Hawk of May

Written by Gillian Bradshaw
Review by Andrea Connell

This tale of Gwalchmai’s (otherwise known as Sir Gawain) journey into the service of King Arthur left me breathless. Gwalchmai, younger son of the evil sorceress Morgawse and King Lot, travels a tortured yet hopeful spiritual path toward the Light. Viewing himself as a failure in the arts of war, Gwalchmai believes his best chance to make something of himself lies in the dark arts. But after glimpsing the terrible evil that Morgawse practices, he realizes this path is not for him and decides to follow the noble King Arthur, but he is worlds and journeys away from attaining his dream.

Winner of the 1977 University of Michigan Hopwood Award and first released in 1980, Hawk of May was well received then, and will be just as treasured this time around. It can be described as historical fantasy that combines historical realism with otherworldly magical elements, which together create a unique ethereal exploration of the Arthurian mythological world.

Hawk of May is the first in a trilogy of Arthurian fantasy novels entitled Down the Long Wind, and I will be eagerly awaiting a rerelease of the next two.