This interesting mystery features Arthur and his court, but in a more prosaic way than usual. Readers will experience the gritty reality of life in England after the Romans left and the Saxons invaded. Malgwyn is a complicated protagonist whose faults and virtues ring true, and the conclusion is satisfactory. Fans of historical mysteries
will enjoy this, while those looking
for a traditional Arthurian romance will need to look elsewhere.

When a young woman is murdered and suspicion is cast upon Arthur's mentor Merlin, Arthur knows that he must act quickly in order to save his reputation and his chances of being appointed supreme king of England. Arthur turns to Malgwyn ap Cuneglas to solve the mystery.

After the death of his wife at the hands of the Saxons, Malgwyn went a bit mad and wanted nothing more than to kill as many Saxons as possible. Arthur rescues him and has monks teach him to be a scribe. Pulled into a puzzle he can't ignore, Malgwyn learns that loyalty is sometimes stronger than loathing. (FORGE, Apr., 320 pp., $24.95)

Reviewed by: 
Natalie A. Luhrs