Monday, 7 October 2013

Nicola S Dorrington


I was convinced I wouldn't like this book. The cover was pleasant enough with Stonehenge on a sunset background, but it didn't appeal to me on a personal level only because it screamed 'historical' and that genre isn't my bag. 

The title was deep: The Last Knight. It made me think that I could be reading a tear-jerker. Maybe the ending wasn't going to be a HEA.

I move to the blurb and it talks of foreseeing the future and past legends, then I read then everything she thought was myth and legend is actually true and now I'm not sure if the book is a historical. I'm still not convinced I'll like the book when I look at the sample. 

The sample surprises me because it's set in modern times, and that's something I didn't expectCara Page, the protagonist, is visiting her mother in hospital. The mother is suffering dementia and it's Cara's 17th birthday. I immediately connect with her youth My trainers squeaked on the tiled floor and then her sadness 'It's me, Mum. It's Cara.' (she has to explain to her mum who she is).

The sample was fast and told me enough to connect with the characters, and I'm happy to purchase the book. It was only 77p ($1.24) at the time of purchase.

The book opens with Cara Page and her father who are both struggling to cope with her mother's diagnosis, and Cara is worried she is going to suffer the same fate as her dreams are becoming more and more strange, and worse, they are coming true. In her waking life she also hears voices and the result is her work is suffering at school and she (and everyone else) thinks she's going mad like her mother.

Cara meets a boy called Lance, who takes a shine to her. She thinks it's an ordinary boy girl thing, but he's from the past sent to find her. She's his key to righting a wrong and even though he needs her more, she, unknowingly, needs him just as much. He and his friends (Wyn and Percy) coerce her to go with them, and the voice in her head says she shouldn't resist, so slightly thrilled and a little frightened she gets into a car with three men in the dead of night... sounds crazy but by then the voice in Cara's head is recognised from the one in her dreams. She doesn't think things could get any worse, I guess, and there's the promise that she'll discover the reason for her dreams.

Up until now, I'm with the author all the way, but I didn't like the way Cara's dad was pushed to one side. In the beginning there were some wonderful heart-rendering moments between father and daughter so I was surprised that he became forgotten.

There was also a lot of travelling by car: Cornwall, Wales, London... back to Cornwall, then Wiltshire... then I was surprised that Cara, having had only a few driving lessons and not even passed her test, decided to take over the driving and was able to drive all the way from Cornwall to London, find the Tower of London, park, and drive to Wales all in the same day (the book would have you believe it took minutes!).

But the book wasn't slow and the author knew her legends and brought Sir Lancelot  King Author, Merlin and the like alive. Dragons, Griffins, Wraiths all featured beautifully bringing mystical creatures and magic to the forefront of this book. A very high 3 out of five.

The is fundamentally a YA book, which verged into adult as the sexual tension between Lance and Cara sizzled. The ending was satisfactory but left room for the sequel. An excellent escapism read, I just wish Cara treated her poor dad a little better.

There were a few editing issues.


Like any teenage girl, Cara Page dreams of the future, the difference is, every day those dreams come true.

Now she's dreaming of a boy, and a future that can't be real. Because if it is, then everything she thought was myth and legend is actually true, and there is an evil coming that will tear the country apart.

Lance Filwer is a boy with secrets of his own, and a past full of mistakes he can't undo. Cara is his second chance, his chance to succeed where he failed before - if only she'll trust him enough to let him help her.

Cara needs to know what's happening, but the answer lies in a long forgotten past, and an ancient legend. To find it Cara will have to travel into the depths of Wales, and the heart of ancient Britain.

With Wraiths, creatures from the darkest of myths, dogging her every move, Cara knows it's only a matter of time before they catch up with her. And myth or not, they will kill her.

Her only hope is Lance, and the birth right she must claim, if she is to prevent the future she has foreseen.