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Customer Review

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too Confusing, 7 Mar. 2013
This review is from: Stone Lord: The Legend Of King Arthur, The Era Of Stonehenge (Paperback)
I gave this book two and half stars because I liked Parts 1 and 2, and the beginning of Part 3. Then I got lost...but:
If you are fan of historical fantasy novels with Celtic pronunciations, this is the book for you.

I am not a fan of this book. I would like to be, but I'm not. J.P. Reedman does have a turn of phrase. One of my favourites is, "Watching the Sun impale Himself upon the craggy fangs of rock that topped the long moor beyond the deep earth cave." But as to why `sun' and `himself' are capitalized, I don't know. Even as an ancient god, they would not be capitalized.

The basic story of Arthur, in this so-called Arthurian tale (as presented on the front cover), is an interesting take on the age. We know that `Camelot' is a myth, given the time period, and many wonderful spins on these people have not included this. One such is `Arthur of the Britons'. Oliver Tobias is most likely closer to the `real' Arthur, than Richard Harris. And I know that Reedman has done archeological work and studied the latest findings, making the characters and scenes as close to what they might have actually been than in other books. However, it was difficult for me to follow.

The names are way too much of mouthful for this American. Hwalchmai is an example. This is Sir Gawain. Frag-arak (sometimes spelled, Fragarak) is another. This is Lancelot's sword. The story of Gawain and the green knight are given short shrift with an ending that leaves him with either an old hag who can turn herself into a beautiful woman, or vice versa. The inventive use of Ardu, Art'igen (Art igen, Artigen) Pendraec for Arthur Pendragon, Fynavir for Guinevere, etc. was a bit confusing. And so many of the names were unpronounceable for me. So, is this really an `Arthurian' (with no mention of Arthur) tale or a fairly good copy of it?

Reedman does try to explain much of this away in, I guess, Part 4: Historical Notes. It would have been better to have put this in the front of the book. Also, like many novels before, a pronunciation guide would have been wonderful! I, also, went on the Facebook page and tried to explain some of this as nicely as I could, but was rebuffed, deleted and sent a couple of nasty messages. Not good. I say, "Own up to your work and don't use a go-between when you know the person."

Also, I don't understand the use of Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. I just got into Part 1 about the young Merlin (actually spelled that way), when it abruptly cut off. Part 1 runs from pp. 1 to 50. Part 2 is about the young Ardu (Arthur) and is, again, abruptly cut off. Part 2 runs from pp. 51 to 86. Part 3, from p. 87 to the end of the book p. 280, is about Art'igen (King Arthur), Fynavir (Guinevere), An'kelet, also spelled Ankelet, (Lancelot), Hwalchami (Gawain) and others, with their back stories. No more parts. I believed that this was a one-off book. As I was about half way through it, I discovered that there is another in the works. If so, why give such short shrift to Merlin and the young Art, who seems to have the only nickname sometimes sorely out of place? Or just not write about them at all and start with King Arthur, using back stories woven in, as was done with other characters?

The story of Gawain and the Green Knight turns into silliness. The boar (T'orc) is given a much larger storyline, and don't read this part if you are eating. The ongoing graphic descriptions were something I felt unnecessary.

And the mistakes in this book gave me an eyesore: misspelled words, bad grammar, hitting `enter' instead of something else leaving the first part of the sentence on one line and the second on the next line, dropped punctuation, double spacing, NO spacing, dropped capitols. While one could say it was the fault of the editor/publisher, it is also the fault of the writer for approving the book to go to print. Even as a lowly fanfic writer, I use an editor, emailing it back and forth 3 to 4 times, and then reading through it, myself, one more time after she has finished.

By page 274, if you don't know the ending, good for you, because then it's a surprise! And the ending, itself, is very unsatisfying, unless you know there is a second book coming out, however this is never mentioned anywhere in Stone Lord.

I will have to take a pass on the second book, as I have lost interest in finding out what happens to these people. I need characters to come `alive' for me and this never happened. I love a good twist or two or three, but I felt worn out by the end of the first book.

P.S. I didn't use an editor for this. Please forgive any mistakes. I do, however, take constructive criticism!
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 19 Sep 2013 13:23:17 BDT
LadyM says:
Oh thank goodness for your review, I was starting to think I was reading a different book to the other reviews on here! I gave up on it half way through!

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Sep 2013 20:34:56 BDT
thank you! just to let you know, most of the posts were made by her partner and friends. i'm a friend, but i'm honest. so, i was unfriended on facebook. her partner, dan, is still put out with me. it is nice to read a post by someone who is not involved with janet or the groups we are on for Robin of Sherwood. you should post a review yourself!
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