(This review may contain spoilers).
I wanted to like this book. I really did. The blurb was a really intriguing one and the book started out quite strong as a different version of the Arthurian legends.
One thing I really liked about this book was the different types of magic that existed in the world, but the information revealed about those types was dumped in the narration all in one go, rather than shown gradually throughout.
The background of Gwydion could have been interesting, but there was too much hinting and not enough detail about the reasonings behind his hangups. Plus, it seemed like his hangups came and went as it fitted the plot. And apparently, many people didn’t actually like him… but that was stated and not shown throughout.
I felt the strongest part of this book was the dreams and the relationship between Gwydion and the previous dreamer. However, even that slightly more interesting relationship suffered from telling rather than showing.
The statements about the High Kings being betrayed would have been indicative of a good plot point. However, especially towards the end, that was rehased so many times, it lost its effects. Or any mystery in the book. After all, betrayal hits so much harder when you don’t know it’s coming. And it was kind of irritating to have the stories of said betrayals told and then reiterated through the visions. Maybe if the visions had shown the stories passed down were inaccurate… but that wasn’t the case at all.
Too much of the story was told through dialogue and there wasn’t enough shown of the characters and their relationships to each other. There was no sense of urgency until right towards the end of the book. And there were too many characters. Even Gwydion’s relationship with his daughter didn’t feel real, as they had exactly one interaction with each other shown.
All told, this book was a really disappointing read. There was so much potential that was wasted. I won’t be reading the next book/s in this series.