Future King by Larry Pontius
|Future King by Larry Pontius|
|Category: General Fiction|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: It's always been said that when England needed him King Arthur would return and along with an army or retired servicemen from a retirement home he goes into battle for the king and his country. A cracking good story.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 308||Date: August 2011|
|External links: Author's website|
It's the near future and King Charles III has ascended the throne of the United Kingdom with Camilla as his Queen Consort. The country is in a mess with rampant inflation, unemployment, a crumbling infrastructure and riots: the people have taken to calling this time The Troubles. Such situations breed power-hungry politicians and Prime Minister Alistair Saxon has plans to become the dictator of the country. When the King refuses to give his assent to the Emergency Powers Act, Saxon and his fellow-conspirators kidnap the Royal family to prevent Charles speaking against the EPA.
An asteroid screamed through the atmosphere and crashed into the Cornish coast. The wizard, Merlyn was released from the cave where he had been imprisoned for fifteen hundred years. It was always said that when England needed him King Arthur would return – and it was Merlyn's job to find Arthur Pendragon. The knights to support them in their battle would be a little more difficult to come by, but then there was the home for retired servicemen in Camelford and when they were needed they armed themselves with cricket bats, frying pans and some rather elderly weapons – and went into battle for their King and country.
This is a cracking story, with some great characters. I loved the feisty Camilla and if Charles and Prince Harry are rather nicer people than current information would have us believe then there's no harm in that. Merlyn is a brilliant invention – reborn in the body of a police constable of not exceptional intelligence – and King Arthur is a steadying, calming and honest presence when Larry Pontius could so easily have gone over the top with him. Excalibur, the Lady of the Lake – they're all there – but they're utterly believable – and Alistair Saxon as the ruthless politician had me thinking of a few names in our current administration.
The story is all too believable, I'm afraid. The monarchy might only have limited constitutional powers in this day and age and the monarch doesn't usually speak out on political matters, but it's easy to see the real Charles stepping over this edge and there's a history of politicians valuing the advice of the monarch on a number of matters. The kidnap, subsequent political spin on what happened and attempts by the conspirators to control the situation make for a thriller which would translate well to the big screen. At the end I was on the edge of my seat.
There are one or two problems though. The story works best if the reader sees the country and institutions exactly as they are now as the background to this utterly unbelievable situation, but Larry Pontius hasn't quite got that right. He gets the names of places (SoHo in the centre of London) and Institutions (MI-5 rather than MI5) just wrong enough to pull you out of the story. Some tighter editing would have eliminated this along with some misused words.
But it really is a cracking good story.
If this book appeals then we think that you might also enjoy Outlaw by Angus Donald.
You can read more book reviews or buy Future King by Larry Pontius at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Future King by Larry Pontius at Amazon.com.
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