The Never King

( 2 )

Overview

The once-great democracies of the West are slowly crumbling. In Britain, there is talk of revolution as anti-government demonstrations are met with lethal force. Then in an obscure English country carnival, a young man pulls a sword out of a boulder and is hailed as Britain's mythic savior, its Once and Future King.

Enter Peter Quince, a professor of theology whose specialty is the old folk religions of the Celts - the so-called "Fairy Faith." He's recruited for a manhunt in ...

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Overview

The once-great democracies of the West are slowly crumbling. In Britain, there is talk of revolution as anti-government demonstrations are met with lethal force. Then in an obscure English country carnival, a young man pulls a sword out of a boulder and is hailed as Britain's mythic savior, its Once and Future King.

Enter Peter Quince, a professor of theology whose specialty is the old folk religions of the Celts - the so-called "Fairy Faith." He's recruited for a manhunt in which he quickly becomes the hunted. His flight to save his life takes him across a prehistoric landscape and climaxes in a shocking confrontation in the ruined castle in which King Arthur was allegedly born. Along the way, he must summon his old courage and confront his secret fear that he's always been insane.

Quantum physics and a wizard's prophesy, future weapons and ancient legends, mankind's fate and an undying love for a crazy, beautiful woman - they're all right here in The Never King.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
In Tyson's heartfelt fantasy debut, a British leader recruits a scholar of Celtic folk religion to find a man who just might be the second coming of King Arthur. In 2037, hunger and war have flooded the United Kingdom with desperate African refugees. Neo-Nazis want to overthrow the government, and as part of their plan, they want to rally Britons around a charismatic figure. After a man pulls a sword from a stone at a carnival attraction, he mysteriously vanishes, and U.K. Permanent Secretary Sir Dryw Merrick suspects the fascists are involved. He summons Peter Quince, an American theology professor (and former Marine), to help search for Arthur Redux, hoping that Quince will succeed where his deadly secret agents have failed. During the professor's investigation, he interviews eyewitnesses to the sword-pull: Ricky, the surly carnival manager; Flora and Dora, elderly twins (with apparently one mind) who speak in riddles; and Thistle, a woman who's charming, intelligent and gorgeous--except for her oversized left eye. Tyson infuses these and other encounters with wry humor. For example, after Peter barely gets any information out of Flora and Dora, he thinks, "If Alice had met that pair in Wonderland, she would have slashed her wrists." Rollicking with consistently sharp dialogue, Peter's travels in myth-steeped Great Britain are also enchantingly informative; Tyson never explores a new landscape without including a sentence or two about the relevant history and architecture. He also nails the country's legendary mystique: "I'd seen spectacular sunsets before, but I'd never seen one from where the sun steps down from the sky each evening and wades into the ocean." Indeed, all that keeps the novel from being a perfect fantasy adventure is its truncated climax; the plot's extended falling action unfortunately diminishes the thrill of the chase. A clever, historically robust fantasy journey.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780985865733
  • Publisher: The Bedwyr Press
  • Publication date: 1/14/2013
  • Pages: 326
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Meet the Author

George Tyson has been interested in the history of Western religions since 8th grade and has an extensive collection of books on the Celtic “Fairy Faith.” He has been a neurosurgeon and a hospital administrator and lives on Long Island with his wife and four black cats.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 13, 2013

    My familiarity with the legend of King Arthur is lacking compare

    My familiarity with the legend of King Arthur is lacking compared to most.  OK, let's be honest, I've only read parts of The Once and Future King, seen The Sword in the Stone, but have Monty Python and the Holy Grail practically memorized.  Hardly the background to delve into some alternate tellings of the legend, but enough to know the character and story to get me through.  That can be seen as a downside because I have no authoritative basis of comparison for this story, or a good thing for te same reason.




    Because of this lack of knowledge of the Arthurian Legend, I won't speak much to that in the book, but focus on it as a stand alone story.  I felt that Tyson's tale began strong and ended strong, but the middle of the story was very lacking.  There is a good deal of both Arthurian and Celtic legend involved here, and the character of Peter does a fantastic job of fleshing these out for the uninitiated, but once he meets the modern Arthur, I felt that the story fell apart.  What should have been thrilling moments and a dramatic climax in the midst of the story left me with a "...and then stuff happened..." feeling.  It was as though several chapters were missing in the middle of the book that left me wondering how we ended up at the castle or Arthur's birth and the penultimate confrontation.




    What is very strong in this book, however, is the development of the characters of Peter Quince and his foil the mysterious Thistle.  By the end, their relationship makes a great deal of sense, and the growth exhibited by both is fascinating, especially when placed in the context of the Celtic folklore and the "Fairy Faith" that drives the narrative.  My only question with this underlying story was the need to place political intrigue and a dystopian future into the mix.  In reality, both of these concepts which were major selling points to me when I considered The Never King were easily forgotten and there is no reason why the story would be able to stand without both.  I am looking forward to an anticipated sequel to see where the characters will end up and how the modern retelling of the legends proceed. Hopefully the stories will continue to grow stronger as a series develops.

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  • Posted January 21, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    If you are wanting the same Arthurian stories you read as a chil

    If you are wanting the same Arthurian stories you read as a child, pass this book by. You will find no round tables, no knights within. By integrating elements of science fiction, fantasy, mythology, world religions, espionage and a touch of armageddon, the author has managed to take an old story and make it new again.
    The main character, surprisingly is not King Arthur himself, but a modern day historian, who is in no way as perfect as most of the knights of yore. In fact, the historian, as well as most of the other characters, could be people you see on the street or an asylum every day. The characters are likable and for the most part the story flows well. Some things you have to give a little on and trust the author will get there. For me, I wanted to see much more detail. When I finished the story, I felt I had finished only the beginning of a story that has much more to be told.

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