Even as a child, Jame could remember feeling that some mysterious power held his fate in strong, infallible hands. – Avalon
I just finished reading Avalon by Stephen Lawhead and I thought that I would take the time to review it. This is my favorite telling of the return of King Arthur of the ones that I have read, although I have not read a lot of those.
Another reason that I have decided to review this book is that I feel like all of Stephen Lawhead’s books are really underrated. Outside of my family I don’t know anyone who has read anything by him. So, if you want to read fantasy, his books are ones that I would highly suggest.
Alright, I’ll stop trying to convince everyone to read Stephen Lawhead (although, I still think that you should read it), and actually write the review.
I am going to try to avoid spoilers. Hopefully, you will not learn much more about the plot here than you would from reading the back of the book or the blurb.
Book name: Avalon
Author: Stephen R. Lawhead
My rating: Four stars
Hundreds of years have passed since King Arthur died, and in this alternate modern day King Arthur is merely a legend. Then the irresponsible King Edward the Ninth dies at his own hands. The power-hungry Prime Minister is systematically destroying the privileges and rights of the monarchy wanting to make Britain a democracy. Now that King Edward the Ninth is dead nothing stands in his way. Meanwhile in Scotland, James Arthur Stuart is trying to find a way to keep his family home in the face of legal difficulties. Then a mysterious stranger called Embries, who is really Merlin, shows up and prove to James that he is not only the legal owner of his home, he is the rightful king of Britain. This leads into a desperate game of intrigue, politics, and magic to stop Britain from getting its first president and return Britain to its old glory.
This is a book that I have read multiple times, and each time the cleverness of the story amazes me. Cleverness is probably not quite the right word, but I can’t think of any that works better at the moment.
It does start a bit slow, but once you get into it the pace is good.
I’m not exactly sure why, but this is one of the books that I definitely consider a comfort book. I think that it might be because of how even when the characters are going through awful situations everything ends up being okay.
All of the ‘good’ characters are honorable in this book which is something that I always like. Basically what I mean is that when one of these characters had to make a decision they would ultimately choose what would help others even if it meant putting themselves in a dangerous position. I’m not saying that these characters were perfect because they weren’t, but they did try to do the right thing.
There are quite a lot of characters in this book. Some of the characters could use with some more development, but since this was a single book, not a series, there was not really time for more development. However, at least for me, the characters were all distinct enough that they did not get mixed up.
It is a cross between a political thriller and a fantasy novel which doesn’t necessarily sound like it would work, but for this modern story of King Arthur it worked quite well.
If you like King Arthur, I would highly suggest trying this story of his return.
Have you read Avalon? If so what did you think of it? And if you have not read this book would you consider reading it?