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The Last Dragon: Twilight of the Celts Book I Hardcover – 2 Jan 2014


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Headline Review (2 Jan. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0755379551
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755379552
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 5.1 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 412,722 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

Hume brings the bloody, violent, conniving world vividly to life...will appeal to those who thrill to Game of Thrones and other tales of intersecting, ever-warring, noble lineages (Kirkus Review)

Hume deftly navigates the Arthurian legends, populating them with likable and despicable characters, and casting them in a fully realized historical setting (Publishers Weekly)

Historical fiction of the most bloodthirsty and roistering kind (Australian Bookseller & Publishers Magazine)

Exciting, violent and bloody... Up there with Conn Iggulden and Bernard Cornwell (www.lovereading.co.uk)

It's a slice of history that's totally, utterly believable. Magnificent (www.booksmonthly.co.uk)

Book Description

The legend of King Arthur lives on in this epic and dramatic new trilogy from the magnificent storyteller M. K. Hume. Sure to appeal to fans of Game of Thrones.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By JPS TOP 500 REVIEWER on 19 Jan. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After a trilogy on King Arthur (that the author calls "Artor") and a prequel trilogy on Merlin which allows us to come across Ambrosius, Vortigern, Vortimer, Uther (Ambrosius' younger brother) and then Aelle and Hengist and Horsa, the author has just embarked on a sequel trilogy evocatively titled "the twilight of the Celts."
The hero is King "Artor's" bastard son, conceived shortly before his death and called - guess what - Arthur. The first risk was for this volume to be a bit of a "remake" and therefore to lack originality. There is, unfortunately, a bit of this. Those who have already read the previous series will be making comparisons, even inadvertently and, at times, this book may at times suffer from them (for instance, Arthur's master at arms is a Germanic mercenary, as it clearly could not be an ex-Roman soldier anymore).

Then there is the book's structure. Nothing much happens during the first 120 pages or so, and I found these a bit contrived, artificial and overly emotional. This is a matter of personal preferences, of course, but it quite not sound true to me. Moreover, it was rather generic at times and there was little context provided. Similar scenes could have happened at just anytime, anywhere (assuming a suitable forest, perhaps). The focus seems to be on family gatherings and, here again, you have parallels with three men coming to visit the Warden of Arden and his "son", just as you had three others do the same decades ago for the real father of this boy.

The second part is where the young Arthur gets his first exposure to "wicked" Saxons raiders when only seven, before becoming a young and talented warrior who fights in the same style as his natural father and is his living image at the same age.
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Format: Paperback
King Arthur. How many ways can his story be retold and the myths surrounding him be re-invented? Apparently endlessly, as The Last Dragon is yet another Arthur retelling with a twist. Admittedly, M.K. Hume's version of the story is an Interesting one, with the myth retold in a novel way. In fact, the Arthur who becomes known as the Last Dragon is the mythical Arthur's illegitimate son and the series Twilight of the Celts, of which this novel is the first instalment, is set after King Arthur's demise. The series is a continuation of two prior trilogies covering the lives of Merlin and King Arthur. I've not read these previous series and while I don't know how the Matter of Britain has been covered there, familiarity with the original stories and their themes allowed me to find my way in this somewhat uncannily familiar-yet-different version of Arthur's world.

What becomes clear from reading The Last Dragon is the affection in which Hume holds the Arthurian mythos and how well she knows it. She structures her version of Arthur's story in a triad of Arthurs, echoing a traditional Welsh telling of the tale which features three Gweneveres. Here we have three Arthurs: Artor or Artorex, Ector, and Arthur. The regular mythos has been broken up among them. Artorex is the version of Arthur that has the most traditional elements attached, but is also based on the more `historical' view of Arthur as a Romano-Briton Dux Bellorum against the Anglo-Saxons, while Ector is the more politically savvy, yet kind-hearted version, and Arthur, our current hero, is the one raised in obscurity and ignorant of his heritage, yet he has inherited this sword. I thought this structuring a nice shift and it was interesting to see how Hume moulded the Matter to her tale.
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Format: Hardcover
I’ve been a huge fan of the Arthurian series by this author and for me, it was a thoroughly enjoyable modern retelling that worked wonderfully well.

The skills that MK learned from that series, has transferred wonderfully to this new one. The characters spring to life from the pages, the prose is wonderfully descriptive and transports the reader into this world to the forefront of the battles, the descriptions and when added to cracking dialogue all round gives you a tale that that is hard to put down.

MK really is a delightful author to spend time with and if you’re looking for something a little different to a lot of the other HF authors out there with a story that concentrates more on characters with some action rather than the usual other way round. Then give this author a try. You won’t regret it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca on 4 Feb. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
So unbelievably happy, Ms Hume has done it again! Made a wonderful book with beautiful characters, I just can't get enough of anything she writes.
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