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Arthurian Tales: Ambrosius Aureliani Paperback – November 15, 2010

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Editorial Reviews


Leon Mintz has done his homework in terms of scholarship, and it shows throughout the book. The settings, religious friction, politics and the culture readers will experience as they read this first of a possible quartet, all are realistically portrayed and help create a mental world which was quite easy for me to slide into as I read the story. This is a good book for lovers of historical fiction, fans of the early medieval period and will certainly appeal to teens who like meaty read. It will be a nice addition to our historical fiction collection at the Hartland Public Library. --John R. Clark, TCM Reviews

Though the book stands on its own, this tale has all the attributes of a prolonged saga with treacherous battles and territorial disputes. The scenes are filled with action and intrigue, usually gripping in their intensity. --Julia Ann Charpentier, ForeWord Clarion Review

The Arthurian legends are not about Arthur alone. Ambrosius Aureliani tells the story of King Arthur's uncle who has his own epic of the British Isles to tell, of his own struggles for justice. For those with a love for fantasy and Arthurian lore, Ambrosius Aureliani is certainly a choice pick with plenty to entice readers to read further. --Midwest Book Review

About the Author

Leon Mintz grew up in Port Huron, Michigan. Over the years, he has developed an unique writing style. Traveling to the various locations portrayed in his stories, he captures the essence of these places for the readers to experience and enjoy.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Erie Harbor Productions; first edition edition (November 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0971782857
  • ISBN-13: 978-0971782853
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.5 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,537,905 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Raised in Port Huron, Michigan, Leon Mintz developed a desire to write at a young age. His short stories of his youth evolved into full-length novels. His drive to become an author led him to quit his job at a prominent law firm in Southfield, Michigan and move down south so he could focus his attention on writing.

From that period in his life, Mintz brought forth Deadly Secrets in 2003. He followed up his efforts in 2006 with an experimental vampire novel called Memoir of the Masses. Now in 2010, he has released Arthurian Tales: Ambrosius Aureliani to the general public.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By H. M. Wiseman on August 8, 2011
Format: Paperback
This novel certainly gives the impression of being well researched. It includes a lengthy appendix on the historical sources, justifying the author's timeline and identification of various characters, and it is packed full of references to Roman history. Perhaps the editorial reviewer, and the other reviewer, could be forgiven for assuming that it is as well researched as it seems. However some anachronisms require no special knowledge of history to recognize. For example (p. 191), "Old man GIllan ... sported a dudeen [a clay pipe] though it wasn't always lit and smoking" --- only 1200 years too early! Another is "Urien of Moray" (imported from Geoffrey of Monmouth). Why would a (presumably) Pictish King from the highlands of Scotland have been giving his opinion at a council of Romano-British rulers in London in 429?

A worse problem in my view are various implausibilities in Mintz's story. Characters keep appearing just when someone starts discussing them. He compresses half of all the recorded history (or early legend) of post-Roman 5th century Britain into two years (428-9): the arrival of Hengest and the English as Vortigern's mercenaries, the English revolt, St. Germanus' battle against them and the Picts, Vortimer's battles, the departure of the English for Scandinavia, the return of the English, the massacre of the British elders, the overthrow of Vortigern, and the death of Hengest at the hands of Ambrosius.

The identification of Vortigern with Grallon made no sense to me, either geo-politically or narratively. (And why, if Vortigern was a title not a name, did his son have the name Vortimer?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David C. Larkin on March 6, 2011
Format: Paperback
Ambrosius Aureliani is clearly a labor of love from author Leon Mintz. It is a meticulously researched re-working (yes, another one) of "the matter of Britain." On the fairy-dust spectrum of Arthurian stories, this is hard over at the "this is the way it really happened" end. Mintz's methodology was to look at the few documented sources regarding the twilight of Roman Britain, going back to Gildas, make some interpolations and assumptions (all documented in an appendix), then set forth a possible chronology of events around the 5th Century. He then weaves his story in and around these fixed points.

This volume, the first of a projected four, covers the campaigns of Ambrosius against the invading Saxons, and proposes a relationship between him and characters we know today as Merlin and Uther Pendragon. Arthur is still a boy as the book closes. The range of the story crosses the empire from Ireland to Rome, with much of the action in Gaul as Roman discipline descends into chaos.

The story is narrated by Merlin in short, episodic chapters, that have a bit of a choppy feeling. Anywhere from a few minutes to fourteen years can elapse between chapters. Merlin has to shuttle around Europe (and even to Cathay) a little improbably to get to the scene of the action, and, even then, large swathes of events are introduced by characters in narration. But there's lots of action, some fictional and much historical, to keep things moving along.

The writing could stand some scrutiny by an editor. Characters sometimes slip in unannounced. While the book is written in modern English -- not many of us read Brythonic -- the occasional use of a clearly modern usage like "worst-case scenario" is jarring.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. Griffiths on May 7, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is so unlike what I normally read but found it to be quite interesting. Liked the authors take on Merlin's life and how through out the book he tried to atone for his misdeed. This was a good back drop to build Arthur on. The only complaint was the lack of a love interest it might have rounded the story out. Looking forward to seeing what the author does next.
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