Ghost King by David Gemmell is book one from the Stones of Power or Sipstrassi tales series. The first two books are a re-imagining of the Arthurian Legend I’ve come to know and love.
When his father is killed, the young prince Thuro has to survive being hunted, learning to defend himself, while looking for his father’s sword in a different world than his own. He is up against the Witch Queen, whose quarrel with him goes back a very long time – into his grandfather’s past. Little did young Thuro know, his life was going to change forever when he changed his boy name into a man’s name. Uther Pendragon.
To be honest, I liked this one a lot. David Gemmell never disappoints, so I knew that I would like the book before I even began reading it. And I’m a big fan of the Arthurian stories, so that was a big plus. I must admit that I liked the boy Thuro a lot more than the man Uther, but I guess that’s the point: we’re supposed to feel his change keenly. Also…I’m not very fond of how Laitha (Gian Avur) is progressing. There are some serious issues between them.
There were times where it got a bit confusing, for instance when Gilgamesh is revealed to be Culain’s son, so the son of Goroien, but he’s also her lover? How can a mother, no matter how deprived, take her son for a lover? I just didn’t understand Goroien. Nor her vendetta against Culain and his kin. But then, I think we’re not meant to understand. She’s deranged. She’s immortal. She’s dying.
The way the book ended, definitely makes me want to open the next and start reading immediately. Lancelot is going to be a problem, I guarantee it.