Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Book Review: Pendragon's Heir by Suzannah Rowntree

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Title: Pendragon's Heir

Author: Suzannah Rowntree

Series: Standalone (?)

Genre: Fantasy/Time-travel

Audience: Young Adult - Adult


Blanche Pendragon enjoys her undemanding life as the ward of an eccentric nobleman in 1900 England. It's been years since she wondered what happened to her long lost parents, but then a gift on the night of her eighteenth birthday reveals a heritage more dangerous and awe-inspiring than she ever dreamed of—or wanted. Soon Blanche is flung into a world of wayfaring immortals, daring knights, and deadly combats, with a murderous witch-queen on her trail and the future of a kingdom at stake. As the legendary King Arthur Pendragon and his warriors face enemies without and treachery within, Blanche discovers a secret that could destroy the whole realm of Logres. Even if the kingdom could be saved, is she the one to do it? Or is someone else the Pendragon's Heir?

**4.5 stars**

Well, that was fun! And strange. And lovely. *smiles* I quite enjoyed Pendragon's Heir by Suzannah Rowntree. It's time-travel, in a Narnia-ish type of way; and a retelling of Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table of sorts. In short, fascinating.

Blanche Pendragon is living in 1900 England with her guardian. She enjoys spending time with friends, and is interest in a rather intriguing man named Corbin. Then something crazy happens ...
     Perceval of Wales has left his mother and is on his way to become a knight fighting for Logres. The adventures awaiting him will far exceed his expectations.
     A country is falling. A villain is plotting. A holy grail must be found. Love is discovered, but trust is broken. The fate of Logres rests on Pendragon's heir.

The backcover description of this book just sounded like something I'd like. And when I started reading, it caught me up in the story at once and I had a grand time! *grins* I noticed some similarities to THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA by C.S. Lewis here and there, which was really fun. And yes, King Arthur and his knights! Such an interesting retelling of that legend! So many twists and turns! Pendragon's Heir kept me guessing!

The writing was a little dense, which is, for me personally, a little harder to read. I would compare to some of the books I've read that were written a long time ago ... you know, like classics. I actually can really appreciate that writing style, but I just have to be in the mood. (And I can't read as fast as I usually do!)
    Too, some of Pendragon's Heir got a tad bit confusing. I'd figure things out soon enough, but at times I felt a little lost. I felt things could have been explored and delved into a little bit more. Some of the emotional journeys. Definitely the faith. I saw the Christian allegory, but it wasn't really expounded on. They were searching for the Holy Grail, but why? Do the fay have souls? The dream world, was it a vision of heaven of sorts? And Blanche, did she was a free-thinker or something (an atheist, perhaps?), but then that changed, I'm guessing; but again, I didn't feel it was really explained.
    ... So, is there a sequel? *smiles and winks*

But otherwise, just all the knights! And the quests, and legend-ness of everything! ^_^ It all felt very real and authentic in a fantasy-ish kind of way. I loved Perceval! He was like ... perfect. He made me laugh so many times. From a delightful, determined boy to a man who knows his own mind ... and is equally delightful. *grins* He just made me smile time and again. His courage. His devotion. His humor. The romance was adorable. It didn't smother the story in any way, but it was completely adorable in a swoon-y way. Haha. And very sweet. Seriously, "that one scene" had me crying and laughing and, and ... it was just beautiful! <3 So cute and meaningful and simply wonderful. And it was quite clean also. So Perceval and Blanche's relationship, I loved so much. It was one of my favorite parts of the story, of course. *wink* Oh, there's some violence/gruesomesness. Nothing too terrible, as I recall, but it's definitely there. So yes, Pendragon's Heir was just a really cool, epic story of knights, maidens, evil villains, quests, betrayal, and battles. Some giants, dragons, and other such creatures make their appearance too!

Oh, and besides being a retelling of the King Arthur legend and having Narnia-ishness, this book also made me think of The Pilgrim's Progress a few times. The way some of the "fantasy element" scenes played out in a way that had a lesson or allegory of sorts. Very interesting. I really liked it. Besides the few concerns I mentioned, Pendragon's Heir was a rich tale of legends and fantasy realms and a boy and girl's journey to saving their land. Epic.

I will most definitely read more by Suzannah Rowntree!


  1. Like that is has Narnia elements, we need more books like that.