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The Stolen Bride (The Arthurian Mysteries) Hardcover – April 10, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

Review

A first-class, page-turning tale. We shall doubtless hear much more of Tony Hays. (Peter Tremayne, author of A Prayer for the Damned, on The Killing Way)

Hayes has captured the Arthurian legend and made it his own. Many complex plot threads and believable characters make this a series to be savored by historical mystery and Arthurian fiction fans. (Library Journal, starred review, on The Beloved Dead)

Hays's brilliant second mystery set in fifth-century Britain delivers on the promise of its predecessor, The Killing Way. Already, this series rivals the work of such proven masters of the subgenre as Steven Saylor and Laura Joh Rowland. (Publishers Weekly, starred review, on The Divine Sacrifice)

This heady concoction of suspense and legend will appeal to a broad cross-section of historical-fiction and whodunit fans. (Booklist on The Divine Sacrifice)

About the Author

The Stolen Bride is Tony Hays's fourth book his much acclaimed Arthurian mystery series. In addition to writing fiction, Hays is a working journalist who has covered topics as varied as narcotics trafficking (earning his newspaper the Tennessee Press Association award for Public Service in 2000), political corruption, Civil War history, and the war on terror. He currently resides in Tennessee.

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Product Details

  • Series: The Arthurian Mysteries (Book 4)
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Forge Books; First Edition edition (April 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765326299
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765326294
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.4 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,018,419 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tony Hays is a novelist and journalist who has visited nearly thirty countries, while living and teaching in six of them, including three and a half years in Kuwait. As he works on his latest effort, a new historical mystery series, set in Dark Ages Britain, for Tor/Forge, Tony continues to teach and lecture both at home and abroad. The first two volumes of his new series, The Killing Way and The Divine Sacrifice, have been released to critical acclaim. Both books received starred reviews from Publisher's Weekly and Library Journal. He currently resides in Tennessee.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Justin Lindsay on May 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This review was first published in Historical Novel Review, where The Stolen Bride received the Editor's Choice distinction.

When Malgwyn accompanies King Arthur to help settle a dispute in Doged's troubled lands, they arrive to find more than ambitious nobles and Saxons vying for the throne. If Arthur wants to keep Doged's land in the fold, and the gold that might be found in its mines, then they must find some way to keep the peace. But when Doged is murdered, his young wife demands answers. Arthur turns to Malgwyn, his most trusted counselor and the man most experienced in such matters, but Malgwyn soon discovers that not only his life, but the future of the kingdom, will be lost should he not find the true murderer.

The Stolen Bride is the fourth book in Tony Hays' Arthurian Mysteries novels. I've thoroughly enjoyed each one. The previous three novels are fantastic, though they aren't necessary to enjoy this fourth installment. Hays has done a tremendous amount of research to breath new life into this era where Rome has retreated and the Britons are left to fill the power vacuum and fight off the Saxon invasion. Malgwyn, for all his flaws, is brilliantly written, as are Arthur, Merlin, Bedevere, Guenevere, and all the rest. Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on April 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover
In the Eighty-second Year from the Adventus Saxonum, King Arthur assigns his angry adviser Malgwyn ap Cuneglas to investigate a village massacre on the lands of Lord Doged. Though over three years have passed, Malgwyn thinks back to when he found his wife dead along with others. Raging at Arthur Malgwyn left his surviving infant with his brother as he turned from farmer to violent warrior.

At the eerie sight, Malgwyn pulls a Saxon arrow out of the body of a woman; he recognizes the arrow as identical to that which killed his beloved spouse. Malgwyn informs his liege it looks like the Saxons, but insists something is not quite right. When Doged is murdered with no heir, the High King of All Britannia claims he needs swift justice for the victim's family and survivors of the massacre as he knows his throne is shaky. He directs Malgwyn to investigate the homicide first as that has greater potential trouble for Arthur before he looks into the mass murders.

The latest Arthurian Mystery (see The Divine Sacrifice and The Beloved Dead) is a great whodunit tarring a bitter counselor who does not try to conceal his ire at the monarch. Arthur is not the romantic Camelot figure, but instead a pragmatic ruler trying to keep his throne; Malgwyn understands this and plans to find out why the king seems obsessed with this minor land. Fast-paced even with the protagonist's haunting brief flashbacks, medieval mystery fans will relish this strong entry in one of the best period pieces as the political, military and economics of the era comes alive while Malgwyn investigates the homicide of the lord and the seemingly senseless slaughter of the villagers.

Harriet Klausner
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Format: Hardcover
A murder mystery in the court of King Arthur.

As such, you have to be at least somewhat interested in novels of that type. I picked it up because I had just finished the latest of the Bernard Cornwell novels set in the Saxon period. Mr. Hays has set his novels in an earlier time, the time of King Arthur, the time when the locals are resisting the invasion of the Saxons. How could I resist?

Not resisting was quite worthwhile. While I bought this book first (It is the fourth in Mr. Hays series.), I then bought the first three of the series. What I like best of these books is the background that they give as to life in those days. Obviously Mr. Hays, and Mr. Cornwell as well, have seriously studied the life and times in which they set their books.

Besides that, these are excellent stories. Although these times differ from ours by a thousand years, the people have many of the same characteristics, personality, dreams and aspirations. This means that this book, considered as a murder mystery is pretty good as well. Mr. Hays has written some thirty novels, some of which are just plain mysteries rather than being set so far back in time. Next step, for me, is to go get some of these books.
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