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The Never King Paperback – January 7, 2013
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The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
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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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.
Terrible. Inconsistent, bad writing. Couldn't get past 20% of it.
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.
He sees this as pretty straightforward, at first, but quickly learns there is far more going on than he was led to believe. He fears the government will simply kill Arthur Redux. He also fears the unknown world of Fairy which seems to be surrounding the whole mystery. If he chooses to accept it, does it make him crazy? Or is he crazy for steadfastly ignoring it all?
As a lover of Arthurian fiction, this book was a nice treat. It offered a modern tale which is not often to be found in the genre. And yet, the hallmarks of the story I know are present, bringing the familiar into new light.
I won this book via LibraryThing.com member giveaway for a review.