The King Arthur Trilogy: Dragon’s Child
M. K. Hume
November 12, 2013
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". . . omniscient narration creates an emotional distance."
“Lump” is a foster child at Villa Poppinidii, working as a servant for Lord Ector and Lady Livinia and their spoiled son Caius, unaware of his origins and uninvolved with the lives of others as he struggles to survive. One day, three highborn strangers arrive and remind Ector of his promise to raise Lump to become a warrior and leader of men—and also reminding Ector to call the boy by his proper name, Artorex. Thus Dragon’s Child begins in the centuries after the Romans have abandoned the Britons to the brutality of the invading Saxons. Artorex is raised in the Roman tradition, thinking it a superior way to the constant in-fighting of the Celtic tribes, although he is Celtic by birth and his fate ultimately depends on the tribes uniting to conquer their common foe.
The high king, Uther Pendragon, eventually sees Artorex as a threat to his power and has no problem with sending the young warrior on a suicide mission to tackle a Saxon fort. Will Artorex and his supporters, Myrddion Merlinus, Llanwith pen Bryn and Prince Luka, be able to rally enough troops to defeat both the Saxons and the despotic King Uther? And what of the safety of Artorex’s wife Gallia and their child back home?
Dragon’s Child contrasts broadly with other takes on the Arthurian legend. Hume’s use of omniscient narration creates an emotional distance. The man-boy Artorex is painted as arrogant yet kindly, intelligent yet ignorant of the reality of the place and time in which he dwells. It’s left up to the reader to decide whether or not Artorex will rise to the lofty heights envisioned in classical portrayals of King Arthur.
Reviewer: Cindy A. Matthews