Daily Archives: July 16, 2013
Title: Children of the Knight
Author: Michael J. Bowler
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press June 2013
Blurb: A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title
According to legend, King Arthur is supposed to return when Britain needs him most. So why does a man claiming to be the once and future king suddenly appear in Los Angeles?
This charismatic young Arthur creates a new Camelot within the City of Angels to lead a crusade of unwanted kids against an adult society that discards and ignores them. Under his banner of equality, every needy child is welcome, regardless of race, creed, sexual orientation, or gang affiliation.
With the help of his amazing First Knight, homeless fourteen-year-old Lance, Arthur transforms this ragtag band of rejected children and teens into a well-trained army—the Children of the Knight. Through his intervention, they win the hearts and minds of the populace at large, and gain a truer understanding of themselves and their worth to society. But seeking more rights for kids pits Arthur and the children squarely against the rich, the influential, and the self-satisfied politicians who want nothing more than to maintain the status quo.
Can right truly overcome might? Arthur’s hopeful young knights are about to find out, and the City of Angels will never be the same.
Review: This was a different sort of book. Before you start reading the first thing you need to do is suspend all reality. Second, do it again. Third remind yourself once more, it’s fiction so a horse walking through the sewers and streets of a future-modernistic LA doesn’t make your brain hurt. It hurt mine. It’s like Godzilla, you know it’s a fictional story, but really I want to see the terror on the faces of New Yorkers as they flee in terror from a giant lizard. In the same way I wanted to believe that King Arthur came forward in time, armory and all, and took over. But it was hard.
King Arthur was interesting. Nothing really seemed to shake him. He was either incredibly observant or totally blind to the children’s emotional health. He was both parent and friend to these children and young people. His goals were admiral and for a YA there was quite a lot of talks on how to be a good person, honor, and justice. But there was also a vigilante thread that wound it’s way through the book. Parts of it were beautiful in Arthurs quest to redeem the street gangs, homeless children and the down and out. And other parts bothered me, like his interaction with the police and other adults.
Then there was Lance. He is a lost boy, on his own looking for family, stability, love, acceptance. And he finds it with Lance. Lance has to grow-up fast and hard on the streets but I think he grew up even faster, even harder under the mentorship of Arthur. I enjoyed getting to know Lance not just from his point of view but also through the eyes of Arthur and the other characters, like his teacher, his friends, and his enemies.
There were beautiful side characters that I loved and others that drove me crazy. I was torn throughout this book. It was a push and pull book. There is so much good about it, the detail, the large number of characters that get a story, even the LA that is broken and corrupt is interesting to see through the authors eyes.
The suspension of reality was too much for me, and I disliked having to constantly remind myself of that fact to enjoy the book that much.
Reviewed by Beans