It was a time of legend, when the last shadows of the mighty Roman conqueror faded from the captured Isle of Britain. While across a vast sea, bloody war shattered a peace that had flourished for two thousand years in the doomed kingdom of Atlantis.
Taliesin is the remarkable adventure of Charis, the Atlantean princess who escaped the terrible devastation of her homeland, and of the fabled seer and druid prince Taliesin, singer at the dawn of the age. It is the story of an incomparable love that joined two worlds amid the fires of chaos, and spawned the miracles of Merlin…and Arthur the king.
My Rating: ⭐⭐
This is yet another series that I read many years ago. I was reminded of it while reading the Warlord Chronicles by Bernard Cornwell. I remember being impressed with the author back then but having finished this I must have been thinking of his Song of Albion series instead.
This book was hard work. It started off well with two interesting plots developing on Atlantis and Celtic Britain. We get good storylines on Atlantean royal society as well as the Western Celts of Britain. However, it doesn’t last. The two storylines are dummed down considerably, character development becomes pretty non-existent and the two societies are rammed together to create a love story sadly lacking interest or originality.
Mixed in with this is a very self-righteous depiction of Christianity with religion being shoved down the reader’s throat as the only way forward. I found this increasingly annoying and unbelievable within the setting. In the end I was glad to get finished and really not sure if I want to be bothered trying the second one.
The balance of King Arthur’s unified kingdom is threatened by Merlin’s quest for the last of Britain’s 13 Treasures; by the conflict between the ancient religion and the new Christianity; and by Britain’s war with the Saxons. A master storyteller continues his retelling of the Arthurian legend.
My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
The first book introduced us to a new version of Arthur and the Arthurian story but this second installment takes it to anther level.
Derfel is still our guide. He’s a grown man now, Arthur’s trusted friend and key to the success of Arthur’s plans. He’s in love with the beautiful princess but it’s not a fairytale story for them. We also see him in his later years as he continues to write the story for the young Queen Igraine and there are tantalising hints of what happens to him through the years to bring him into Sansum’s care.
The story is obviously based around the Arthurian legends but this is a much darker tale than the traditional stories of gallantry, romance and chivalrous knights and so much better for it. The author takes the traditional characters and layers then with ambition, violence and even downright evil on occasion. It’s probably much closer to the truth!
This isn’t a particularly long book but it’s packed full of detail from the storyline to character development that it seems long – in a really good way though. When it finished I just wanted it to keep going, thankfully there’s a third instalment still to come!
Uther, the High King, has died, leaving the infant Mordred as his only heir. His uncle, the loyal and gifted warlord Arthur, now rules as caretaker for a country which has fallen into chaos – threats emerge from within the British kingdoms while vicious Saxon armies stand ready to invade. As he struggles to unite Britain and hold back the enemy at the gates, Arthur is embroiled in a doomed romance with beautiful Guinevere. Will the old-world magic of Merlin be enough to turn the tide of war in his favour?
My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
A very original take on the story of King Arthur, Merlin and the Knights of the Round Table. It’s written as a retrospective from the point of view of Derfel, a young British orphan and eventual friend of Arthur, now in his latter years.
This is similar to the author’s Last Kingdom novels and the similarities don’t end there. In fact it took me a while to shake the feeling I was reading another chapter of Uhtred’s life.
Once over that this was a great read. There are a number of great characters and just enough of the Arthur legend to make it seem familiar. If this first book is a true reflection of the rest of the series then it should be a cracker!