Monday, March 3, 2014

Review: Pendragon's Banner (Pendragon's Banner #2) by Helen Hollick

Hollick’s Pendragon series set out to tell a more realistic story of the Arthurian Legend and she certainly accomplished that. The downside to reading King Arthur books is that most of time, you already know what’s coming but with this series, you’re never quite sure. Hollick took full advantage of letting loose her creativity.

At the same time, there are many of the more classic elements that we all know of the legend, just not always exactly how we know them. The thing about folklore is, of course, that it’s told orally for generations, even centuries, before it’s written down so in theory, if Arthur were a real historical figure or based on one, you would actually have to assume that the legend we know today was warped and evolved over time. Hollick seems to have set out writing with this in mind, building a story where nearly all the classic elements are there but many of them are not exactly how we know them, crafting a believable idea of how this element was warped into that or that character got confused with this.

And yet the story doesn’t feel contrived or reverse engineered. The characters are fleshed out and the story is unpredictable. I can’t wait to read the final book and see where Hollick takes it next.

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