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Book Review: The Pendragon Cycle by Stephen Lawhead

A return to a book review of the past year.

The second reading was actually a rereading of books I read in my childhood. Stephen Lawhead really burst upon the stage with his unique look at the Arthurian legend. The Pendragon Cycle, a series of six books five of which are set in Britain after the time of the Romans and one book in the present time (i.e. the Return of Arthur) does an excellent job of both creating a somewhat historical Arthur, and of presenting the Gospel message in an appealing way. The series is really a fantasy, but Jesus is not left out. Merlin becomes the prophet of the true faith and Arthur its fallible defender in the richly detailed and textured Celtic (Welsh/Briton) world. The characterization is superb, and one finds oneself wishing there were there. I am currently in the fourth book in the series called Pendragon which I find is my least favorite, as it tries to insert a story about Arthur into what seemed already completed in the third book. It is not a bad book, only difficult to read right after the trilogy before. I call it a trilogy, because it was completed long before Pendragon was written and the saga had seemed complete. Lawhead does bring us back into the story, but some of the repetition, although necessary, is dull.

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