on 7 November 2013
MOON LORD: THE FALL OF KING ARTHUR
THE RUIN OF STONEHENGE
Ms. Reedman takes the well-known and oft told tale of King Arthur and makes it her own. The story centers around Mordraed, illegitimate son of Ardhu Pendraec (Arthur Pendragon) and Ardhu's half sister Morigau (Morgana). Mordraed has been groomed by his mother to ascend to political power, and even in his revulsion of her, does her bidding.
There is phenomenal attention to detail, copious amounts of research in both the legend and geography, and an authentic, intelligent writing style. She takes her readers on an adventure of betrayal, regret, power struggles, and fights for survival. The characters' names are changed a bit, as if they morphed through the ages to their current pronunciation and spelling. For instance, Fynavir is Guinevere, Lord An'kelet is Lancelot, and the son of Ardhu and Fynavir, Amhar, is given the adult name Gal'havad (Galahad). They reside in Kham-El-Ard (Camelot).
For fans of historical fiction, and of the Arthurian legend, I highly recommend this book. Note: I received this book to review.
on 4 April 2016
Interesting and highly original slant on the traditional narrative. Inevitably diminishes the myth but makes one see it as real, or at least a possibility. Vivid style and especially good on believable rituals. I 'enjoyed' it, sad though it made me feel. I think I should have admired it more if the Modred figure and his mother had been portrayed as having at least one or two morally redeeming features, thus permitting an element of moral conflict to add complexity. As it is, Mordraedl is only ever deterred or delayed from evildoing by either physical fear of the consequences of failure or supernatural misgivings about the role of the spirits. In a similar way, the lack of any real surviving warmth between Ardhu and Finavir diminishes the tragic potentialty of the 'eternal triangle' theme, which is so powerful in the 'Morte d'Arthur' and some other later versions. Rosemary Sutcliffe comes to mind here. Hence only four stars out of five.
on 8 December 2013
`Moon Lord' picks up some years after Reedman's previous 'Stone Lord', and reimagines the later stages of the Arthurian saga in the same Bronze Age setting, centered around the Stonehenge landscape. The plot revolves around Ardhu's waning strength and confidence in his role as unquestioned ruler, and in turn the reader is witness to a reversal of fortunes for several of the main cast. The illicit lovers Fynavir and An'kelet are discovered and reduced, Merlin is 'elf-shot' and weakened. All this makes for a darker, more emotionally explorative novel. Even the new character of Mordraed, the Moon Lord himself, is no exception; he is compromised, hesitant to enact his dark fate and compelling. Only Morigau remains untroubled and deliciously maniacal. I won't reveal the climax, but suffice to say it is faithful to the novel's darker tone and harshness of climate in which it is set. In terms of form, Moon Lord continues the rich imagery and vividness of setting I so enjoyed in the first book. The locations map and glossary of place/character names are welcome additions that enhance appreciation.
on 12 October 2013
Moon Lord-the Bronze Age Arthurian Saga continues...
It is almost two decades since the events laid out in 'Stone Lord',and the events set in motion by Ardhu,An'kelet and their companions head towards their inevitable climax.
'Moon Lord' is the second book in J.P.Reedman's Bronze Age treatment of the Arthurian tales. Here the 'knights' and their ladies are portrayed as Chieftains and warriors of the Stonehenge era. It's a swift-paced,gripping book where the intricate strands of each character's story finally come togther in a wonderfully vivid scene amongst the megaliths at Stonehenge itself.
One of the main characters the story revolves around is Mordraed,the bastard son of Ardhu by his sister Morigau. Mordraed is an extremely well-realised character,as beautiful and deadly as a Bengal tiger, who brings mayhem and tragedy in his wake. However,it is possible to feel sympathy for him as the story progresses.
Ardhu, An'kelet and the Merlin are older now,and Mordraed's appearance brings heartache to each one. The unfolding of events takes place in various sites across the South of England,Wales & including Newgrange in Ireland,which is equated with the mythical 'Spiral Castle'. The familiar motifs of the Arthurian cycle are cleverly interwoven with recent archaeological discoveries and ancient legends.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book; Reedman avoids the trap of depicting prehistoric peoples as either modern people in fancy dress or animal-skin wearing subhumans. Her characters are purely of their time, when they believed spirits and gods were everywhere, and life was an unchancy thing. She knows her archaeology,too.
