I read a book series in 2010 Called Arthur, by M.K Hume a Brisbane based author who started a retelling of the famous tale from a different side.
We all know the tale of Arthur, the most famous King in brittish history, his quest for the holy grail; his wife Gwenivere; The sword Excalibur; his illegitimate son Mordred and of course his most famous advisor and friend…Merlin the Wizard.
But imagine if you will….What if the tale was told without magic? I know big shock right. No magic sword, no Wizard…Well this is how M.K decided to write her version of the classic tale.
I was quite sceptical at first, I love the story in fact its been a part of my life since I was a child, I’ve always tried to picture myself as a modern day knight, help the weak, protect the innocent (bag snatcher never saw me coming! haha), do no wrong…its been a major part of my life.
I gave it a go though, and wow! what a page turner, I couldn’t put the thing down from the first chapter. She spent a long time researching this book, and it paid off. I wouldn’t hesitate to say this is one of the most accurate retellings of the story ever.
The story follows the path of, Artorex a young boy in the care of his guardian a Roman named Lord Ector and his wife. His foster brother is a cruel boy and jealous of our young would be king, one of the books main antagonists.
Artorex was sent to Extor as a baby, by the Bishop of Glastonbury to be cared for until the time came…one night 3 travellers arrive at the house and bring news that is hardly believable…Artorex is to be trained in the fighting arts and strategy. Ectors old roman servant, a soldier. The 3 travellers return one day, testing him. They are revealed to be 2 of the kings of Celtic tribes and Merridian Merlinus the High Kings healer and advisor.
They reveal to him that he is the son of Uther, High King of the brittons. He was a bastard child and should have died but through their plans he was carried to safety and will now have the chance to replace his father in the near future who is dying of old age.
Uther of course does not wish this, he sees Artorex as a threat to his kingdom. After trying to get rid of him he makes him part of the court and their war cheiftan, a champion.
With Uther dying, Artorex is told he must find his fathers crown and sword if he is to replace him as High King, and unite the tribes of britton to ward off the Saxon invasion.
I love this story, I read it in record time and I was sad when the trilogy was over. However, she is writing another series set around Merlinus himself before these events and it should come out well.
Do yourself a favor, pick this book up at your local store. You won’t regret it!