Modern spin doctors eat your heart out.
I have to admit that reading tales about King Arthur has never particularly appealed but I did enjoy this book. I loved the way Philip Reeve took such a well-known tale and presented it from different points of view.
The view-point of a young girl who is forced to play the role of lady in the lake presenting Arthur by Arthur’s storyteller. Through her we are presented with the suggestion that the tales of Arthur were the result of a storyteller (our modern day spin doctor) spinning tales to enhance the stature of Arthur in the eyes of the population. We experience Arthur as a war monger who pursues his quest to acquire land and gain power at any expense, discarding people even close friends if they got in his way. There is also a nagging doubt in the girls mind, about the validity of what Arthur and his storyteller are doing.
But underlying all this is the interdependency of characters.
The strands of known and unknown characters are cleverly woven in and around each other, the events in their life charting the rise and fall of Arthur.
Through this book the author presents us with the lengths people went to, to survive. We have two children who are made to change their gender, girl to boy and boy to girl, in order to survive the potential of violence and death. Another well hidden storyline is how the storyteller changes his view about the girl.
This book makes the myths surrounding Arthur much more interesting.
Lives, loves, careers and intimacies to rival any modern-day soap opera are all presented here. It’s well worth the read.