Monday, April 25, 2011
The Doe and The Dragon by Andrew Richardson
Andrew Richardson and I have been longstanding critique partners, which should be no surprise to those of you reading my blogs. Despite our very different styles, and what were initially very different genres, our authorial personalities seem to mesh, probably because we both are willing to do some heavy lifting with our writing muscles and try something different while the other serves as a spotter to be sure we don't drop a fifty pound barbell on our chest.
We don't love everything each other writes (his horror stories give me nightmares, and my childbirth scenes make him queasy and uneasy), but objectivity and tough love prevail. The Shoot has long been one of my favorite of his erotic shorts (see why here) and his upcoming release The Doe and The Dragon threatens to unseat it.
I've seen this novel from the first draft to the final one, and loved it. If, like me, you have always been intrigued by Arthurian legend and lore, there is no better place to begin—before it all began—with Andrew's rendition of how Uther Pendragon, the man who would father King Arthur, met his mate.
A shade less bloodcurdling than most of Andrew's supernatural horror novels Andraste’s Blade and The Wood, this more traditional fantasy has it all—sword and sorcery, witchcraft, prophecy, gallantry, vengeance, and epic battles all presented with as much historical accuracy as possible for a time, place, and people swathed in the cloak of mythology.
Andrew describes The Doe and The Dragon as a novel which “follows the north Welsh version of sixth century legends. These stories place national events in a local setting and so give a distinctive Welsh flavour. […] Other ‘non-Arthurian’ characters appearing only in the local legends and have been incorporated into this work. As with any story set in the ‘Arthurian’ period, no matter which sources are used as an inspiration, part of the writer’s job has been to uncover characters about whom little is known, and to flesh them out in the way that makes them real.”
The Doe and The Dragon will be published May 1 by Rogue Phoenix Press. Connect with Andrew on Facebook or on his blog
Conflict of Interest and Financial Disclaimers: I have received no compensation, monetary or otherwise, for this review. This review has not been submitted, nor will it be, to any established review organizations of which I am a staff member.