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Warrior of the West

por M. K. Hume

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863245,252 (4.29)2
Twelve years have passed since Arthur was crowned High King. Against all odds, he has united Celtic Britain and banished the Saxons. Although hes succeeded in defeating all external threats and his kingdom is at its zenith, it is now being undermined from within. Arthur has chosen evil Wenhaver as his queen and second wife. Wenhaver will always love what she cannot have and have what she cannot love, and her bitterness threatens to bring down all those around her. Arthur is betrayed by his wife and also learns of appalling perversion at the heart of his kingdom. With his guide and master tactician, Myrddion, gone, Arthur must decide how to proceed if he wishes to see Britain stand strong. The fate of a kingdom rests on his shoulders and his selflessness is put to the test. Could all that Arthur has bought for be lost forever?… (más)
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M. K. Hume's Warrior of the West continues the story of King Arthur in an exciting and entertaining way. Dragon's Child was an intriguing introduction to The King Arthur Trilogy, but this novel reveals the true vastness of the epic story arc that the author has created.
Just like Dragon's Child, Warrior of the West is a gritty, mesmerising and well written historical novel with a few fantastical elements. The remarkable sequel to Dragon's Child continues the tale of Arthur, king of the Britons whose legendary tale is one cherished by so many readers. The story picks up from where it left off with Artor crowned High King and whose blood-soaked reign has lasted twelve long years. The Saxon scourge has been banished, replaced by a united Celtic Britain that has conquered external threats standing now at its zenith.
M. K Hume captures the exquisite depth and intricate detail of the times, presenting a realistic, well-researched vivid account of the age - thus the myths and legends are brought to life once more. As Artor's kingdom is threatened unknowingly from within, he makes the ultimate choice with Wenhaver becoming his Queen and second wife. It is her deep-rooted bitterness, her longing for the untouchable that poisons those around her, as she attempts to betray the one individual whom trusts her utterly and completely. Artor must make that sacrifice for his kingdom, for if not then a terrible fate may ensue that could threaten all that he has fought for.
Whether you deem that King Arthur was a myth, or if he was indeed a Celtic Warlord or even nothing more than an embellished folk tale you cannot help but be empowered and stunned by this original creation. MK Hume has lived, breathed and drunk in these tales of old and in doing so has consequently produced something so impressive, and faithful as to delight so many readers. ( )
  Jawin | Mar 29, 2016 |
"Unlike most of the books I review this one I bothered to obtain on purpose. I was so happy with the first book in this trilogy that I had to wait patiently for the next book to come out. This book picks up 12 years into Arthur's rein and doesn't miss a beat picking up on all the good things that the first book had to offer.

On the positive side, Hume's writing is beyond reproach. I found myself constantly entertained at her use of appropriate and timely language which pulled me to my dictionary repeatedly and with unbridled glee. This is a book that educates while it entertains. Anything she chooses to write in the future will have my utmost attention. Here is a tale that is woven with intricacy and detail that is unrivaled.

On the negative side, and this is a negative side that is rather implied by my perceptions of the tastes of other readers, this is not a book that speeds along with any great rapidity. The book goes on for almost 500 pages and while I was entranced by the intricacies, I can imagine other readers finding themselves in the arms of a rather intransigent ennui. The book does move slowly but the arc that it traces is an epic one.

In summary, this is a book to approach in an unhurried and open-minded manner. It has much to teach you, not the least of which is vocabulary. It's not a book for a single solitary rainy afternoon but instead one to be taken a few chapters at a time over the course of a week. It is a book to be pondered over and digested slowly. As epic tales go, this is a fresh and delightful retelling but don't expect to swallow it in one go. Take the time to savor and learn from what it has to tell you. I look forward to the subsequent volumes. This is a book for the thinkers among us." ( )
  slavenrm | Feb 5, 2014 |
Of the many re-tellings and interpretations I've read based on the King Arthur mythos, I think M.K. Hume's is probably the most "scholarly" version I've ever come across. As an expert on Arthurian literature writing the series as more of a historical fiction than a fantasy, the author clearly went to great lengths to find the most accurate accounts of Arthur's reign. Still, she ultimately chose to tell the legends her way, and there are certainly no shortage of surprises here.