So if you're looking for a good,meaty,well-written story with rounded characters in a believeable setting,writen by an author who knows their stuff,this one's for you..
on 26 October 2013
Moon Lord is the second of a two volume re-imagining of the Arthurian legend set in the Bronze Age, based largely around the Stonehenge landscape but branching out across the Irish sea and the Channel. For those of you who enjoyed Stone Lord you will not be disappointed, indeed it's far better even than the first surprising volume.
I continue to enjoy Reedman's almost blistering style of narrative, which matches the urgency of the storyline. I'll give away no spoilers but will say that the main characters are really developed and explored and made more real - no mean feat with pre-historic active pagans for whom the world turns with the fall of every leaf and the weather is a living thing.
Naming no names (I'm afraid you've got to read it for yourselves) but the novel's heroes may be great warriors or wise-folk but they are also, like most of us, filled with self-doubt and plagued with conflicting emotions about their own capabilities and their feelings for their friends, loved ones and even their enemies. The most active baddie is no simple evil character either. Reedman takes us through a storm of pride, jealousy, hatred and ambition and mixes in remorse terrible guilt and feelings of distressed empathy (I was curiously reminded of the Gollum/Smeagol character).
I will mention Merlin, but only to say that he becomes the most human version I've ever read of this great character.
And there's a chronological gap between the two novels, I can only hope that stories remain to be told and further novels may be forthcoming (that's a big hint J P Reedman!)
on 5 November 2013
Moon Lord: The Fall of King Arthur. The Ruin of Stonehenge.
2013 Mirador Publishing, UK.
265 pages with Index.
JP Reedman's Opus of the two-book saga, Stone Lord, was received last year with wide acclaim from many different literary corners. As a surprisingly original take on the Arthurian Legend, she sought to cast the well-known panoply of characters into the deep Bronze-Age and give them familiar motivation under the shadow of the most iconic prehistoric monument in the world: Stonehenge.
The success of this effort need not be detailed, but sufficient here is the nod to an author who should be congratulated for an outstanding contribution to this narrow genre.
Moon Lord stands by itself and completes the Tale begun in the first. The two are complimentary, though very different stories.
Picking up the legend twenty years after the close of events in Stone Lord, we find the long peace and bounty of the land threatened by a blossoming evil that had germinated long before. Ardu is now older and cagey with wisdom. His guileless, plucky young heir Gal'havad chafes at the lateness of his Manhood Rites. Merlin, life-tired and nearing the end of his cycle, becomes ensnared in the high plots of the Lady of the Lake. Sinister Mordraed schemes the downfall of his father and the mighty citadel of Khor Ghor itself, while the secret lovers Fynavir and An'kelet grow into careless unease ...
As the next generation strives to find a place within the Stone Lord's court, Morigau, Ardu's evil half-sister, brings her long-woven conspiracy to unholy fruition.
The narrative is an intimate, richly layered dialogue between the Reader and the landscape. The action and pacing are controlled, decisive and dramatic. The texture is deceptively silky, painted with the vivid earth-colors which subtly mirror those of an October forest.
The characters are flesh and blood, thoughtful, and prone to grave mistakes ─ but also great virtue. Their motivation is never suspect, mysterious or sprung unannounced, but is indeed often shielded from view by the very pitfalls of foible and manipulation for which we are all occasionally subjected. In matters great and small, glad or dreadful, we cannot stand aloof. We are compelled by our intimacy to identify with them; to laugh, bleed and weep with them.
In short, Mood Lord is darker in tone yet more sweeping in scope than its prequel and showcases the burgeoning talent of Reedman. I will be waiting impatiently for her next effort.
4 of 5 stars
5 November 2013
on 22 December 2013
I really enjoyed Stone Lord as I thought it was a well-written, original piece of literature giving a new twist to an old legend.
Moon Lord was eagerly awaited and did not disappoint. The development of the characters, the beautifully written descriptions and inclusion of current archaeological findings and well-know prehistoric sites made for a thoroughly enjoyable and absorbing book. In this novel I didn't once find myself trying to place the action in the traditional Arthurian legend as the book stands entirely on its own merit.
J.P.Reedman has developed into a skilled storyteller and I look forward to her next novel.
on 15 December 2014
Love this series