Carrying the story forward, the story is now told by Gwenhwyfar or Guinevere as more commonly known. Bradshaw has managed to bring us to the end of days for Camelot, with the final battles, the death of Mordred, Gwalchmai’s death and her own roles and guilt for her part.
Again managing to re-invent the story of King Arthur using Bretonized forms of the names and presenting unique perspectives on the events, with points of view that were left untold or unimagined in the originals, Bradshaw has managed to neatly pull all of the threads together and wrap this series with a conclusion that is both refreshing and satisfying.
What stands out prominently for me is Bradshaw’s ability to present her characters in a way that both feels unique yet holds true to their own internal dialogue as they explain, tell and share their parts of the story. From Gwalchmai’s guilt about his lost love, to the very well-reasoned and completely real sense of ‘what is right’ that Gwenhwyfar presents as she wraps up the series, this reads as if the characters are real and palpable, giving readers the ability to commiserate, empathize, learn from and enjoy each person as they appear.
Narration is again provided by Nicole Quinn who manages to present the arcane and archaic place and character names with a smoothness that never falters. That is a quality of major importance, as the names and places are often tongue twisters, and the flow of the story would be greatly impacted if the pronunciation faltered or varies. Additionally, her narration of the many moods of Gwenhwyfar, and the addition of simple adjustments in accent, tone and pace as she presented the other characters not only were easy to distinguish, but added to the enjoyment and impact of the story. Touches of Wales and Scotland, as well as a bit of the ‘Northern’ accent all add to the story, and her seamless transitions in this well-produced performance are a wonderful addition.
Stars: Overall: 4 Narration: 5 Story: 4
I received a copy of this title from AudioBook Jukebox for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Arthur Pendragon strives to unite a fragmented empire as his bastard son threatens to tear down the king, his queen, and their bravest champions. From the sudden death of innocence to a perilous campaign that strikes at the very heart of the empire, this third and final book of the acclaimed trilogy by Gillian Bradshaw offers the reader a front-row seat as Arthur's dream and his kingdom collapse around him.
About Gillian Bradshaw
Born in Arlington, Virgina, Gillian Bradshaw grew up in Washington, Santiago, Chile and Michigan. She is a Classics graduate from Newnham College, Cambridge, and published her first novel, Hawk of May, just before her final term. A highly acclaimed historical novelist, Gillian Bradshaw has won the Hopwood Award for Fiction, among other prizes. She lives in Cambridge with her husband and their four children.