The first book, The Dragon & Unicorn, is wonderful and cordial and kind, with wild poetry and blustering imagination, and characters who are villains in other versions are looked upon with great empathy and love. The things I loved best about the story was the knowing nods to the original stories, the Y Mamau (which means The Mothers in Welsh, so chill when you considered how much Morgeu hated her own mother), and an ending war scene so gruesome that Uther’s response is completely and emotionally logical so it turns unbelievable heartbreak into something deeply bittersweet. I never could quite buy Uther and Ygraine’s change of hearts in their individual faiths – it made sense for the story, but not for the characters in my eyes – and I wonder if that is addressed in the updated version. I don’t care, though. I really loved this story and I am going to read all the others.
A writing lesson: Use the words that describe the feeling something gives you, even if the words don’t quite fit the object. That is a beautiful way to write.
Visit A.A. Attanasio at his website.