Sunday, September 10, 2006
Ghost King - David Gemmell [September/06]
I mentioned this book in a previous post, as it was one of the books I received earlier this week as a gift. I have been trying to read David Gemmell for a while because he really is a very well-written author, and so far I have really enjoyed reading books by him. Ghost King is the first in the Stones of Power duology.
From the back of the book:
Rebellion and invasion have plunged Britannia into the Dark Ages. Chaos and terror stalk the land, the King slain by traitors, the great Sword of Power vanished beyond the Circle of Mist. Saxons, Angles, Jutes and Brigante tribesmen mass together to destroy the realm, aided by the powers of the Witch Queen and the Lord of the Undead. Against them stands a weakling boy, and an old mountain warrior. But the boy has the blood of kings, and the warrior is Culain, the legendary Lord of the Lance. And he alone knows the dread secret of the Witch Queen.
I read this book because a friend of mine suggested it to me. I was just finishing up his Troy book that I read last month, and talking about how I would like to read more by him. That was when she told me about this duology. She knows I really like Arthurian retellings, and that is what this is. With that knowledge in hand, I bought the two books to further add to the Arthurian novels I have read.
Anyways, I must point out, that I spent the book looking for Arthur. Good thing to note, he is not alive yet, this is a story about the generation that came before him. I assume he enters the novel in the next book. Merlin is in the novel, but his name is spelled differently, so I just assumed that the main character was Arthur with a different name. I was wrong, which became clearer as the book goes on. It takes a different spin on the Arthurian legends, makes Merlin's character even more interesting and then add in Culain, who add a different touch to the novel, and you have a very interesting spin on the legend.
I really enjoyed this relatively short novel. So many Arthurian tales concentrate on Arthur, it is always good to see the focus change a bit. It also sets up book two very well, at least for me, who was looking for Arthur through the whole novel. And if Arthur doesn't show up in book two, it is still a worthwhile read. I must point that while the main female character in here has her failings, she is a much stronger character than Guinevere can be written as. When the men go to war, she is right there with them instead of home praying. Guinevere has her strong points, but I liked the character in this book better.
This is an adventure story that will have you wondering what will be happening next.