If April is not bad enough with…Awe-tism Acceptance month, #100DaysOfHomeEd, and all the work here at #HomeCrazzyHome…now we have Earth Day and World Book Day…back to back!!!!
But as a blogger/writer and avid reader, there is no way I could NOT do something to celebrate books. So I thought I would share a good old-fashioned book report like I was taught to write…in those ancient days when I was in school. I am featuring my favorite author…
Few tales have weathered the ages like King Arthur. Whether myth or man, his story has inspired authors through out the ages. From Geoffrey of Monmouth’s History of the Kings of Britain to Knights of the Round Table by Sir Thomas Mallory to Idylls of the King by Lord Alfred Tennyson to Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, the fables have grown and inspired the greatest minds and writers of the ages. The tradition continues in the works of M K Hume.
With a Master’s and PhD in Arthurian literature, she applies her knowledge of the subject in a series of enthralling and enlightening works from the period including trilogies on King Arthur and Merlin (Prophecy series) that combines the little factual knowledge we have of these men with the imagination of a brilliant writer to craft characters that are enigmatic, dynamic and surprisingly human. Beyond the characters, Hume entwines the complex themes of leadership and hubris throughout all her works like a golden thread across the span of history to our modern troubles.
Of all her complex characters, my favorite is Myrddion Merlinus aka Merlin. Not only is he the main character of the Prophecy series, but appears extensively in the first two books of her King Arthur trilogy. The Merlin that she crafts is not the dunderly but lovable wizard of Disney’s The Sword and The Stone nor is the power hungry statesmen with Machiavellian machinations. Instead she has crafted a truly plausible man of his times crafted by his personal background to address the manifold issues of a civilization on the brink of tumultous change as the Romano-Celtic era gives way to Saxon invaders. He is a man driven by nationalistic passion struggling to ebb the flows of that change…at times to the point of trading his very soul for the good of his people. It is an ancient dilemma that speaks to our very modern age.
My only issue with Hume’s works is the inconsistencies. Having written the books of the course of decades with the stories and characters unfolding and metamorphosing over time, some inconsistencies is almost unavoidable. Nonetheless, with the advent of ebooks it is now possible for authors to correct such issues. I long for Hume to take the time to do so…straightening out the skeins of times and characters so that the tapestry of her works hold the smooth and unblemished beauty of silken tales that they deserve.
Despite these indescrepencies, I find myself reading these books over and over and over again. I am about half way through my sixth or seventh circuit. Each time I highlight more and more of the texts. I am truly grateful for ebooks as paper copies would have long since gone dog-earred. But each time I discover some nuisance that I overlooked on previous pass throughs. Each truth seemingly jumping off the screen. Like myth, legend and all great fiction, these books and the storytelling skills of M K Hume transport me through time and space. At times I find myself lost in the stories, falling in love with the characters, laughing and crying for their joys and pains.
So if you are looking for a good way of celebrating World Book Day might I suggest…Prophecy: Clash of Kings by M K Hume. See what you think of her Merlin…