Legends of old can never fade. The truth can never die. The tip of a spear settles any dispute. But the love of a King comes before all. In his fifteenth year of rule, King Uther Pendragon - High King of all the Celtic Tribes - is set on a quest by Merlyn and the druids of Mona, to brave the winter seas and set sail for the Isle of Erin. The quest placed upon the king, despite the tribal lands being at war with Saxon invaders, is to take a war party and return with a prize that will lay to rest the ghosts of the past and allow the Celts to reclaim their lands. But none of those who set sail realize what this quest will release within their king, and what events will unfold. The second book in C.M. Gray's Shadowland series, The Shadow of a King is a standalone fantasy adventure and can be enjoyed even if you haven't read the first book in the series.
The Shadow of a KingFeatured
'The Shadow of a King', tells the story of Uther Pendragon, King Arther's father. The story begins with Uther late in life and near death. The 'The Shadow King' then flashes back to Uther's early reign.
What I Loved:
The concept of the story of King Uther's father is an interesting one. Something that has not been done a lot in literature.
Gray gave strong personalities to the characters. Uther, Morgan Le Fay, Gorlois, and Sir Ector, all had complicated and deep characteristics that added depth and interest to the story.
The descriptions in 'The Shadow King' were also vivid and interesting. The Middle Ages are often romanticized. In 'The Shadow King' everything is described in gritty reality. Gray really brought alive how dark, dirty, and unhygienic the middle ages were.
What Left Me Wanting More:
Although I did like the flash backs, I wish they would have been more delineated. I was often confused when a flashback stopped and started. Also, the flashbacks were very long and I often had to go back to see what was happening before the flashback. There were also a few flashbacks within a flashback.
Although, I did love almost all the chapters,I found Merlin to be overly eccentric and annoying. I found myself wondering why Uther put up with him.
I also never really understood why Morgan Le Fay hated Uther so much. She and Uther seemed to have a close relationship previously. I know she blamed Uther for her father's death but she seemed to know what an awful person her father was.
My Final Verdict:
I enjoyed 'The Shadow of a King' and I may read the first book in the series (really companion book). It really was an interesting story and touched on piece of the Arthurian legend that isn't often written about. An interesting look at the father of King Arther, Uther Pendragon.