The Wolf and the Crown by A.A. Attanasio
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
To be honest, the third book in the Arthor cycle feels like a bit of a letdown. Of course, I'm comparing it more to the first and a bit to the second books, both of which spanned great time and scope as well as getting deep into specifics. The first one blew me away. The second was all right because it gave us Arthor (Arthur) as a YA protagonist leading up to the Sword in Stone, giving us a trip through the realms of the World Tree, and some rather awesome storytelling.
This one was merely about the early days of proving himself to be King, discovering what kind of king he would like to be. There was some resolution with the setup in the second book, of course, but oddly enough, this was almost a minor part of the tale.
Now, if I just ignored the Arthor parts and read the book as something else, completely, I thought it was a great collection of druidic legends, a mix of many other mythologies, and a very Fae-ish kind of magical legend. And honestly, I didn't really see why it should have mixed with the Arthurian Legend at all, but there it is.
Was it still pretty fascinating? Yes. Was it imaginative? Yes. But I'm stuck comparing it to the first book which was on a much more epic scale. It's not all that fair to THIS book, especially when it COULD have gone much further and deeper into the whole Grail quest, instead, and ending in the glorious tragedy. Instead, Mordred is still an unborn child throughout books 2 and 3. We had whole GENERATIONS in the first book.
This one is good but NOT to the same level. And that's a shame, because I thought things were going to be much wilder than this.
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