Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Winter Prince

While I impatiently wait for Black Dove, White Raven to be released, I need to read everything else Elizabeth Wein has written. That includes the Lion Hunters series, which I had never heard of before. My ignorance doesn't stop there: apparently, this is a retelling of Arthurian myths. I had no idea, but aside from stumbling over a few of the names, it didn't make much difference.

Medraut is the illegitimate son of King Artos (the Arthur character), but would make a far better ruler than Lleu, his younger brother who will one day have the crown. King Artos promises Medraut to name him regent if he prepares Lleu for his future role. Medraut must grapple with jealousy, loyalty, responsibility, and honor, and does not always choose what's right.

Wein's novels Code Name Verity and Rose Under Fire revolve around female friendships, so it was a jolt to read her writing about family relationships, particularly between brothers. It did not resonate with me as strongly as the feminine relationships, but really, nothing could. I appreciate how Wein brings the reader into the emotions of all the characters. I felt Medraut's pain, but could also sympathize with his sister Goewin, and even with Lleu. Wein hints at a lot of darkness--incest is a major topic in the novel--but does not overwhelm the reader. Sometimes wondering what happened is far darker than the truth, but if you seek out the accompanying very adult short story, "No Human Hands to Touch," you'll see that the truth is very grim indeed.

There are four other novels in this series and I intend to read them all. I also plan to read more about Arthurian myths, so thank you, Elizabeth Wein, for awakening a new interest for me.

No comments:

Post a Comment

What say you?