomed and hastens him onward by cutting his throat.

Merlin speaks with a soldier about the outcome and learns that Hengist has been captured but that his..........


Merlin's killing of the looter is a disturbing picture as we have not seen him in this kind of scene before. At the same time that is a disturbing scene, it is also one of ..........

New names in this chapter: Octa and Eosa, the brothers of Hengist who escape the Battle of Kaerconan; Gandar, the doctor who travels with Ambrosius' army; Caerleon, a city in South Wales

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Clapsaddle, Diane. "TheBestNotes on A Long Way Gone".