Saturday, May 21, 2011

Review: The Divine Sacrifice by Tony Hays

Source: I received a copy in exchange for a fair & honest review
Release Date: April 2010

Book Synopsis: "Malgwyn Ap Cuneglas is a trusted counselor to King Arthur, right-hand lieutenant to the warrior chief. Right hand, that is, until a Saxon cut off his sword arm and left him to die on the battlefield. Arthur chose to go to extraordinary lengths to keep the man alive as he valued Malgwyn as much for his brains as his sword arm. Malgwyn hated Arthur for this dubious gift but has come to grudgingly acknowledge that he yet may have some purpose in life." "That purpose is put to a test when Arthur and Malgwyn travel to Glastonbury Abbey to investigate reports of rebellion. The abbot, while cordial, is guarded. They chalk up his demeanor to the sudden arrival of Saint Patrick, a legend in the Church, who has come to the abbey on a mission of his own, to root out the heresy of Pelagius. 

All hell breaks loose when an aged monk is found cruelly murdered in his cell, and Malgwyn is charged by Arthur to not only discover the culprit but to determine if the monk's death fits in with the disturbing rumors of disgruntled lords banding together to overtake Arthur's throne." Malgwyn discovers a maze of half-truths and lies that lead him to a conspiracy to topple the Church ... and his lord's kingdom.

My Review: After reading the first novel in this Arthurian mystery I could not wait to start the second novel in the series. I thought the adventures could only get better from here, sadly that wasn’t the case. 

The book had a very slow start and instead of the storyline taking place in the Castellum Artorius, which is the name of the location of Arthur’s castle, the storyline was centered around Yins-witrin the Christian community that is now known as Glastonbury. Yes, all the same characters were present in this second novel plus a few new characters; however, they all took a back seat this time to Malgwyn ap Cuneglass, Arthurs most trusted lieutenant. I would have liked to have seen more of Merlin, Arthur, and Guinevere in this novel. 

Like I mentioned before, the story got off to a very slow start, which almost made me give up and put the book down but I kept pushing through it. This is probably why it took me twice as long to finish as I normally would have taken to finish a 300 page novel. Once the plot finally took off my interest would be captured for a bit then it would tapper off and then it would take off again. This is what I like to call a “rollercoaster thriller”. It had its many ups and downs and then it takes you up to that very steep incline then you plunge to your “death.” That is exactly how I would describe Tony’s second novel. Unlike, the first novel in this series “The Killing Way,” I didn’t think the twists and turns were nearly as good as the first novel. I was really disappointed. I was expecting this big twist in the very end; although, there was one but it wasn't as mind blowing as I was anticipating. 

Overall, this was just okay in my opinion. It wasn’t an utter failure for a second novel in a series but there was a lot of room for improvement. If you read the first novel in the series “The Killing Way” and loved it as much as I did then I would only recommend reading this one in order to get you to the final novel in the series “The Beloved Dead” because I heard it was just as good as “The Killing Way.” If you don’t plan on continuing the series then I would not recommend reading this one.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the honest review. It is frustrating when books are a rollercoaster because I feel like they are messing with my emotions.