Friday, April 15, 2011

Review: The Killing Way by Tony Hays

Book Source: I received a copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Release Date: 2009

Book Synopsis: It is the time of Arthur, but this is not his storied epic. Arthur is a young and powerful warrior who some would say stands on the brink of legend. Britain’s leaders have come to elect a new supreme king, and Arthur is favored. But when a young woman is brutally murdered and the blame is placed at Merlin’s feet, Arthur’s reputation is at stake and his enemies are poised to strike. Arthur turns to Malgwyn ap Cuneglas, a man whose knowledge of battle and keen insight into how the human mind works has helped Arthur come to the brink of kingship.

Malgwyn is also the man who hates Arthur most in the world. After the death of Malgwyn's wife by Saxon hands, he became Mad Malgwyn, killer of Saxons and right-hand lieutenant to the warrior Arthur. Right hand, that is, until a Saxon cut his sword arm off and left him to die on the battlefield. Arthur rescued him. Now a one-armed scribe and a heavy drinker, Malgwyn rejects the half-life that his liege gave him. But loyalty is sometimes stronger than loathing and Malgwyn is pulled toward a puzzle that he can’t walk away from.

Review: The legend of King Arthur has always fascinated me so when I was asked to review an entire series based on a murder/mystery set during the time of King Arthur, I jumped at the opportunity!
This isn’t your typical King Arthur, knights at the round table sort of book. Instead, it’s a murder/mystery that takes place right in the middle of Arthur’s city just before the election for the new Rigotomas “High King” takes place. All the noble lords from surrounding lands have traveled to Arthur’s city for this important election where Arthur is the top candidate. Just before the election can get under way, a young serving girl by the name of Eleonore is brutally murdered and her body is left at Merlin’s door making him the prime suspect. 

As the investigation gets underway, Malgwyn, who is chosen by Arthur to solve this mystery, discovers there is more to Eleonore’s murder than meets the eye and when another woman turns up murdered he really knew something big was at stake. As some of the pieces began to fit together, he realizes both women were murdered because they overheard a plot being discussed that would somehow hurt Arthur’s reputation and chances to be elected as the new Rigotomas. Despite Malgwyn’s personal dislike for Arthur, he knew he was a good man and leader who did not deserve to be brought down like this. 

This is a gripping tale that grabs you by the arms and doesn’t let go until you reach the end. I loved all the characters, especially Malgwyn who comes off as a mean old drunk who doesn’t care whether he lives or dies, but you soon realize that he’s just big ole bear with a kind heart. He knows if he fails he won’t have a lot to lose but he knows if he does Arthur’s position and life could be at risk. 

I loved this book, probably more than what I thought I would! It moves at a very fast pace and it’s an easy read that keeps you guessing all the way through. Who doesn’t like a mysterious murder that takes place during the time of the legendary King Arthur? This is a highly recommended read and I can’t wait to read the next book in this series The Divine Sacrifice.


  1. Oohhh, this book sounds amazing!

  2. @ Carole Rae

    It's very good! I thoroughly enjoyed it!