Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Book Review of "Searching for Arthur" by Donna Hosie

Searching for Arthur by Donna Hosie

Book Description:
Legend tells of King Arthur, mortally wounded at the hand of the traitorous Mordred in the final battle of Camlann. Before he was taken to the magical Vale of Avalon, Arthur declared that one day he would return, when the kingdom of Logres was once more in need of his leadership.

That day has now come.

It is hard to make friends when you’re constantly on the move. Seventeen-year-old Natasha Roth’s father is a diplomat, and so her mother – who is paranoid about terrorists – has moved Natasha and her brother, Arthur, to their eighteenth house in seventeen years: Avalon Cottage, deep in the heart of a Welsh forest.

Yet the terrorists are closer than they realize.

While out running, Natasha falls into a hidden tomb and awakens the legendary knights of Camelot: young warriors who have been in an enchanted sleep for a thousand years. All have been waiting patiently for the return of Arthur from the mysterious land of Avalon.

And now the knights are awake, they intend to reclaim their king.

When Arthur goes missing, Natasha joins forces with his girlfriend, “Slurpy” Samantha, in order to look for him. Natasha believes Samantha has fewer brain cells than an amoeba; Samantha believes Natasha is a freak. Retracing Natasha’s original steps to the hidden tomb, they bicker their way into a Welsh mountain and beyond, to the realm of Logres where the Knights of the Round Table are rallying once more.

Natasha falls in love with Sir Bedivere, the most loyal of knights to Arthur. He may be in dire need of a 21st Century razor, but he still possesses a set of lime-green eyes that can melt the soul. Yet just as Natasha starts to find confidence in this mystical land, Samantha deserts her. People who play by the rules are of no use to “Slurpy”. Samantha will take her own path to Arthur, aided and abetted by the dark arts which she willingly absorbs from a hot young stranger called Mordred.

A race across magical yet deadly lands is on. Natasha battles dwarf-riders, dragons, and eventually “Slurpy” to reach Camelot, where Arthur is held captive by the barbarian Saxon, Balvidore.

Natasha’s woes become numerous. What will happen to her and Arthur when the knights realise the eighteen-year-old boy they thought was their king, is in fact a math student with appalling taste in girls? Can two people with a one thousand year age gap really have a relationship? And for the love of all things holy, how is a girl supposed to ride bareback in a pair of skinny jeans?

My thoughts:

What can I say? I'm not a huge follower of Arthurian legends or tales, but I've read one or two. I'm probably as familiar with some of the names as most people. My greatest resource of knowledge comes from the Richard Harris film "Camelot".

I loved this book. It was easy to relate with Natasha, a normal girl who'd gone through (and carried the scars from) some tough things. Hosie does a good job giving us just enough of the back story relating to this family trauma. My heart ached for Natasha, alienated from most members of her dysfunctional family. We're not told how stable the family was before the problems began, but that kind of thing can either strengthen a family or tear it apart.

Poor Natasha has one champion--her brother, Arthur. And he brings his own baggage with a witch of a girlfriend who's favorite thing to call Natasha is "freak". Lovely.

And that's even before the fantastical things start happening.

There's plenty of action, romance, betrayal, magic, and mystery. Hosie totally wrenched my emotions, especially as we got to the end. There is a scene where a character does "the wild thing" for the first time. I appreciated that Hosie didn't show the scene in detail and was honest about the pain a girl experiences, that it's rarely the Hollywood fireworks fantasy. That made it real.

Can't wait for the sequel. As a fan of strong and proactive female characters, I want to see how something that happens in this book (no spoilers) plays out in the future.

 Other Books I've Been Reading
I've been cranking out several books over the last few months--thank heavens for audiobooks! Here're a few:

As you can see, I like a variety of genres.
Do you have any recommendations?


  1. I enjoy Arthurian tales. Thanks for this review. Searching for Arthur sounds like a great read.

    I loved looking at those book pics. I read most genres, but I've been reading a lot of YA contemporary during my vacation.

  2. Wow, great review and tons of books too, you sure get through many.

  3. fun & different!

    and i'd like to hear your thoughts on Partials, did you review it?

