Arthur Dux Bellorum Wins Book Awards
April proved to be a good month for Arthur Dux Bellorum, book four in A Light in the Dark Ages series. It has been well-received with positive reviews on both Amazon and Goodreads, and two book awards from notable sources. Here are the awards citations:
The Coffee Pot Book Club Award
“Following in the footsteps of the great Arthurian authors, Walker has penned a story that is as rich in historical detail as it is in all its mythological traditions. Drawing on the works of Monmouth, Nennius and Welsh folklore, he has presented a hero who has to desperately fight a seemingly invincible foe to win his throne and take his place in British history.
Walker’s compelling narrative caught my attention from the opening sentence. The author’s careful blend of mystery, treachery, deceit, war, honour, and the knightly code made this book unputdownable. The skilfully described battle scenes were so real in the telling that I could almost taste the terror and the chaos as our intrepid hero fought for not only his life, but for the throne and the kingdom which was rightfully his. All of which is set against a very believable historical backdrop.
The forces of good and evil run through the heart of this book. Morgana’s desire for power is as seemingly unstoppable as the tide. She is determined to secure her son’s throne. However, one could surmise that it is not in Mordred’s interest that Morgana is so despotic in her ambition to vanquish her enemies, but in her own insatiable lust for power. Morgana is often portrayed as the anti-hero in the story of Arthur, but I thought Walker brought a refreshingly new take on the character. She is deplorable, but at the same time she drives this story forward, and I found myself holding my breath as she continued to plot and scheme to thwart her adversaries.
In comparison to Morgana, her half-siblings, and in particular Artorius (the young Arthur), came across as level headed and for the most part compassionate. Artorius does struggle with some of the things he has done, particularly in the heat of battle, which I think gave his character a tremendous depth, and made him very believable.
Likewise, Merlyn was a character I enjoyed reading about. His ingenuity and his use of the tools available to him made his story compulsively readable. I enjoyed following his progression throughout this wonderful book.
There are several secondary characters that fans of Arthurian fiction will be familiar with — Gawain, Percival, Bors and Tristan — all of whom Artorius looks up to for advice. I thought these characters were well fleshed, and I look forward to reading more about them in the next edition of this remarkable series.
Like a heroic poem from times of old, Tim Walker’s Arthurian saga continues to mesmerise. A must read for those who love everything Arthurian, but also for those who have a keen interest in the Dark Ages. I Highly Recommend.
Review by Mary Anne Yarde
The Coffee Pot Book Club, April 2019
One Stop Fiction Book Award
“This is a very well written reinvention of the myth that portrays Arthur not as a superhero but as a sometimes-conflicted young man. He is not quite sure that he is meant to be king but is led by Merlyn to accept his role. He questions his paternity, is often disgusted by the brutality he witnesses, and yet becomes an inspirational leader of men.
Many of the familiar characters are present in Arthur Dux Bellorum: Merlyn, Gawain, Percival, Geraint, Gunamara (Guinevere), Morgana, and Mordred. Mainly these characters are fleshed-out to be well-defined and human.
It would be interesting to see what the author would do with the later Arthur and Gunamara story as well as with the legend of the Round Table.
The story moves at a fast pace with several battle scenes that were marvellous to read. The narrative switches points of view between Arthur and his mother and sisters who are living in the shadow of Morgana and Mordred. This alternation serves well to highlight the attempts to unify the British tribes under one rule.
One of the best aspects of the novel is the picture it paints of Britain after the Romans had left. This is a divided and beset land, subject to invasion by outsiders and by wars between rival tribes. It was very interesting to learn that parts of the Roman legacy remained in surviving towns and forts and in military tactics. The conflicts between the old and new religions, between warring chieftains, between Britons and the foreign invaders were all beautifully set out.
As an American reader, I often found myself wondering exactly where in England the story was taking place. For authenticity, it is important to use the names of towns as they were at the time. However, it was a bit difficult, even with the author’s list of place names at the beginning of the novel, to follow the movement of Arthur’s company. Because of that, I would strongly recommend that anyone who reads this read it in a hard cover or paperback edition and not on an e-reader. Readers who like to follow the plot with maps of the area should avoid will find it impossible to read the maps that appear on the e-reader edition.
This is a small complaint, but it is nearly impossible to find anything to dislike about this book.
