The Keltiad (5) - The Oak Above the Kings Paperback – 8 Aug 1994
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From the Back Cover
AN ARTHURIAN LEGEND FOR THE FUTURE
The Keltiad novels map out a fair and wondrous realm – a faraway star empire that is at the same time both strangely familiar and utterly strange.
'The Oak Above the Kings' tells how Arthur, the lost prince, comes at last to his long-prophesied destiny: overthrowing the usurping Archdruid, Edeyrn, who for centuries has held all Keltia in thrall by the towering force of his evil magic; restoring Uthyr, king in exile, to his rightful place; coming at last to his own kingship, the double throne he must share, by law and love, with the one woman in all Keltia fit to share it with him – Gweniver, princess and priestess, his own cousin . . . and his wife.
Using Taliesin’s voice, telling the tale as only a bard could tell it, Patricia Kennealy-Morrison fashions from the age-old story of Arthur a legend for the future, to make him the true ‘oak above the kings’.
“Engrossing, entertaining, enlightening – and fun”
“A highly effective combination of celtic mythology, SF and fantasy . . . an imaginatively wrought and scrupulously detailed series”
About the Author
Patricia Kennealy-Morrison is the author of ‘The Keltiad’ fantasy series. She is a Dame of the Ordre Souverain et Militaire du Temple de Jerusalem, a Regular of the Order of St Michael, a High Priestess in a Celtic pagan tradition and a member of Mensa. She lives in Manhattan.
Top Customer Reviews
There are two unconventional points about the book: one that I think works and the second that I'm less sure of. The first is addressing that defeating the tyrant isn't 'happily ever after'. There are still challenges in restoring Keltia to what it once was and challenges in the relationships of Artos and Gweniver. That's what this book focuses upon and makes it more mature than most fantasys of the time (and this is fantasy, as Star Wars is, despite the fact it's set in space).
The second is that it hooks the reader in by using the cliffhanger of the end of the last book and then covering the final battle against Ederyn and it might well have been better to resolve that in that book which was more about the struggle against him. However this one does end at a good point while still leaving enough threads to carry over to the third book of this trilogy.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Now, just let me say, I LOVE THIS SERIES! I especially love the character of Taliesin. He is my favorite from all of Morrison's books and possibly from any others I have ever read. His voice is exceptionally distinctive in the telling and very consistent. He is a very unassuming character, terrified out of his wits most of the time and sure that everyone knows it, yet is completely honest about this fact. I love the style of these books too. The prose is perhaps a bit cumbersome when you first begin reading but it is defiantly an epic tale, every event fraught with dan from now 'till nevermass, and all the characters with the seeds of greatness in them, Arthur most of all. I love this particular universe because it is so imaginative, Celtic legend mixed with sciencficiton in a successful blending.
Now, the Kirkus reviewer has a point when he says that Patricia Kennealy-Morrison has a "general air of self-importance". He hits the nail right on the head. She is continually prating on the virtues of the Kelts. How they are so much more evolved than "other societies I could name" in that they have magical arts, no rape, varying marriage laws, and women are considered equals. It is an attitude hard to avoid throughout her books, but this is the only detraction I will make and, you will admit, not a very serious one.
If you have read the Copper Crown and its counterparts you will be intrigued when you discover that the writing style is completely different from the first triology. This is writen in first rather than third person. It is rare that an author has such talent as to switch styles. The style change means that you will never tire of the Keltiad. Instead of boresdom you will find love for the lore as past history links all the books together.