Court of the midnight king Review and Opinion

 

 

 

The Court Of The Midnight King
Freda Warrington
Pocket paperback £7.99

review by Patrick Hudson

This book retells the story of the Wars of the Roses (the English wars of succession between 1432 and 1485, not the film with Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner) with a touch of added mysticism, in the style of Marion Zimmer Bradley's Mists Of Avalon (name checked on the back cover). At the centre of Warrington's narrative is the charismatic antihero Richard of Gloucester, later Richard III, seen through the eyes of Raphael, whom he saves from starvation on the streets, and Katherine, a Yorkist witch, Richard is portrayed as a heroic figure much maligned by history and a certain Elizabethan writer of tawdry summer blockbusters. In Warrington's re-imagined 15th century, the ancient cult of Auset the Serpent Mother with its roots in the distant past exists side by side with the new Christian church. Although distrusted by many (especially the Christians) and not permitted to practice magic, their right to worship is protected by law.
   This story is punctuated by san serif asides in the first person telling the story of Gus (Augusta) a history student in modern times who becomes obsessed by the story of Richard and is apparently dreaming the main narrative. Despite finding no corroborating evidence, she becomes convinced she is seeing an alternate history unfold.
   I knew little of Warrington before reading this, except that she'd written a sequel to Dracula a few years ago (Dracula Undead, 1997), and I was expecting a Gothic Grand Guignol - early descriptions of Richard's vampiric charisma provided hints of a darker style, but everything quickly dissolves into slushy historical romance. I freely admit my personal prejudice against this genre (different strokes for different folks), but Warrington's hackneyed purple prose does nothing to bring the 15th century to life, and the alternative history amounts to little more than some Shirley MacLaine style New Age platitudes and a slightly different style of trouser for men.
   The characters are painted in enervating black and white, and spend all too much time in anguished self-examination. Although lip service is paid to the idea that Christianity is an equal to the Mother Cult, Warrington cannot help but portray Christians as venal and cruel - in fact, her plot demands it and it seems that only squeamishness has prevented her from going the whole way. In common with poorly thought out dystopias set in any era, it's hard to understand why anyone would be a Christian in the face of the fair-minded, charismatic and magically powered Sisterhood (except of course that ordinary people are weak and foolish and only the heroic minority can save them, another common theme of bad 'straw man' fiction).
   The Court Of The Midnight King alludes to Lawrence Olivier's darkly erotic portrayal of Richard in the film of 1955, but I was more strongly reminded of John M. Ford's The Dragon Waiting (recently republished in the Fantasy Masterworks series), which covers the same period with a far more convincing and compelling layer of fantasy. If you have an absolutely insatiable appetite for historical romance with a dash of fantasy, this just might keep you going until you can light upon something a little meatier, for everybody else I'd say this is one to avoid.

 

Comprar Court of the midnight king Review and Opinion

Court of the midnight king Review and Opinion

Court of the midnight king Review and Opinion

The Court Of The Midnight KingFreda WarringtonPocket paperback £7.99review by Patrick HudsonThis book retells the story of the Wars of the Roses (the English

arapps

en

https://marvelmania.es/static/images/arapps-court-of-the-midnight-king-review-and-opinion-112-0.jpg

2024-05-20

 

Court of the midnight king Review and Opinion
Court of the midnight king Review and Opinion

Acording with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”), Pub. L. 105-304 If you believe that your copyrighted work is being infringed, notify our team at the email [email protected]

 

 

Update cookies preferences