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King's Blood Paperback – October 4, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
In Tarr's entertaining historical fantasy, the sequel to Rite of Conquest (2004), Britain needs a king who will embrace the old magic of the Otherworld. Since William the Conqueror's heir, eldest son Red William, abjures all magic, it's up to two other royal personages to restore magic to the suffering kingdom. Edith, princess of Scotland and child of Saxon kings, can raise great magic or suppress it utterly, but is confined to a convent. Henry, the Norman prince, also possesses great magic, but as the youngest of the conqueror's sons, he rules no lands and wields no mortal power. Will the shedding of king's blood save Britain from its woes? Compelling characters and curious plot twists make this a page-turner.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Tarr continues her gripping alternate history of Britain under William the Conqueror and his sons, bringing to life familial power struggles within the larger context of a nation torn between Saxon Christianity and ancient magic. The Conqueror, a Norman whose rise to power and loosening of the Saxon-Christian hold on Britain Tarr artfully depicted in Rite of Conquest (2004), is gone; his son and heir Red William now determines to eliminate the magic that figured in his father's reign but is now a waning force. The consequent decline throughout the land throws Britain's fate into the hands of the Otherworld, in which the Old Things struggle to right things despite "stretches of emptiness where earth and water and air were deadly to anything made of magic." Can the imprisoned Scottish princess, Edith, and the Conqueror's youngest son, Henry, bring forth magical powers to save the land from pestilence? Tarr continues to blend meticulous historical research and character-driven adventure fantasy so as to satisfy her present fans and garner new ones. Whitney Scott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Red William also known as William Rufus, the eldest son of William's, inherits the throne. Meanwhile, Henry, the youngest son, who will later become Henry I, only inherits silver to make his way in the world. Red William is confronted continuously to become a true king of Britain by accepting his magical powers but refuses to do so. Henry has even more magic than both of his parents but never believes he has a chance for the throne until circumstances drastically change.
Edith, daughter of King Malcolm of Scotland was also born with the superior magical powers she inherited from her overly Christian pious mother and becomes a key player in her own and Henry's adventures.
The plot unfolds with page turning twists and turns. Never a dull moment! I didn't care much for the first novel RITE OF CONQUEST but this one far surpasses it in sheer readability and excitement. I don't know if there are further forthcoming novels in this particular vein but sincerely hope so! KING'S BLOOD is a very worthy interlude!
The darkness is spreading again and the magic is dying out. The guardians are short one number because a priest denies the Old Ways and follows Christianity. The princess of Scotland, Edith, and Prince Henry, the English king's brother, are filled with and accept the magic that is a part of them. With England under siege from all sides the time is coming for a great sacrifice that if not made will cause Britain to suffer the same fate as Atlantis.
Judith Tarr weaves a web of historical facts and imbues them with a touch of enchantment so that a pivotal event in history is made possible by sorcery. This glimpse into a past that once existed comes about because many minor magical rites and especially one major one cause the essential moment that magic made history. This romantic fantasy is full of action, otherworldly creatures and the need for the champions to prove brave and victorious otherwise Britain will be destroyed.
Of her many works, this is my favorite and the most delightful...so far. Thank goddess for Ms. Tarr's ability to write well and often.