I got this book hot off the press as I reviewed it for a local newspaper.
M. K. Hume writes beautifully, descriptively, and hauntingly. The characters leap off the page, their facial features, hair and clothing etched as carefully as their traits. No character is entirely evil or good, but rounded out in shades of grey.
Along with an epic story the book comes with maps, family trees, battle diagrams, a glossary and list of characters. Part one of a planned trilogy, it follows M. K. Hume's trilogy on Arthur.
A product of a brutal rape, Myrddion (Merlin) leads a lonely existence. Set apart by his strange dark colouring and spurned as a Demon Seed he finds solace with the village healer, Annwynn. Recognising his healing skills and gift of prophecy, Annwynn takes him on as an apprentice and hones his many talents.
Meanwhile, The High King of the Celts - Vortigern - lusts for the blood of a Demon Seed to spill over the foundations of his new tower at Dinas Emrys. Myrddion is kidnapped and delivered to his king with only his prophetic gift and finely honed intelligence to save himself.
Filled with a cast of historical figures including Vortigern's Saxon wife Rowena and her kin Hengist and Horsa, M. K. Hume weaves fact and legend to create her own spell binding tale.
This is an entry for the 2011 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge