Monday, January 19, 2009

Here Lies Arthur by Philip Reeve

This is a more realistic take on the Arthur legend, told by a young woman named Gwynna, a slave who becomes the servant of Myrddin.  Throughout her life with Myrddin she passes off as the Lady of the Lake, a boy solider, and a handmaiden for Gwenhwyfar (Arthur's queen).

There were some plot holes of sorts, the fact that Gwynna keeps switching between being a boy and a girl and yet no one seemed to question it was sort of weak.  Plus, Arthur comes off as really horrible.  Those problems aside, the story itself was pretty strong, so I give it a maybe.

1 comment:

Allison said...

It wasn't Gwyna's switching that bothered me but when she was traveling as a boy with Arthur's war band and nobody figured out she was a girl. It takes place in the dark ages shortly after the Roman period (known for comunal toilets) doesn't seem like privacy during urinating would be a high priority.
Also Arthur did come off as a petty mobster. Demanding "protection money" from lords and Myrrdin (Merlin) as rather brutal too. he arranged for Cei's (Sir Kay) death because he was a potential rivial for Arthur.
That being said it was a great take on the legend with the idea of that this is what really happened while Myrrdin was manipulating people by creating these stories that made Arthur a great king and planted the seeds for the legends we know today. I'm a maybe borderline yes.