(I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review).
(This review may contain spoilers).
I was really intrigued by the plot of this book, since I’ve long been interested in mythology and Arthurian legends in particular for as long as I can remember.
It was good to see that this book centred on Uther and I did like the fact that the book showed his past with Morgana, who I did feel sympathy for, even though she wasn’t a very nice person for a lot of the book. I would have liked to see a bit more of Uther’s relationship with Arthur. I felt a lot of this book was information dumping. I didn’t get a chance to see Uther’s relationship with Arthur; all I really saw was a couple of interactions.
I liked being able to see something of the culture of the Druids, though for a lot of the book, I didn’t feel their motivations and goals were very clear. I could understand why Uther was so frustrated with them. And while I did think Merlyn was an interesting character, I found it hard to take him seriously through most of the book.
I was a bit confused as to why Uther was more or less abandoned in the monastery. By the end of the book, I was very lost about what was the past and what was the present. I would have liked to see more of the confusion earlier in the book, where it was more appropriate, rather than at the end, when Uther’s mind was more clear. And I was completely confused about why he’d been left in the monastery and pretty much abandoned by Merlyn and his knights.
I really did like the link-ins with the legends of King Arthur, such as with the Stranger. While some of the tension was lost in the fact the events weren’t taking place in real-time, I did feel like the characters were in real danger; and it was easy to see how deep the tension ran each night the Stranger put in his appearance.
I think the book would have been easier to read if it hadn’t been constantly switching between past and present. It was hard to get too involved in one storyline when the book switched to the other. This isn’t a book I intend to read again in the future.