Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Book Review: Dragon's Child

The King Arthur Trilogy Book One: Dragon's ChildThe King Arthur Trilogy Book One: Dragon's Child by M. K. Hume
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I'll only touch on a few things for this review, but I have to say that overall I wasn't that impressed with the writing style. The "head-hopping" (or constant point-of-view switching) drove me up a wall. Here I am as a published author thinking how my editors would have told me to do a complete rewrite if I head-hopped as much as Ms. Hume does in this book. The end result of using this "omniscient narrator" (head-hopping) creates an emotional distance from the characters, especially the main character of Artorex. Yes, his name is a Roman name and not "Arthur" that you'd might think considering the long title of the book/trilogy. I'm okay that Ms. Hume wants to make Artorex a Celt brought up by a Roman family, although by 600 AD how many pure bred "Romans" are left in Britain, really? (And why are Celts seen to be "deficient" in their warrior ways that only a Roman could do the job right?) It's the emotional distance that the reader feels that sinks the story, because we never stay in any one character's POV for very long--I'm talking about head-hopping every other paragraph in some scenes. Without staying in one POV and feeling a deep connection to the young and struggling Artorex, you really don't get a feel for him as a character or even care for what happens to him. What makes this any different than reading a non-fiction article on the legend of Arthur/Artorex? One spoiler--there is no "magic" or fantasy elements in this story, so some readers who enjoy Arthurian legend will be disappointed. But if you like a story that's simply told to you about a young Celtic boy raised in a Roman manner to become the High King of the Britons, and you don't mind head-hopping, then this is the book for you.

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A J said...

Her history is all wrong. It's unlikely there would have been families of 'true' Romans left in Britain after the empire withdrew. The empire had become Christianized long before the 5th century, so why are these people still openly worshiping the Romano-Greek pantheon? Why is there a cult to Osiris in Britain? Frankly I'd give it one star.

Cindy said...

I have to agree that some of the historical references in the story made me scratch my head is disbelief, too. But readers who aren't that knowledgeable about the era and place probably won't mind those much. I just find the idea that the native Britons or Celts are inferior to the Romans a bit insulting. (Perhaps the Saxons should be considered superior to all since they eventually invaded the whole of England quite successfully.) Most fans of the Arthur legend want to read about gallant knights and chivalry, but this is not where Hume is coming from with her Artorex. I just wish she could have made him--or any of the characters--more "real" by staying in one point-of-view long enough to understand what supposedly made him tick.

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