Review – Winter Knights – Harper Fox
I’ve been avoiding reviewing this book for a while, but like all things you don’t want to do, here I am, doing it. That I’ve been avoiding it is important, because if I hated it, I would obviously want to dance on its shortcomings because I am mean. So, it’s not that I disliked it.
It’s more that I’m honestly not sure whether or not I liked it. I’m not looking them up, but I don’t remember the character’s names less than a month after finishing it. I vaguely remember being annoyed that for an Arthurian scholar, POV character (who I think might have been called Gavin, and that is what I’m naming him now) had a suspiciously shallow knowledge of Arthurian legend. Almost as though it came from one or two popular modern sources, without any depth beyond that. He also tended to fall into the 1st-person POV trap of talking about himself a lot. I’m not about to shove the ol’ ‘show, don’t tell’ nugget down anyone’s throat, but a little more show might have been nice.
That said, I liked the story. I don’t for a second pretend to remember the details, but I remember it being an easy read and other than the opening, not being overly boring. I think perhaps if I wasn’t so attached to the subject matter myself, I would have enjoyed it a whole lot more. There’s not a thing wrong with the actual prose, and though I would have expected a slightly better standard of editing from Carina Press, it wasn’t as though I was running into glaring errors all over the place.
I think that if your knowledge of Arthurian legend extends to, say, A Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, the BBC series Merlin, and maybe a general knowledge of round table myth, you’ll be fine. It’s kind of like Camelot-lite fanfic, but in the best possible way.
Since I know I’m biased because of the subject matter, I’m giving this a 4.