The Broken Kings: Book Three of the Merlin Codex
In pre-Arthurian times, Merlin watches the fortress of Taurovinda become the focus of devastating change. For the dead world of Greek mythology has come alive in the persons of Jason and his dead Argonaut warriors lying within the decaying ship, Argo. A dark, secret mission propels forces of vengeance to appear through strange new hostels which are actually gateways between the living and the dead. The Dead and the Unborn are crossing between worlds to prepare to combat the living.
High King Urtha Pendragon of Cornovidi wants peace, but his blood-lusting son Prince Kymon aches to do battle with the Shadows of Heroes returned to claim Urtha’s land. What will free the Pendragon’s future realm from its rampant corruption already evident in changing seasons, shadows, storms and aberrant spirit-animal movements? In the midst of this looming war appears Medea, who asks Merlin’s help to achieve two reconciliations. Niiv, Merlin’s testy lover, wants his power as much as his passion. And so the quest and the hunt begin!
Robert Holdstock brilliantly brings Merlin’s past role into this mythological mix. For Merlin is the one who innocently built Jason’s ship, Argo, a boat crafted with Merlin’s spiritual elements of fish eyes for safety, hawk eyes for soaring flight and a charm to travel unseen under and through the world. Though multiple character names sometimes confuse the reader, a close reading yields understanding and entry into Holdstock’s enticing and mysteriously memorable fantasy world. The Broken Kings is great for those who know mythology, and fascinating for those who just love a good fantasy novel.