- Paperback: 324 pages
- Publisher: The Bedwyr Press (January 7, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0985865733
- ISBN-13: 978-0985865733
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.7 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,856,309 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Never King Paperback – January 7, 2013
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About the Author
George Tyson has been interested in the history of Western religions since 8th grade and has an extensive collection of books on the Celtic “Fairy Faith.” He has been a neurosurgeon and a hospital administrator and lives on Long Island with his wife and four black cats.
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Top Customer Reviews
Indeed, any author that pokes fun at spy novels in the first few pages, and then goes on to knowingly use some of those same elements of plot with ironic, gleeful abandon is either very smart or very, very dumb. Given the intricacy of the rest of the novel and the weaving of multiple genres into one, I'd say it's the former of these. While not everything always made sense (as is noted in a phrase twice used in the book), when things *didn't* make sense, that made sense. And most -but not all- questions were answered in time.
There's enough air of mystery in all the characters' true identities to make me want to read on, if only to confirm or deny my suspicions about who they are/were/(will be?). And the novel idea of an Arthur who comes again - multiple times, sometimes anonymously- into Britain's history when needed is a concept about which I'd like to read more. As for the main character, he's an interesting, personable fellow full of enough self-doubt to make the reader be able to relate to him more than the typical jock of many other hero-oriented literature. I'm intrigued by his past experiences and would like to understand him a bit better. I also do hope he gains a tad more confidence in his next adventure- a little self-doubt and questioning is good, but too much and you want to throttle the guy to goad him into action.
I think many people read Arthurian legend for glimpses of a history and mythology of a people whom we see some of ourselves in, and this book certainly provides those glimpses in spades. I love when a traditional take on legend is slightly maneuvered to produce a new, fresh approach to understanding it, such as when Marion Zimmer Bradley wrote The Mists of Avalon from the perspective of Morgan Le Fay. There was a glimmer of that greatness here, and I think that these glimpses and interpretations will only be improved in the next book with the knowledge of who the key players are and how they relate to one another, which was withheld until nearly the end in this text. There are lots of possibilities left open, plot-wise, after this book. In fact, some of the plot points here may have been wrapped up a little *too* neatly, which could allow for their unraveling in subsequent novels.
And finally, I'd like to comment on the excellent editing. I've been victim to some truly terrible editing in non-mass marketed books before now that has unfortunately colored the way I look at Amazon-produced literature. A really terrific story can be ruined by poor editing. Thankfully, this is decidedly not the case in The Never King. Rather, it is professionally written with solid editing. Either I was too entranced by the story to take note of any grammatical errors, or there were none. I am very appreciative of an author who respects his readers enough to put forth care and time into his writing and editing. Thank you, and I look forward to the next installment.
The main character, surprisingly is not King Arthur himself, but a modern day historian, who is in no way as perfect as most of the knights of yore. In fact, the historian, as well as most of the other characters, could be people you see on the street or an asylum every day. The characters are likable and for the most part the story flows well. Some things you have to give a little on and trust the author will get there. For me, I wanted to see much more detail. When I finished the story, I felt I had finished only the beginning of a story that has much more to be told.
Because of this lack of knowledge of the Arthurian Legend, I won't speak much to that in the book, but focus on it as a stand alone story. I felt that Tyson's tale began strong and ended strong, but the middle of the story was very lacking. There is a good deal of both Arthurian and Celtic legend involved here, and the character of Peter does a fantastic job of fleshing these out for the uninitiated, but once he meets the modern Arthur, I felt that the story fell apart. What should have been thrilling moments and a dramatic climax in the midst of the story left me with a "...and then stuff happened..." feeling. It was as though several chapters were missing in the middle of the book that left me wondering how we ended up at the castle or Arthur's birth and the penultimate confrontation.
What is very strong in this book, however, is the development of the characters of Peter Quince and his foil the mysterious Thistle. By the end, their relationship makes a great deal of sense, and the growth exhibited by both is fascinating, especially when placed in the context of the Celtic folklore and the "Fairy Faith" that drives the narrative. My only question with this underlying story was the need to place political intrigue and a dystopian future into the mix. In reality, both of these concepts which were major selling points to me when I considered The Never King were easily forgotten and there is no reason why the story would be able to stand without both. I am looking forward to an anticipated sequel to see where the characters will end up and how the modern retelling of the legends proceed. Hopefully the stories will continue to grow stronger as a series develops.