I have read and enjoyed Bernard Cornwell‘s Arthurian stories and Mary Stewart’s somewhat whimsical tales of Arthurian Legend. However I have to declare that M. K. Hume’s Arthurian legend is a superb unorthodox account of one of the most treasured of British legends.
This tale includes all the time-honoured elements of this legend but this weaver of tales presents us with an original, unsentimental and most crucially a quite plausible tale.
I’m not saying it’s perfect it’s different, a bit darker and if you want to read of Arthur of the Britons beneath the customary legend then M. K. Hume has given us that choice.
I have placed M. K. Hume on my favourite authors list; I find that her style of weaving a story is somewhat distinctive and brimming with detail and creativity. Her talent to place images of bloody battle scenes in your head and then to explain the subtle involvements in her characters interactions is simply inspirational, furthermore if you are searching for a story weaver who can give you images of bloody battles you won’t be let down.
Anyhow to the book;
Uther Pendragon, High King of Britain, is dying. As he weakens, Britain is being torn apart by the squabbling of kings. Only one man can bring them together. This is the legend of Artorex, the man destined to be King Arthur. Artorex, tall for his years, is growing up in the household of Lord Ector. Artorex was sent here by the Bishop of Glastonbury when he was but a babe in arms and, although his parentage is unknown, life has been unremarkable. That is, until the arrival of three men who arrange for him to be trained in the skills of the warrior; blade and shield, horse and fire; pain and bravery. By the time the men return, Artorex is both a father and a warrior — and married to Lady Gallia. The country is in a desperate state — Londinium is about to fall to the Saxons and Artorex is needed to help fight their advance. But to do so, he must leave his wife and family in the care of others. In an act of appalling treachery, they are slaughtered. But despite his terrible grief, Artorex’s destiny is set. He launches into a campaign of battle against the Saxon hordes, earning himself the trust of all men, and proving himself to be the only worthy successor to Uther. But Uther cannot accept Artorex’s role and hides his sword and crown. If Artorex is to unite the kings and fulfil his destiny, he needs the weapon destined to be worn by the High King of the Britons. Can he find the embittered Uther’s hiding place? The future of Britain is at stake
Dragon’s Child is the first book of the King Arthur trilogy and covers Artorex’s childhood and early adulthood up to the time when he discovers Uther’s crown and sword and is crowned High King and I find myself looking forward to the next two in this trilogy.
- David Dobkin’s ARTHUR & LANCELOT Set for March 15, 2013 (collider.com)
- Exclusive: Director David Dobkin Talks About His KING ARTHUR Movie and the VACATION Reboot/Sequel (collider.com)
- The king of Arthurian tales (guardian.co.uk)