by Tim Walker
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Pub Date 19 Feb 2018 | Archive Date 05 Dec 2018
Late fifth century Britannia recoils in shock at the murder of charismatic High King, Ambrosius Aurelianus, and looks to his brother and successor, Uther, to continue his work in leading the resistance to barbarian invaders. Uther’s destiny as a warrior king seems set until his world is turned on its head when his burning desire to possess the beautiful Ygerne leads to conflict. Could the fate of his kingdom hang in the balance as a consequence?
Court healer and schemer, Merlyn, sees an opportunity in Uther’s lustful obsession to fulfil the prophetic visions that guide him. He is encouraged on his mission by druids who align their desire for a return to ancient ways with his urge to protect the one destined to save the Britons from invaders and lead them to a time of peace and prosperity. Merlyn must use his wisdom and guile to thwart the machinations of an enemy intent on foiling his plans.
Meanwhile, Saxon chiefs Octa and Ælla have their own plans for seizing the island of Britannia and forging a new colony of Germanic tribes. Can Uther rise above his family problems and raise an army to oppose them?
Book three in A Light in the Dark Ages series, Uther’s Destiny is an historical fiction novel set in the Fifth Century - a time of myths and legends that builds to the greatest legend of all – King Arthur and his knights.
This book is preceded in the series by Abandoned (book one) and Ambrosius: Last of the Romans (book two).
"A GREAT ARTHURIAN ADVENTURE (Amazon review) -
""The Saxons keep on coming like an evil plague. They bring nothing but blood, fire, and death. Something must be done to stop them. Uther Pendragon, the newly crowned King of the Britons, is determined to end the Saxons' ambitions and send them back to where they came from. His every desire is to see the Kingdom at peace. But then he meets Ygerne and everything changes. War takes second place to lust. Uther will have what he desires regardless of the cost to himself, his nobles, and to his nation. Merlyn is reminded of a prophecy about a boy who will become King. Sensing an opportunity he gives Uther what he wants and the Kingdom of Britannia what it needs. But Merlyn has many enemies and they will stop at nothing to make sure the prophecy never comes true. I have read Geoffrey of Monmouth's History of the Kings of Britain many times. Uther's Destiny (A Light in the Dark Ages Book 3) by Tim Walker is a refreshing retelling of the story of Uther and the boy who would be King. Uther Pendragon is one of those characters who you are not to sure you should like that much. He is a self-centred King, who always gets what he wants. I thought Mr Walker portrayed him beautifully. Uther is a very flawed character but that makes him all the more believable. Merlyn, who is also pivotal to this story, manipulates events in order for the prophesy to come true. He, like Uther, is not the most likeable of characters. But then, he wasn't in the stories of old either. I thought the depiction of the Saxons was wonderful. It was great to have the perspective of both sides of the story. This really gave the story depth and kept the pace fast and engaging. I thoroughly enjoyed Uther's Destiny (A Light in the Dark Ages Book 3), and if you enjoy Arthurian fiction then this should definitely be on your 'to read' list!" " HIGHLY RECOMMENDED (Amazon review) -
""I absolutely loved Uther’s Destiny. I have neglected studying this time in History but I am, of course, familiar with the Legend of King Arthur. The author has created a work of near perfection to me. The plot flows so well even across the bumpy violent episodes. The violence is not gratuitous but to be expected in a plot of life in that time. The glossary of place names and the author’s acknowledgements/notes are very useful. This is Book Three of a series and reads well as a standalone. I look forward to reading more from this author. "" AN ENJOYABLE READ (Amazon review) -
""I have read the previous Light in Dark Ages books and loved them so knew what I was getting into with this one and assumed I would love this one as well. I was not disappointed as it flows really well and is historical without being preachy. The story follows Uther as he gathers an army to fight his old enemy, the Saxons, and Tim has made the adventure very enjoyable. The book works well as a standalone as the author's previous books are all set at different times so you don't need to have read them first. "" COMPELLING AND ENGAGING (Amazon review) -
""Read Light in the Darkness not having read previous books. I needn’t have worried. Tim’s style pulls you in and makes a complex story compelling and engaging. "" FAST-PACED AND EXCITING (Amazon review) -
""This is my first read by Tim Walker, but it won’t be my last. I felt I was back in Game of Thrones territory as I was gripped from the start. It had it all for me – battles, good guys, bad guys, and all getting what they deserved. This was a fast-paced and exciting read .. my only complaint is that it ended too soon! "" A GREAT FAST-PACED HISTORICAL JOURNEY (Amazon review) -
""This is not my usual reading matter but I was given a proof copy to read by the author and thoroughly enjoyed being transported to 5th century Britannia. Walker is artful in creating the great set piece. His opening descriptions of the triumphant Uther Pendragon arriving home after battle leap from the page; the reader hears the crowd cheering and booing whilst rose petals fly and fall. Throughout the book Walker has a lightness of touch that paints detailed pictures, placing the reader in every scene, and their senses are filled by the noise, smells, and atmosphere of the period.Walker’s characters are full bodied and easy to love or hate: Uther’s arrogance and sense of entitlement; Ygerne’s love for Gorlois and fear of Uther; Merlyn’s difficult relationship with his powers of prophecy; as well as the tug-of-war between the new Christian faith and old druidical practises. Walker keeps a strong hold on his huge cast of characters, with military tactics and battles being waged with the reader knowing exactly who everyone is and which side they are on the whole time. Walker's writing flows well throughout and no loose ends are left unaddressed as the tension ramps up towards the denouement. The book ends as it began with a crowd gathering to greet a king. It is a scene full of energy and characters, and Walker handles both expertly. I thoroughly enjoyed this journey outside my comfort zone and recommend it to all."" "
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 3 members
I loved this book! I was a little concerned when I started reading Uther's Destiny as this is the third book in the series, but I am pleased to say this book works very well as a stand-alone. I thought the story was very engaging and once started, I could not put this book down. Mr Walker has brought this era back to life.
I will certainly be looking out for the other books in this series.
I Highly Recommend.
*I received a copy of this book from the publishers via NetGalley.
When I started the book I was afraid I will not understand anything, being the third book from the series, but, in the end I am glad I read it. It is a medieval fiction about King Uther who is fighting the Saxons. Great story.
Thank you Netgalley for this opportunity.
Most of the Arthurian tales I read when I was younger, such as The Crystal Cave series by Mary Stewart (which I thought was magnificent), or saw via movies or TV (Richard Harris' Camelot), dwelt on the mythical for the most part. Uther's Destiny while it is certainly comprised of those mythical bits, it is also a stark look at post-Roman Britain; the vacuum left with the departure of the legions, and the very real danger of being overrun by the Angles/Saxons/Jutes etc who rushed in to fill that vacuum. The author's portrayal of Uther; a complicated man firmly rooted in the 5th century, a king weighed down with the prospect of losing Britain to the invaders, but also a king with the smarts and tenacity to succeed. Indeed, the characters in this tale from Merlyn, to the proud knights, the scheming Morganna, and the treacherous Pascent all do their part to make this an enjoyable read. Also woven into the plot is the inevitable clash of the old religion with Christianity and Uther's juggling of the two as needed. So, dear reader, immerse yourself in The Dark Ages, and prepare for the enlightenment to come in the person of Artorious. 4 stars
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