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Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Book of Names - D. Barkley Briggs

An excellent young-adult tale of mystery and fantasy, Briggs writes of brothers Haydn and Ewan Barlow, whose strange discovery of a rune-carved archway on their father's land leads to the entrance into a world of magic and wonder. Once found in the land, Karac Tor, the two are said to be destined for greatness, but only if they can survive the tragedies and battles that befall them while seeking their route back home. If they do live to tell their story, will the Brothers Barlow truly be the rumored 'champions' of the mysterious land?

Briggs has an excellent way of writing a detailed tale without too much being revealed. True friends and enemies are anyone's guess as the brothers lose, find, and lose each other on their journey through the land, but only an atom of a large and complicated truth is unveiled in the ending, flawlessly leading into another twisted and meandering tale of adventure and suspense.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Eagle - Jack Whyte

The Eagle is the final book in Jack Whyte's Camulod Chronicles, a true historical fiction take on the Arthurian tales. It is also the second book that completes the story of Clothar of Gaul, legendarily known as Sir Lancelot.

The story begins after Clothar and Arthur have become close friends and military compatriots. Arthur is king and soon decides to send Clothar back to Gaul to engage trade and agreements with like-minded kingdoms across the channel.

Clothar, between Gaul and Britain, is instrumental in fighting many of the enemies found on the island and in modern-day Europe, including the forces of Attila the Hun.

His friend and king, Arthur, begins to show his vulnerability and matters in Britain begin to deteriorate and Arthur asks Clothar for one last request, which Clothar has difficulty in performing.

The Eagle is a fitting end to Whyte's tale of Arthur's Britain. There are some chapter's of battle but a majority of the book is spent on continuing to develop Clothar's character. The author also explains his opinion of some of the more juicy tales of the supposed love triangle between Arthur, Lancelot and Guinevere.