As a fan of Arthurian tales, this book caught my attention almost instantly. As you can see from the blurb, the plot is related to “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court” by Mark Twain, even if I have to admit I’ve never read the classic, but I can assure you that you won’t need any particular knowledge of it to enjoy this book. Morgan le Fay in 2079? I couldn’t wait to read. I have to say that the plot was entertaining indeed, but I was personally a bit disappointed to find out that Morgan would end up as the owner of a baseball team, and most of the book would be dedicated to her misadventures with the ‘London Knights’. I would much rather see Morgan from a more general point of view, dealing with the daily struggles from the real world. I believe that those more interested in sports, and specifically baseball, will be more invested in this book – As long as you are prepared for a bit of romance too.
Characters & Points of View
For the most part, we really only get to see Morgan’s POV, which is more than enough; so despite the many conflicts included as part of the major plot, this still feels as a character-driven story. Even more surprising that from only Morgan’s POV we have a perception of very well delineated characters, all of them having unique characteristics. It’s easy to like them (or hate them), even if all we know from them is what Morgan tells us.
The story is mostly narrated from Morgan’s POV in very solid second-person prose. Morgan’s voice is unique, entertaining, and amusing. She is very opiniated in this new era, so you’ll find her thoughts and reactions hilarious. I couldn’t imagine a tone or writing style that would suit this narrative better. This is normally the section of my review where I have a bit to complain about, but I am pleased to say that Kim nailed it.
King Arthur’s Sister in Washington’s Court by Kim Iverson Headlee
Publication date: September 23rd 2014
Genres: Science Fiction (Time Travel), Fantasy, Historical
Morgan le Fay, 6th-century Queen of Gore and the only major character not killed off by Mark Twain in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, vows revenge upon the Yankee Hank Morgan. She casts a spell to take her to 1879 Connecticut so she may waylay Sir Boss before he can travel back in time to destroy her world. But the spell misses by 300 miles and 200 years, landing her in the Washington, D.C., of 2079, replete with flying limousines, hovering office buildings, virtual-reality television, and sundry other technological marvels.
Whatever is a time-displaced queen of magic and minions to do? Why, rebuild her kingdom, of course—two kingdoms, in fact: as Campaign Boss for the reelection of American President Malory Beckham Hinton, and as owner of the London Knights world-champion baseball franchise.
Written as though by the old master himself, King Arthur’s Sister in Washington’s Court by Mark Twain as channeled by Kim Iverson Headlee offers laughs, love, and a candid look at American society, popular culture, politics, baseball…and the human heart.
About the author
Kim Headlee lives on a farm in southwestern Virginia with her family, cats, goats, Great Pyrenees goat guards, and assorted wildlife. People and creatures come and go, but the cave and the 250-year-old house ruins—the latter having been occupied as recently as the mid-twentieth century—seem to be sticking around for a while yet.
Kim is a Seattle native and a direct descendent of twentieth-century Russian nobility. Her grandmother was a childhood friend of the doomed Grand Duchess Anastasia, and the romantic yet tragic story of how Lydia escaped Communist Russia with the aid of her American husband will most certainly one day fuel one of Kim’s novels. Another novel in the queue will involve her husband’s ancestor, the seventh-century proto-Viking king of the Swedish colony in Russia.
For the time being, however, Kim has plenty of work to do in creating her projected 8-book Arthurian series, The Dragon’s Dove Chronicles, and other novels under her imprint, Pendragon Cove Press. She has been a published novelist since 1999, beginning with the original edition of Dawnflight (Sonnet Books, Simon & Schuster, ISBN 0671020412).
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(from Chapter XIV: Defend the Banner!)
The wench’s smile looked indulgent, if a bit saddened. “Queen Morgan, may I offer an observation?”
“Pray, proceed, Darla, as I seem to have paid for it.”
“This is about a man—the dishy one you’re always coming in here with.”
“Brilliant. Yes, the dishy one. Dishy, and treacherous.” I took a long pull of bitters.
“Lor’ love ye, madame; but all men are treacherous! If you’re lucky, that’s all he is.”
I reflected, through another draught, upon this spot of rough wisdom. Of all the men I had ever known, biblically or not, in this century or any other, the only man I could not label as “treacherous” was Sir Galahad, and we all know what happened to him. For the couple of you who might not be privy to the story: in brief, Sir Galahad drank from the Holy Grail and fell down dead, reportedly because his soul was so pure that Our Lord God bustled him straightaway to heaven. The fact that Sir Galahad had always acted so damned self-righteous that his Grail-hunting companions had wearied of his holier-than-thou ways probably had nothing whatever to do with his demise. I said:
“I have treachery aplenty in my life, Darla.” Free agents, not-free agents, other players, managers, coaches…the list seemed endless. “I do not need more from Sandy Carter.”
“But you do need his love.”
I shook my head. “With love like that…”
She was not listening, but had looked toward the line of tall windows fronting the street, across which arched the words “nnI dleiftuO” and, in a revolving pattern of white, blue, and red tube-lights, “NEPO.” I would have taken umbrage at the offense—the server’s, not the fact that the words in the windows appeared backward to my vantage—but I had imbibed too much beer to care.
Darla said, “You need his love…and he needs yours. Look.”
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