The Bear King (Dark Age)

Written by James Wilde
Review by Alan Cassady-Bishop

It’s AD 375 and the onset of the Dark Ages of Britain. Rome’s legions are leaving, and the Pendragon line is sheltering in a fortress in the far South West. The mad Queen Gaia with her son, the pretender to the Kingship, is slowly approaching, recruiting barbarian mercenaries from tribes driven out by the Pendragon and the legions not long ago. What is needed is the people to unify against the approaching darkness. A raider brings words of hope – Lucanus the Pendragon may still live! This, plus word of an ancient, magical treasure that might inspire the people, so the loyal band of warriors – the Grim Wolves – set out to recover the sacred object in a desperate grasp for survival.

In this intriguing prequel to the Arthurian saga, Wilde tells of a different kind of power play, of ancient sorceries, faiths and insane vendettas. Vivid in description and breathless in action, it sounds not like ‘known’ history but ‘hidden’ truth. Last part in a trilogy, this novel can be enjoyed for its own sake.