The author is to be applauded for making yet another re-telling of the Arthurian legend fascinating and suspenseful. I would very much like to see one more book in the series to bring the rest of the legend to life. Arthur Dux Bellorum is a highly recommended book and winner of the One Stop Fiction Book Awards.”
By Kathleen Lance, Book Reviewer, onestopfiction.com
Welcome to Poet’s Corner, Richard Tyner
One of the Herschel Arms Poets, Richard was born in the boondocks outside of the town of Westport, Co Mayo, Ireland. He has very fond memories of growing up in Ros Beg and indeed the first eighteen years of life in rural tranquillity.
Richard does not see himself as a poet and if pushed describes his work as that of a rhymer. It has long been his ambition to write songs. As he said they were just rhymes, until my talented friends gave them tunes.
One of his collaborators has uploaded two of the songs to Soundcloud. Search for them under the names of Bogman and Ian Brown UK.
Thinking back his first writing was in the years 1972 to 1976. First date is Marriage, second date birth of first child. In true fashion he put aside foolish activities and concentrated on career and family.
He is pleased to report that hardly any of his rhymes from back in those days have survived. The memory of living in Ireland is forever in his heart and in order to maintain his accent he visits there whenever he gets the chance.
In 1967 his Mother took her 8 children to Peterborough England. Richard started work as a computer operator, then, after ten years, moved to Shell Oils. Closure of the local office necessitated a change of career, this time resulting in a management role in a publishing house. He was head hunted by the TSB to work in Norfolk as an investment advisor. Two years later he became self employed and continued as an IFA until the onset of Parkinson’s brought about early retirement. He has since then been busier and happier than any other period of his life.
Married forty-seven years he counts himself lucky and is still trying to figure out why his wife is still with him. Cheryl has been heard to say, “that he would trouble the patience of a saint”.
He loves music across all genres but admits his guilty pleasure is Country music citing the likes of Waylon and Willie. Townes van Zant, Hank Williams. He is a mean quizzer specialising in songs and bands of the 60’s and 70’s. He likes travel and wishes he had rhythm, balance and a bigger pension.
A SONG WITHOUT WORDS
I wrote a song that had no words
Just the sighing of trees
The chirrup of birds.
The rhythm of rain
Turning into snow
Bluebells in dells
A choir of crows
Humming honey bees
Harmonise with the breeze
Waltzing holly hocks
A flotilla of leaves
Sprites using dandelions
To tell the time
Crescendo and climb
songs of the rivers
as they flow through the glens
Sometimes angry at the way of men
This world is an opera
The finest ever heard
It has no conclusion
An aria without words.
ALL THOSE YEARS AGO (Westport)
I am not sure why I am here
I am not sure what it all means
Time goes around in circles
I live my life in dreams.
I was born by the ocean side
I never learned to swim
A flat stone leaving ripples
Won’t you follow the circles in.
I met you all those years ago
In a city far from the sea
You fed me a breakfast
I stayed for lunch and tea.
Your bark and bite are the same
Not all lines are on my face
Father hear my confession
So I can die in a state of grace.
Mother hear me calling
In the hills above the clouds
Father won’t you tell me
Why were you alone in crowds?
Its almost gone full circle
I am in the dying years
I have questions without answers
I weep without the tears
The breeze is blowing cold
I stand on Ros Beg shore
I hear the curlew calling
It will soon be time to go.
This place is in my heart
I fished here many times
Some came here before me
Many more will bait their lines
I wonder if they listened
To wiser men than me
Will they take greater care
So this world’s a better place to be.
NO TIME FOR REGRETS
I have no need of clocks or watches
It’s enough to know night from day
Sometimes I only sleep for minutes
To dream in blues and pastels grey
I often think of my old friends
It was my luck to know
Of the country where I was born
Those generations that had to go.
Mothers at the garden gate,
Letter’s that never come
Waiting for the return
Of their husband or a son.
In time they would return
These restless worn out men,
To walk alone along the shore
Stopping every now and then
I sometimes shook a hand
Occasionally shared a glass
Those that talked were rare at all
Most let the moment pass
They had lived so long alone
The need to send home pay
Turning boys into bitter men
They got lost along the way.
They do not seem to notice
Life is passing fast, but
You cannot foretell the future
You cannot change the past
Once more the young are leaving
Hearts heavy as a stone
They gather in their ghettos
To sing their songs of home.
Instead live every moment
Let your life take flight
Live like there is no tomorrow
One of these day’s you will be right!!!
© R G Tyner 26/09/2018