Monday, May 21, 2012

King Arthur Book Review

Title:  King Arthur
Author:  Frank Thompson
Genre:  Fantasy/Historical Fiction

Summary:  King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table - and the chivalry, romance, heroism, and betrayal at the heart of the legendary tale - have gripped the imagination of the world for centuries.  In KING ARTHUR, young Arthur is given a seemingly impossible mission - to defeat a bloodthirsty Saxon conqueror and his army, a dozen times the size of Arthur's own.  Haunted by Merlin and tormented by the fact that his small band of knights has only a slim chance at survival, Arthur is determined to fulfill his duty to the Roman Empire, his family, and Great Britain.  In the midst of their mission, when Arthur and Lancelot, his greatest knight, rescue the exquisite Guinevere from captivity, the enchanting tale of the royal lovers begins.  KING ARTHUR is a story of catastrophic defeat, devastating victory and magical romance. -- (Goodreads)

Review:  I'll admit, at first I was confused.  When I think of King Arthur, I imagine a young, handsome boy pulling a sword from a stone.  I imagine battles with dragons and mythical creatures.  I imagine a hundred brave knights at a round table, dutifully serving Arthur, their righteous king.

Yet in the beginning, Arthur isn't a king.  He's merely a Roman knight who was taken from his family when he was a boy.  Taken to pay tribute to Rome, the conqueror of their country, Sarmatia.  While he's a commander, he fights many battles and becomes a legendary warrior.

During this time, he chooses one hundred knights to serve under his command.  And these knights join him at the round table.

At the time the story takes place, only seven knights remain of the original hundred and their fifteen-year terms of service for the Roman Empire have nearly come to an end.  But before they are released, they are sent on their final, dangerous mission.  A mission that will, when completed, either lead them to freedom or death.

Yes, I was confused, because this book differed from the actual story.

A few chapters in, I was finally clear with what was going on.  I realized that the tales of King Arthur we know were only 'tales' in this story as well.  I realized that this story was meant to be the real tale of the glorious king.

Don't let this minor confusion let you change your mind about this story, though.  This book is amazing.  No, it was much more than amazing.  Words cannot describe how much I loved this book.  It had me nodding, laughing, and on the verge of tears.  (I'm sure I would have cried, had my brother, sister and mom been somewhere else.  I don't cry in front of people.)

The story was so beautifully and wonderfully written.  There was a perfect balance between action, romance and comedy in the book.

You know those books that change you?  Those books that stick with you weeks, months, or even years after you've read them?  One of those books that you not only remember, but you want to own?  One you need to have in print and on your bookshelf to fully appreciate it?

Well then, you know how I feel about this book.  It's left me scarred for life, for better and for worse.

As soon as I get an Amazon Gift Card, I'm buying this book.

My Rating:  Five Stars.  If there wasn't a limit, I'd rate it an entire galaxy of stars.  This book is a must read.

Add it on:  Goodreads
Buy it on:  Amazon
Buy the:  Movie

Have a wonderful day!



Sarah Faulkner said...

Sounds really good. Clicking over to my library's page to out this book on hold now!
~Sarah F.

KatieO said...

Hmmm, sounds like an unusual twist on the Arthur legend.

I used to love reading every new book I could find about King Arthur - The Once and Future King by TH White was my favorite for a long time - but then I started finding stories like this that twist the legend and messed with what I "knew" to be true... so I stopped reading new books on Arthur.

Maybe I'll go look at this one... you make it sound so compelling...

Susan Kane said...

James Michener "The Source" changed me, and how I looked at literature. I was a sophomore in high school when I read it.

Also poetry of T.S. Eliot, W.B. Yeats.

Angela Brown said...

That lasting feeling is much how I felt when I first read Tolkien. I'd mainly read Judy Blume up to that point. Then my mind was blown wide open by hobbits, adventures and the precious.

Anonymous said...

Wow! An entire galaxy of stars? Its just gone on my list to buy later this week. Thanks for the awesome review!

davidgmckendry said...

Did you say that this was an autobiography? :)

Jess said...

Sarah~ yay! I really hope you enjoy it :)

KatieO~ I haven't read many King Arthur stories, anyway, so maybe that's why I was okay with the changes. But I really enjoyed it, even if it didn't follow the legend.

Susan~ The Source... sounds very interesting! Maybe I'll have to check that one out. P.S. I love WB Yeats!

Angela~ I still have to read LOTR! Haven't gotten around to it yet!

Stephen~ I really hope you enjoy it! It was definitely worth my time, and I hope it's the same for you! :)

GM~ Lol

Chuck said...

I have not really READ about King Arthur but I have seen various incarnations of movies. One of my favorites is the Lion In Winter. Catch it if you can. Very nice review Jess.

Reiko said...

Sounds like an Amazon gift card is what you'll be getting for your birthday! Love, Grandma

The Golden Eagle said...

Wow, that's the frist time I've come across a book rated an entire galaxy. :) Onto the TBR it goes!

Jess said...

Chuck~ I'll be sure to check it out! Thanks for the suggestion!

GR~ Lol thanks :)

Golden Eagle~ That's the first time I rated a book a galaxy, too! The book got me really fired up and it was a very good read! Hope you enjoy!

Esther Spurrill-Jones said...

I have read so many versions of the legend of King Arthur, so I had to laugh at your sentence: "this book differed from the actual story." What actual story? There really isn't one. Every story I've read differs in some way from every other story. That's what makes the legends of King Arthur so fascinating. :)

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