Sunday, March 20, 2011

Review: Prophecy: Clash of Kings by M.K.Hume

The Legend of Merlin begins...

In the town of Segontium, a wild storm washes a fugitive ashore. He brutally rapes the granddaughter of the king of the Deceangli tribe, leaving her to bear his son, Myrddion Merlinus. Spurned as a demon seed, the boy is raised by his grandmother and, as soon as he turns nine, he is apprenticed to a skilled healer who hones his remarkable gift.

Meanwhile the High King of the Celts, Vortigern, is rebuilding the ancient fortress at Dinas Emrys. According to a prophecy, he must use the blood of a demon seed - a human sacrifice - to make the towers stand firm. Myrddion's life is in jeopardy. But the boy has a prophecy of his own and a richer destiny to fulfil. Soon Vortigern shall be known as the harbinger of chaos, and Myrddion must use his gifts for good in a kingdom besieged by evil.

Following the completion of her wonderful King Arthur trilogy M.K.Hume now goes back further in time and begins the story of Merlin. Again she reaches beyond the veils of myth and legend to create a real person living in a real world yet still one who from the moment he is bastard born is different. Intelligent and quick to learn, gifted with foresight and a desire to heal rather than destroy life and haunted by the need  for knowledge of his unknown father it isn't hard to very quickly relate to this young boy.

Set in 5th century Britain Myrrdion's early years are spent in the shadow of Mona, the Druid's Island, until he is kidnapped by Vortigern and taken south where after surviving Vortigern's attempts to use him as a sacrifice he finds himself working as a healer on the battlefields.

Whether she is describing everyday life, the art of healing or stirring accounts of gory battles M.K.Hume weaves a powerful tale that is the perfect mix of imagination and history. I particularly loved the haunting glimpses of Ygerne , Gorlois and their two little girls happy in their life at Tintagel and their ignorance of what is to come.

Wonderful historical fiction and I look forward to part two of the Merlin Trilogy.

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  1. I've wondered about this one - thanks for the review. I think I'll have to get a copy!

  2. Ooh, this sounds great! I loved Mary Stewart's Merlin trilogy so maybe this is another one to try...

  3. Daphne/Aarti - I'm sure you'll enjoy it. It's very different to MS (which I also loved)but equally as good reading.