Dragon’s Child by M.K. HUme
- Method of Obtaining: I obtained my copy from the publisher.
- Published by: Headline
- Release Date: 3.05.2009
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…
I also recommend:
- John Saturnall’s Feast by Lawrence Norfolk
- Idylls of the King by Lord Alfred Tennyson
I’ve only recently become familiar with some of the famous works surrounding King Arthur. Names like T.H. White, Tennyson’s Idylls, Geoffrey of Monmouth, and more were introduced to me during an Arthurian Seminar I took my last semester of school. As I already have a huge love of all things legend and folktale, it is only natural that King Arthur stories would grab my attention and create a sort of monster.
So when I saw that M.K. Hume’s trilogy is scheduled to be finished this year, I jumped at the opportunity to read the first two books in the series. Dragon’s Child, a 500+ page book about the origins of the young boy, Artorex, was not only a heck of a read – but it tied in neatly to so much I have read from the other others concerning the legends. Even more so, it took fantastic, fantasy elements and made them seem as if they were not that much of a stretch – much like reading a historical novel where all of the grandstanding of storytelling takes a backseat to the clear and unblemished tale.
For example, Hume’s treatment of the acquiring of Uther’s sword and crown had me wishing I could stand up and cheer loudly (and not wake the baby). It made perfect sense and it fit with so much I’ve read in other accounts. While it lacked the romantic ideas of Tennyson, it worked well for Hume’s story and made me think just how believable the story of Arthur is – when told well.
Not only was I glad to, once again, reacquaint myself with familiar names, it was also nice to see men who had been lauded in other stories be unable to hold up under Hume’s scrutiny. Uther was not a hero, but is often made out to be one due to the nature of Gorlois. Sir Kay had so much blood on his hands, yet as one of Arthur’s knights, we hold him to a romantic ideal. Not so for Hume. Hume does not spare her readers and lays out a story that is frank in dealing with the brutalities of the time. And then…there’s the surprise (which you only learn about it being a surprise if you read the ending authors notes..so read them – they are great!).
Dragon’s Child is not for the faint of heart. It’s bloody, filled with action, Roman names, politics, and contains one of the most famous coming-of-age tales known today. I loved it and will gladly place it on the shelf of my Arthurian literature for future readings.
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