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Finding Camlann (Paperback)
I was looking for something a little different to read, so I picked
up Sean Pidgeon's Finding Camlann (published in softcover last Jan,
hardcover at the beginning of 2013) because it had things I'm interested
in - archaeology, linguistics, Arthurian legend, Wales. And it was
Archeologist Donald Gladstone knows there's no actual proof of
Arthur's existence but believes there has to be some truth behind the
myth. A find in a barrow near Stonehenge begins a quest that will take
Donald, and linguist Julia Llewellyn, in search of an ancient Welsh
battle poem, and will force them both to examine their lives.
This is a quiet, well-written story. There are no car chases, no gun
fights, and no high tension. There's no definitive time frame for it.
There are cars and telephones, but no cell phones or computers. It's
reminiscent of a book written in the 60's or 70's. I found myself
comparing it to Charlotte Armstrong's writing, actually. It's
intelligent, complex and - to me - fascinating. I needed to pay close
attention to the various time periods discussed, and my knowledge of
Welsh history is sadly lacking (along with my ability to pronounce much
of the language), but the people and their overwhelming need to know
what happened caught my interest and didn't let go.
There's no single mystery, per se. Of course, the biggest question
is whether or not the bodies found in the barrow are Arthur and
Guinevere, but there's the question of an explosion in the recent past
and whether or not it was an accident or sabotage, what role Julia's
husband might have played in that explosion, and there is a death, so
there are mysterious elements, but I'm not entirely sure you can
classify Finding Camlann as a true whodunnit.
Whatever you call it, it was a thoughtful, restful break from the
more action-packed adventures I normally indulge in, and I was pleased
to have spent time in the Welsh mountains, exploring the history of the
area and the origins of the Arthurian legend.
January 2013 Indie Next List
“This is a new and gripping look at the history and landscape of Britain and the legend of King Arthur. A linguist and an archeologist search for the truth behind the myth, as they climb foggy hills and glean new meanings from a mysterious poem. We follow them in the throes of love and dread, through long-lost battles and modern feuds, as they look with fascination at the secrets and natural beauty of an ancient land that lives anew. Finding Camlann will please both scholars and poets and will intrigue historians and lovers of romance.”
— Daniel Butler, Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, MA
Archaeologist Donald Gladstone is sure that there never was a "real" King Arthur--that is, until a surprising find at Stonehenge seems to offer hard evidence of Arthur's existence. Teaming up with Julia Llewellyn, a gifted linguist working at the Oxford English Dictionary, Donald sets off on a literary and mythological quest that will change both of their lives. Gloriously many-layered, Finding Camlann is a deeply satisfying love story, a gripping detective story, and a narrative journey of myriad pleasures.