Sunday, May 26, 2013


Kingdom of Summer

Bradshaw's second Arthurian tale, originally published in 1981, surpasses 2010's Hawk of May in bringing the world of a Roman Arthur to life. The tale of Gwalchmai, aka Gawain, continues, this time narrated by no-nonsense Rhys ap Sion, a farmer who leaves his family's holdings to pledge his service to Gwalchmai and the forces of the light. Gwalchmai often broods; Rhys simply does what needs to be done, whether that's thatching a roof or facing off against the evil Queen Morgawse. Where Gwalchmai has otherworldly power of the light to ward off the darkness, Rhys has only his loyalty, his Christian faith, and his shrewd manner, and he's all the more likable for it. Arthurian retellings rarely come from the voice of a freeman, and Rhys's grounded perspective enhances the fantastical elements. Adults and young readers alike will be delighted by Bradshaw's engaging mix of history, legend, and romance. (Sept.)

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