I am reading Teri Polen’s Sarah, Jenny Kellerford’s The Shadow of the Dragon King, Michelle Muto’s The Fifth Season, and a craft book, Revising Your Novel by Janice Hardy. Reviews for them will come in the weeks ahead, until then, here is an older book from by TBR pile that closes the Merlin saga:
The Wicked Day by Mary Stewart. William Morrow and Co., Inc. 1983.
Mordred, Arthur’s son by his sister, Morgause, is now grown. He’s grown up on the Orkney Islands with a fisherman and his wife as his parents. When he saves the life of one of the Orkney princes, he is invited to the palace where he meets Morgause, who tells him that he is the bastard son of her former husband. She takes him in, killing his parents so they can’t tell him the truth. When all are summoned to Camelot, the future is uncertain for all involved.
I had expectations when I read this book, but they were all blasted away by the masterful telling of Mordred’s desire not to take the path that fate says he will. The characters are well-drawn, flaws and strengths. I love Arthur’s honesty, his unwillingness to fear from the truth no matter the cost. Merlin is not present in this tale, except as a ghost to the prophecy. It is unclear whether he has died at this point, or still lives in his Crystal Cave. Still, I loved the story, rooted for the protagonist.
I give this a *****.