This is a very captivating story and well researched by the author. I liked all the characters and they are fairly well developed. This book was way too short for all the concepts and possibilities that the author opened up in the story. As a result, I was disappointed by the ending. There just weren't enough loose ends tied off for me.
Nevertheless, I highly recommend this book. I read Robinson's "Raising the Past" and thought it was so-so. "Antarktos Rising" is a much better book. I'm a huge fan of James Rollins, and this book is very similar to the types of stories Rollins writes.
Most King Arthur stories end when Arthur dies, but Lawhead takes the legend through to its conclusion in this book that details the rebirth of Arthur in the 21st Century. This is a good, must-read book.
Though the language can be flowery sometimes, this book is a nice branch off the King Arthur story. It takes place during the reign of King Henry II and Thomas Becket. Be aware that this is a romance as much as a fantasy.
As in the first book, "The Plague Tales", the 14th Century characters and storyline are more interesting and developed than the 21st Century portion of this book.
This is a must read if you enjoyed The Plague Tales, but the ending is not complete. Two characters just drop out of the story towards the end, leaving their storylines dangling. I wonder if the author just got tired of the book or if this was a very poor cliffhanger tactic to lead into a third book?
Very light, fluffy story considering the subject is witch burnings. It's a fast, easy read. Not much historical "meat" to the book--the author didn't spend much time with historical descriptions and scene settings.
from back cover: For decades, the last scions of the Dunladry have languished in luxurious exile, growing soft and weak in the comforts of the Feyan court. Now their highland home cries out for its rulers--Duncan, with his virgin blade, and Mhairi, his sister--to lead the clans in a struggle for freedom from the usurping tyrant. But their battle is no ordinary one of sword and steel. For the priest-servants of the usurper have the very forces of darkness at their command. In the first test of his sword against a shape-shifting demon, the young king falls...
And the fate of the emprie lies in the hands of Mhairi, who must answer the call of her blood... as woman, as warrior, and as queen!
If you like real, factual history in your fiction, The Candlemass Road has it. Taking place in the late 1500s, the book captures approximately two days of life in the lawless border lands between England and Scotland.
Though only 156 pages, I still found the book slow reading because the author, wanting to represent the time as accurately as possible, wrote it in the language used at that time. The story is mostly told by the narrator, an educated priest -- so most of the book is easily readable, though stilted in terms of how we use English today. But I sometimes got bogged down in the colloquial dialogue:
"Tarry on me, ye bastard, and ye'll roast on your own fire! Come oot, and your clowns with ye! Hobbie -- see's a brand frae the fire yonder, and we'll light the bastard afoot wi' his own thatch!"
Still, it was an enjoyable book and an unexpected history lesson.
I read this book for its fantasy and historical aspects. I rarely read romances, so I was unprepared for the sex scenes in this book. Once I got over my initial shock, I enjoyed the relationship between Ceri and Dain. All the characters were well developed, and they pulled me through this book faster than I expected.
If you like well-developed characters, this book has them. The first 175 pages is spent solely on character development and providing history on Cazaril, the unlikely hero of the story. It makes for very slow reading, but the book does pick up by page 200.
This is a non-traditional fantasy. There is no magic; instead, Cazaril's world has a very dominant, active religion, where miracles happen.
This is the very first fantasy I read--some 25 years ago. As a teenager I thoroughly enjoyed it and it hooked me on fantasy. As an adult, I still pull out my old copy of this book on occasion. It is a classic story of good vs. evil with imagery, history and a british feel. Besides Tolkien's books, The Dark is Rising series is the best there is in fantasy. Check out http://www.thelostland.com/darkbook.htm