I love to read books set during the dark ages, especially ones with a connection to King Arthur. Shadowland by C.M. Gray is a title that has now drawn me back into this particular realm and reignited a desire to read more!
About the Book:
We grow up with the Legend of King Arthur … But where did he come from? Who was Merlin? What part did the Druids play in bringing Arthur to his round table? Shadowland is the story that came before, when Britain was in its darkest age. It tells of the start of the Pendragon line and the birth of a legend.
`I have lived more years than I can remember, probably more than the sum of all your years combined. Kings have called me friend and brigands have sworn to burn the flesh from my bones even if they have to search all seven halls of the shadowland to find me.’
On the night of midwinter’s eve, a storyteller takes his listeners back to the Dark ages and a tale from his youth.
Usher Vance and Calvador Craen return to their village to find it being attacked by a Saxon and Pict war party. With the help of an aging bowman they pursue the warriors and manage to free Cal’s sister. Now being hunted they escape into the forest and follow the path a druid sets them on find welcome and a few surprises with a rising army of Britons set upon reclaiming their land from the Saxon invaders.
With the death of Ambrosius at Mount Badon a new king must rise to meet the challenge and return the land to the tribes.
About the Author:
Born in Essex, England in 1963 I have since been lucky enough to live and travel in many countries around the world. In fact I have lived more time outside of England than I have living there! Home for me now is just outside of Barcelona, Spain where I live in a house in the middle of the forest with my Dutch born wife and two children, Dylan and Yasmin.
My writing is mostly fantasy and many of the experiences I have had in Asia, Africa and the middle east come to life in my writing. The Flight of the Griffin follows the adventures of a group of young orphans as they battle demons and bandits on a magical quest to stop the world tipping into Chaos. Shadowland blends fantasy with history as an old story teller takes his audience back to Britain’s dark ages..
Review of Shadowlands:
While I have a love of the the dark ages of Britian, especially the legend of King Arthur, I am sometimes disappointed in an author’s particular telling of the story. I was far from disappointed when reading Shadowland.
C.M. Gray paints a wonderful story with an attention to detail when it comes to both characterization and setting the scenes. I really enjoyed the particular manner in which he chooses to tell the story, as if the reader is sitting in on a group listening to an old storyteller present his tale on a cold midwinter’s eve. Only, there is a surprise about the storyteller that is revealed as he progresses through his telling of the harrowing journey of Usher and his friend, Cal, make across the countryside while trying to avoid Saxons and the Picts who savagely destroyed their village and captured Cal’s sister.
Like any tale set in the dark ages, be prepared to encounter Druids and their beliefs. You also meet Merlin and experience a bit of magic in the story. I loved the description of how Merlin regains his memory of being a druid as he passes into different levels of the spirit world. It felt both ancient and otherworldly.
Truly, the only disappointment I had with this particular novel was knowing that another one is not in the works. I’d love to hear C.M. Gray’s version of the Arthurian legends after reading his take on Arthur’s lineage.
You can purchase Shadowland in Kindle Format for $1.99. That’s a great price for a great story!
More with Shadowland:
Giveaway of Kindle ebook format (ends August 9, 2012)
Disclaimer ~ I was provided with an electronic copy of this title to facilitate a review. No monetary compensation occurred and all opinions are my own. Visit the Shadowland tour page to see what other bloggers have to say about this title.