    2 books i'm reading that you might like,
    Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
    The Pericles Commission by Gary Corby (a mystery set in ancient Greece!)

  4. Yeah, Medeia, I like a lot of YA, too.

    Pat, the only reason I get through so many is because of audiobooks which I can frequently listen to while I'm doing more mundane things--laundry, cooking, getting ready for work in the morning, exercising.

    Tara, I haven't heard of those. I'll have to check them out.

    As for Partials, I really enjoyed the book and I'll be interested in seeing where he takes it. The big reveal wasn't a surprise to me, and I was disappointed (just a little) with the response to a death at the end. Trying not to spoil here. lol

  5. This reminds me of that Disney movie I watched--AValon High. I wonder if they based the story on this book?

  6. nutschell, this is a new release, so it wouldn't be. Natasha and Arthur live in a house called Avalon Cottage.

  7. I think you wrote of her earlier or I read another review about one of her other books. It sounds very interesting even though the King Arthur theme gets a bit overdone (Just my opinion.) But the time travel theme is something I absolutely love!

  8. You've been reading a ton! And what a great selection. Have you read Indigo Blue or The Only Alien on the Planet or 11 Birthdays?

  9. Thank you, Donna! You continue to rock my world with all the support. I can't wait to reciprocate.

    Nutschell - the book is nothing like Avalon High :)

  10. Eve--yes, I have mentioned this book before, when it came out. Funny that I haven't seen other books about Arthur. lol

    Michelle--Indigo Blue sounds familiar. I'll have to check these out. =D I just hope I live long enough to get through my to read list!

    Donna--my pleasure. Loved your book! Can't wait until December.

  11. This one is on my TBR list. :D

    I love Cassandra Clare's books. I can't wait for the next ones in her two series. :D

  12. Oh my word! You are the reading queen! I have had NO TIME lately, and it's been frustrating. *sigh* I will add this book to my TBR list :) Now you'll have to read Elana's book, SURRENDER. I'm reading that now and loving it. Very fun!

  13. That's a lot of books to crank out. I'm left standing in your dust.

  14. I'm crazy about all things thanks for the lead:)

  15. I love the sound of this book! I'm not a huge Arthurian buff either, but I love adventure tales. Thanks for the heads up Donna! :o)

  16. I like Arthurian tales. One of the more interesting I've read lately is Bernard Cornwell's take. He definitely has war down to a T. I've read many of his. He can get a little graphic, but his descriptions of tactics and ordinance are spot on. He puts you right in the fray.

    I have been absolutely entrapped by Lisa Mangum's wonderful Hourglass Door trilogy. Now my daughter is running right up on my heels with the first book as I read the third. Gripping!

    I should read Georgette Heyer. I'm writing her name down as I keep forgetting to get her books.

  17. Stina--lol like we discussed in our emails. I'm going to have to finish the Lost Souls series.

    Leigh and Stephen--seriously, audiobooks save my bacon. I listen while I get ready for bed and for work in the morning. I listen while driving to work (not a long drive) and when shopping and doing regular home things.

    Mark--this is such a fun story. Hope you like it when you get a chance to read it.

    LTM--it's always fun to find new things!

    Heidi--I love Cornwell's Sharpe series. Even before Sean Bean played him in the TV series. I have Lisa's books, and my hubby is reading them. They're in my 174 book to-read list. lol

  18. Thank you for the review!

    Those are a lot of books. I love seeing all the different covers next to each other. :)

  19. Thanks to your review, I'm super interested in this book now. Sounds like something I'd like. Thanks again!

    Inklings @

  20. This one sounds awesome, BUT if I don't stay away from your space on these review days I'll be 1010 before I get through my TBR list. How on earth do you do it. I do NOT even have TV.

  21. Hi Donna, and Donna :)

    Great review. I've seen Donna's novel advertised a couple places and it does sound mysterious, and a little bit dark. I like dark fantasy.

    I struggle to get one or two books a month read. Awesome variety you got in your choices. I've been eyeing those Cassandra Clare books.



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