Excellent prose. Amazing fantasy elements. Novelette, 27 pages. A MUST READ.
For those of you who like light fantasy, especially dealing with the Arthurian legend, you will thoroughly enjoy Rami Ungar’s Mother of the King. When originally presented to me, I thought I would be reviewing a novel. But Mother of the King is a novelette, making it longer than a short story, but shorter than a novella. But let me just say, up front, that regardless of its category, it is a wonderful read, easily consumed in one sitting.
The story takes place in England in an undisclosed future, post-apocalyptic time, in which a new Arthur, that’s right, Arthur, is about to initiate a scientific plan that will protect Great Britain against the world domination assaults of her enemies and keep her as an oasis in what is becoming a dystopian world.
The story is a confession told from the point of view of Misty Addison, the mother of Arthur Thomas Addison, the Field Marshal of the British Army and future husband to the queen, and the mastermind behind the Camelot System, which will place a protective shield around Great Britain to protect her from those who desire world domination. It is a destiny story that he doesn’t know, and since he is about to become the once and future king, Misty feels he needs to know just how destiny chose her son.
Mr. Ungar does a marvelous job combining history, myth, and fantasy in an easy-flowing story. He moves us like pieces on a chessboard – from the past to the present to the past, weaving the story of the new Arthur’s rise to a position of prominence. Mr. Ungar deftly separates his Arthur story from the English legend of King Arthur. According to Misty, much of what the world knows about Arthur is “bollocks;” much of the legend like Merlin, the affair of Lancelot and Guinevere, the evil sorceress Morgan le Fay, the Holy Grail, Excalibur and others were added by later storytellers, many of whom were not even British. But what was true was that “an Arthur” would arise in England’s hour of need.
Mr. Unger also manages to make Arthur’s mother act like a mother, which I found to be a brilliant storytelling touch. She is down to earth and witty and shows the emotion of a mother protecting her child, yet is also there to give him sage advice in matters of the heart. In effect, she becomes his Merlin, steering him to become the man who could embody the spirit of the legendary Arthur in England’s time of trouble.
THE MOTHER OF THE KING is a touching story without being maudlin. This novelette is an extremely well-crafted story. There is a sense of foreboding that lurks in the background. But it is a danger that the lead characters in the story handle or are handling without transferring their dread to the reader. As a reader, you are swept along by Misty’s optimism in the face of potential doom. The main characters have a confidence that makes one feel that everything will be all right.
This novelette deserves the five Fleur de Lis. It flows along in such a way that you don’t want to stop reading it. It captures you from its opening line and sweeps you along to its cliff-hanging conclusion. It takes you from the past to the present to a possible future, and in the face of total destruction, it leaves you with hope.
You can find Rami Ungar’s Mother of the King on AMAZON.
RATINGS: TDS rates all books based on the dark content and how well the reading experience lends itself. For fantasy, the craft of world building and the story’s classification (high, epic) is also of interest. As always, author craft, storytelling, and mechanics are considered, as well. For this purpose, we use Fleur-de-lis (⚜️). An explanation of the Fleur-de-lis system follows.
Boring, flat fantasy elements, not interesting. Do not recommend.
Fair plot, below average fantasy elements but fairly interesting. Read at own risk.
Good plot and average fantasy elements, good reading experience. Encouraged read.
Great reading experience with heaps of wonderful fantasy elements. Strong recommend.
Excellent prose, amazing fantasy elements, well-written. A MUST READ!