My ReviewThis is an excellent young adult adventure which I really enjoyed.The three main characters are very well drawn and it is easy to relate to them and their various personalities, and while they each come from different backgrounds, their bond of friendship is strong and enduring. A tale of loyalty and courage, set in medieval Wales in the time of King Arthur, i was immediately drawn into the story. Being from Wales myself, and steeped in both Celtic and Arthurian legend I found nothing that drew me out of the story and it kept me turning the pages. There is a great double twist at the end, involving two of the major characters, and I really didn't see it coming. This is not only a wonderfully told adventure story for young people, but one that I can imagine would fire their imagination and create a lasting interest in reading and history. I can thoroughly recommend 'Kings Ransome for boys and girls of all ages, as well as young at heart adults.
Gavin’s gaze was drawn back to the castle’s battle-scarred walls and the heavily armed guards. The evil emanating from the structure surrounded and held him captive, like a lone deer surrounded by hungry wolves in the dead of winter, unable to move, its eyes glassy with fear, its limbs frozen by the hypnotic gleam of the wolves’ yellow eyes. Even knowing its life was ending, the deer wouldn’t break and run. So Gavin sat frozen in front of the castle.
PhilipThe enormity of his quest enveloped Gavin and he sighed. Continuing on meant he might save the Wild Man, but he might put himself in danger as well. King Edward was his father’s enemy and possibly responsible for Aldred’s murder. If Gavin were caught, Edward wouldn’t treat him kindly. The young prince summoned his courage and focused on the Wild Man. It had seemed so simple last night in the company of Bryan and Philip.
“I’ll be lucky if I ever get to the top. I need another lightning strike,” he muttered. He pushed himself upward. It took several more minutes and more backward progress before his wish for lightning was fulfilled. With the few seconds of illumination it provided, P
hilip spied a trail to the left leading to the top. He made his way over and was rewarded with firmer footing provided by the rocks imbedded in the dirt. He made it to the top in half the time it had taken him to get to the trail.
BryanAt the peak, the relentless wind nearly toppled him. But Philip had too much at stake to be defeated. He hauled himself into the full brunt of the storm. Out to sea, the whitecaps rose and fell like his chest. His breathing, like the waves, was choppy and erratic. Philip stepped back from the cliff’s edge and looked around. A blast of white light flashed across the sky, revealing a small cave to the right. There was no sign of Dunham. For a moment, Philip gave into panic. Maybe the murderer had already been here, contacted the ship, and gone.
He rode hard, not sparing his horse. It was in his hands now. His failure would mean the Wild Man would die along with his dream of becoming a knight. After crossing the Western Cleddan River twice and using the main roads, he avoided the mayhem left by the storm, and rode into the quiet village of Fishguard early that evening. The fishermen were likely already asleep. They would be up before dawn and the work of hauling in loaded nets was grueling. Only the tavern where he stopped to purchase cheese and bread showed any activity. On his way to Strumble Head, he ate and washed it down with the water he had packed.
He reached the Head at around eleven o’clock as the night was at its darkest. Only a sliver of moonlight forced its way through the clouds. It provided minimal light, but it was enough. He tied the grey in a stand of scrub well away from the trail, grabbed his sword, and walked to the point of the Head. The beach was deserted. His gaze swept the sea. Nothing.
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