The epic tale of the legend of King Arthur, Merlin, and the Knights of the Round Table continues in this third installment of the series. Uther Pendragon is the High King in this book, and his biggest problem seems to be that he feels that while he may be the king, his rule is determined primarily by the knowledge given to him by Merlin. As time goes on, he begins to see himself as no more than a pawn who is doing Merlin’s will without any choice in the matter of his own. He has come to believe that even his decisions were predetermined by the man who knows all that is to come and all that has come before. As such, is he really the king? How can he have free will if Merlin already knows everything he will do?
Doubting himself, he begins to resent Merlin and all that he represents. And he finds himself wishing to be free of the devil’s son to rule things as he would rather than in the manner that he believes was predetermined for him. Learning that the greatest achievement during his reign that he will accomplish is to hold the place for a great king to come, one he will never have the chance to meet, begins to send Uther into a state of depression from which it seems he is doomed to remain in until the end. After all, if he is meant to be nothing but a placeholder for someone else, how can any sort of greatness be his own?
But then he meets Igraine, the wife of one of his loyal knights. Igraine comes to represent everything that Uther wants but cannot have. She is truly in love with her husband and supports him in every way possible. Uther comes to believe that he can never be happy without her. He must have her love or he will surely perish. His obsession with the honorable wife of one of his knights nearly tears the kingdom apart. And for those familiar with what happens next in the legends surrounding Arthur’s conception, there is little surprise in how it comes to pass.
The actions and thoughts of the characters are very well portrayed in this book and certainly the best part of the story being told. We gain great insight into all of them and how they react to the circumstances surrounding their actions. I greatly enjoyed seeing how they played off of each other, as well as how they handled the feelings of being controlled and manipulated by those surrounding them.
There is a great deal more to this tale that I don’t want to spoil for you, for it is well worth reading. I have long loved reading stories about King Arthur and the rest of the round table, and this book as well as the series as a whole thus far is no exception. Arthur may not make an appearance until late in this story, but he will be a major part of the next book in the series. I am looking forward to seeing where Mr Telek takes this tale next on his journey through his series. It has been a very enjoyable tale thus far, and one that seems to improve with each book he adds to his series.
I have heard that Mr. Telek has an extensive 25 book plan for this series, and if the rest of them are as enjoyable as the three that I have been fortunate enough to read thus far, it should be quite an impressive series. I look forward to seeing where it goes from here as each successive book does seem to improve on what has gone before.
I hope you will give this one a chance, especially if like me you enjoy Arthurian tales. I know I’ll be waiting impatiently for the next book in the series to be released.
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