‘I wondered how the quiet of the day, beautiful and sun-drenched as it was, could be so shattered by the violent death that was to come. Away northward, hills bathed in sunlight.’
Bedwyr, Arthur’s greatest warrior, voices the heroic, tragic, passionate story of Arthur and the warriors of the Clan Bear. The reader goes with him into battle, fighting for survival and living through the pity and disgust of it all. We learn what it means to kill so that others can live in peace. A potent theme, with universal and ongoing significance.
L.A. Wilson is a rare talent, a poetic writer who creates accessible books that, for me, are compulsive reading. The words used are simple but organised into potent sentences that fly as accurately as Bedwyr’s javelin, right on target, taking us to the troubled heart of 5th century Britain.
In this book Arthur fully forms and organises the Clan Bear. How I wish I could join. Camelot. Another word of power for me, from my earliest memories, here convincingly recreated as Caer Cadwy. Home, as Arthur calls it. Arthur, unloved and abused as a child has made his own place.
Arthur and Bedwyr never forget to joke and laugh and there are moments of extreme happiness in ‘Arthur’s Army’. Arthur’s wedding is ecstatic. I’m not revealing the name of his bride but Bedwyr describes her, seated on a horse after the wedding. ‘She looked up at the sky and gave out a cry of delight and flung out her arms and laughed, while over me I saw a bird with outstretched wings soaring into the heights, up and into the clouds that burned under the sun.’
Events in the Black Mountains, at the villa in Siluria are also incredible. I cannot describe what happens as I don’t want to plot spoil, but what amazing images! This is visual writing, intense, haunting and mysterious. Arthur’s cousin Morganna shares something of his dark glamour and with her, as throughout the book, LA Wilson references Arthurian myths but makes them real. Brilliant.
Where there is power, traitors lurk. Not everyone is happy to accept Arthur’s rule. Trouble comes and so this endlessly fascinating story continues. As for the narrator, Bedwyr, the Fox, I find him irresistible and I can only quote Arthur. ‘I am going to love you, Fox. Long and hard and forever.’
I’m just so glad that this series has seven books, with another one on the way.
Amazon US http://www.amazon.com/Silurian-Book-Two-Arthurs-Army-ebook/dp/B00BGY1MUG