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Philip Reeve

annis
Bibliomaniac

Philip Reeve

Postby annis » Wed August 18th, 2010, 8:06 am

Better known for his YA fantasy series like Mortal Engines, British author Philip Reeve has turned his hand to historical fiction to superb effect with Here Lies Arthur, a novel set around 500 BC in post-Roman Britain. Reeve's Arthur is no hero- he's a swaggering bully, and leader of a rag-tag warband of assorted relatives and hangers-on. They roam the countryside offering "protection" from Saxons who rarely appear, and teaching by violence the lesson of refusing to accept their offer.

Arthur has an advantage over the other human wolves prowling through a disintegrating world and snarling over the scraps of Roman civilization, though - he has Myrddin. The bard Myrddin has an agenda, and Arthur is the tool he uses to achieve it. Very clever- reminds me a bit of a sinister Dark Age Yes, Minister, with swords.

Philip Reeve's Here Lies Arthur is a memorable and sometimes disturbing teenage novel. Reeve's writing is masterful, and the story subtly multilayered. It can be read on many different levels - as a commentary on politics and myth-making/propanda, how we see people in terms of gender, how people see what they want or expect to see, as a vivid picture of post-Roman Britain or just as an exciting adventure.

I've posted a review at Margaret's HNI website
http://www.HistoricalNovels.info/Here-Lies-Arthur.html
Last edited by annis on Fri August 20th, 2010, 6:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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