Shortlisted for Book of the Month
Illuminating the Dark Ages with Action-Packed Historical Fiction. New readers and those returning fans of the Du Lac Chronicles will immediately be swept back into the tumultuous world of King Arthur and his warring knights in this fast-paced fourth novel in Mary Anne Yarde’s acclaimed Du Lac Chronicles Series. And, with its vivid descriptions, memorable characters and exciting action scenes, The Du Lac Prophecy lives up to its promise of being the richest and most complex of the series. In Ms Yarde’s skilled hands, though, the large cast of characters are masterfully controlled, and although this is a period of history that I am not familiar with, I was able to immediately connect with the warring families, despotic and cruel leaders, and the damaged hero and heroine.
With its interesting combination of well-researched historical detail and contemporary dialogue, I would equate the style of the Du Lac Prophecy with that of the colorization of black and white movies – not to everyone’s taste, but overall doing mainstream and new historical fiction readers a great favor in shining a light on the Dark Ages and making this fascinating time accessible to many. And, for its YA and teen audience, the swift-moving story, vivid action scenes and just enough violence to portray the brutality of the times without offending more delicate stomachs, the Du Lac Prophecy reads like a treatment for Vikings meets Games of Thrones. A compelling introduction to those interested in reading more widely about this time.
What I particularly enjoyed was the way Ms Yarde characterized the brutality of the times through the flaws in her characters. The beautiful Amandine’s emotional damage, Galahad’s excruciating physical harm, and their compelling story acknowledging the power of love to overcome even the most devastating of hurts and betrayals. Throughout the novel, each of the characters emerged from their backdrop and quickly established their own personalities, and Ms Yarde’s clever interplay of church and myth, power and submission wove their stories into an epic saga.
Definitely a novel I enjoyed, and after reading this as a stand-alone, I am eager to go back and devour the rest of the series. Ms Yarde has also convinced me that there is more to the Dark Ages than I thought, and thanks to her “colorization” a period of history I will enjoy visiting again.
© Elizabeth St John
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