Mystery series set in Britain's "Dark Ages" (the period between the fall of the Roman Empire and the Renaissance, now referred to by scholars as the Middle Ages) are not uncommon. They've been
popular with readers since Edith Pargeter (aka Ellis Peters) wrote the first
Brother Cadfael novel in 1977 depicting life in 1137. Tony Hays's book, set six centuries earlier, is a welcome addition to the genre.
The Killing Way is not the story of knights and chivalry one might expect in a novel about King Arthur's time. Hays focuses on the historical Arthur and his environs. He strips away the legends and myths surrounding the well-known hero of the romantic age, portraying instead a warrior and leader who may have existed around 500 CE. Indeed, the book is more historical fiction than mystery, one of its major strengths being Hays's ability to convey a realistic sense of ...
The Divine Sacrifice, a follow-up to The Killing Way, comes out on March 30, 2010. It continues the story of Malgwyn ap Cuneglas. Arthur and Malgwyn are called to the abbey of Glastonbury to settle a matter of great political importance - tin is being mined for export to the Empire. While there, Malgwyn and Arthur meet St. Patrick, a legend in the Church who is there on a mission of his own, to root out the heresy of Pelagius. When an aged monk is found cruelly murdered in his cell, Malgwyn is set with a problem that will test his skills as an investigator. His search for the truth may uncover a conspiracy that could endanger the kingdom.
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
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