Warning: Spoilers , and Disappointment A review of The Grey King by Susan Cooper Review by Navah Kennedy

Will Stanton is terribly ill. He has hepatitis and is delirious. His fever is raging, but less so than before. Both his parents and the doctor have hope he will pull through. It is now time to turn thoughts to where he will recover his strength as the illness has taken too much out of the boy’s body to allow him to return to school immediately. The consensus is that Will will go to Wales and stay with his mother’s best school friend to finish getting well and regain some lost weight. And so Will arrives at the farm where he is fed and walks, but since the day that his fever broke, he knows that something is missing. Will remembers that he has a task, there is something he’s supposed to do, but the fever has wiped his mind of all knowledge of what he is supposed to do, and even that he is an Old One. Will knows he is special, but he cannot remember how. Will curses the day he fell ill, because it has robbed his brain of valuable knowledge.

On one of his walks, Will comes across a dog with eyes like the sky, whose name is Cafall. Cafall belongs to an albino boy, Bran, who is the son of one of the farm hands. Will takes a tumble and bumps his head, which jars his memory. Suddenly Will recovers all the mental faculties which he lost. And so the two boys and the dog begin the quest in Wales to waken the sleeping King: aka Arthur Pendragon.

Now the story is all fine and good until the “surprise twist ending”. Piece by piece Bran’s back-story is revealed. First we discover that Bran’s mother was found wandering the meadow at night by Bran’s father and was nearly raped by a neighboring farmer. Next we find out that Bran was adopted by the man he knows as his father. Somewhere down the line it comes to light that Bran’s mother’s name is Gwen, short for Gwenivere…. If you just guessed it, well… good for you. I hoped against hope that it wasn’t her. In my mind, I just could not see how it could have happened, but it was. Dammit all to hell it was! Now get this, it still blows my mind. Bran is King Arthur’s son by his wife Gwenivere, who was magically transported to the 20th century shortly after giving birth to the boy. Did it totally just kill the story for you? Yeah. Me too. I don’t really know if I’ll read the last book in the Sequence. I mean, come on! It is just too much of a cliché to have Bran be the Anti-Mordred! Where Mordred was against his father, Bran will fight with him?! I just really don’t see myself reading the last one. Sorry guys, but if I do you’ll know.

**1/2

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About Navah Vesper Anat Yehudit

I am an avid fan of the Ballet, am expanding my tastes in Opera and all all Classical Arts. I enjoy Japanese art, needle craft, crochet, knitting, and though my past-times are old-fashioned, and some of my ideas are, that isn't necessarily a bad thing in this age of progress for the sake of progress.
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