This is the second book of Hume's King Arthur trilogy. The first book Dragon's Child was about how Artor (Arthur) won his crown to become High King of the Britons, while Warrior of the West takes place approximately twelve years after that. The story almost feels like it is split into two parts, with the first half of the novel focusing on the war against Glamdring Ironfist and his army of Saxon invaders.

But while it was undoubtedly the right call for Hume to open the book with the excitement and conflict of a war campaign, I personally found the events of the second half of the novel more engaging. Having driven back his enemies, the rest of the book centers around Artor's efforts to establish his throne and his need for a legitimate heir. This, of course, is where Wenhaver (Guenevere) comes in, and the interesting part begins.

I have to say this book's characterization of Wenhaver is one of my favorite portrayals of King Arthur's queen that I've ever encountered. Simply put, she's a terrible, vicious person, little more than a spoiled child accustomed to using her beauty to get what she wants. In her afterword, Hume confesses that she has never much liked Guenevere or her character's relevance as someone who could bring ruin to an entire kingdom for the love of another man, and yet could still retain her likeability as a person. I've never thought about it that way, but the fact that Guenevere and her part in the legend has always been heavily romanticized is true enough.

However, in this story Wenhaver is a vile, jealous and sadistic character who cheats on her husband out of spite. Hume also leaves the character of Lancelot out entirely, which makes sense because she is staying faithful to the older versions of the legend (Lancelot is thought to have been absorbed into the Arthurian tradition after he was introduced by the French romances). But while there's no love lost between king and queen, Hume cultivates her character relationships in other places.

As a counterpoint to Wenhaver, we have Nimue, known commonly as the Lady of the Lake who enchants the heart of Merlin. Nimue is the polar opposite of Wenhaver, being a sweet, kindly and down-to-earth young woman -- which again is an intriguing portrayal of a key figure that is very different and unique. I love the background Hume has written for Nimue, while still managing to tie in a lot of the elements from the more popular versions of the legend, including her relationship with Myrddion Merlinus.

In spite of this, the story also feels grounded in historical reality, which I'm sure is due largely to Hume's research and academic expertise. The nature of the writing style also puts you right there, and is quite effective at emphasizing the brutality of the times. In some ways, the starkness of the prose makes the violence seem so much worse, making me feel a lot more squeamish. Indeed, the author does not spare us from the darker, bloodier side of forging a kingdom.

As you can see, the book veers off a great deal from the more "accepted" versions of the King Arthur legend, but that is also what I love best about it. The way Hume weaves her own personal imaginings into a framework which brings together myth and legend with historical accounts is what's making this series stand out for me. It's true that these novels lean further into historical fiction territory than fantasy, making them quite different than the type of books I'm currently reading now, but I'm definitely looking forward to checking out the conclusion of this trilogy. ( )
  stefferoo | Dec 31, 2013 |
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Warrior of the West is dedicated to my parents, Ronald Henry Smith (1920-1980) and Edna Katrina Ellis Smith (1920-2004). These two extraordinary people raised three children to believe that the only limitations that exist in this world are those that we build for ourselves, stone by stone.
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Twelve years have passed since Arthur was crowned High King. Against all odds, he has united Celtic Britain and banished the Saxons. Although hes succeeded in defeating all external threats and his kingdom is at its zenith, it is now being undermined from within. Arthur has chosen evil Wenhaver as his queen and second wife. Wenhaver will always love what she cannot have and have what she cannot love, and her bitterness threatens to bring down all those around her. Arthur is betrayed by his wife and also learns of appalling perversion at the heart of his kingdom. With his guide and master tactician, Myrddion, gone, Arthur must decide how to proceed if he wishes to see Britain stand strong. The fate of a kingdom rests on his shoulders and his selflessness is put to the test. Could all that Arthur has bought for be lost forever?

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