Monday, August 15, 2011

Review: Kingdom of Summer by Gillian Bradshaw

Kingdom of Summer
Down the Long Wind #2
by: Gillian Bradshaw
$14.99 trade paperback
Historical Fantasy
Released: September 2011


Gwalchmai is a fierce warrior and member of King Arthur’s war band. The king has trusted him to be an ambassador to one of the kings that serves under Arthur. King Bran is known to be disloyal and has been suspected of plotting rebellion. While fighting to defend Arthur’s kingdom, Gwalchmai commits an offense against the woman he has fallen in love with. The woman then disappears and he is driven to search for her and seek her forgiveness.

Rhys, who is a farmer and peasant, becomes his trusted servant. He accompanies Gwalchmai on his search. They have been sent to the land known as the Kingdom of Summer on an ambassadorial mission. While in the Kingdom of Summer, Gwalchmai searches for Elidan, the woman he loves. After arriving he discovers that his mother, the evil witch-queen Morgawse is there as well. He finds that the secrets from his past may come back to haunt him and keep him from ever having any sort of peace.

This is the second in the series by Gillian Bradshaw. It is a new take on the old Arthurian legends. Gwalchmai which translates to Hawk of May is actually the knight known as Sir Gawain in the more well known legends. I love the King Arthur legends and enjoyed this new version. It greatly different from the older well known stories, but that is one of the things that makes it interesting. While it is possible to read this book as a stand alone, I do highly suggest reading the first book before reading this one. It will really make things more clear on how Gwalchmai came to be the man he is today. It explains his past struggles and his relationship with his family, especially his relationship with his mother. It also has explanations in the beginning of the book on how to pronounce some of the Welsh names and places.

I enjoyed this book immensely and would recommend it to anyone that likes medieval stories and the fantasy genre. It is well written and is a refreshingly new and different take on the legends of old. This not a romance per say, and there are not any spicy sex scenes. It is a great read for anyone whether they are adult or young adult.  It is romantic in that Gwalchmai’s love for the woman he wronged keeps him searching and from resting until he finds her. There is also a lot of intrigue to keep you on the edge of your seat.

Angie gives this book

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