Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Mike Tucker, Merlin: Valiant (2009)

Novelisation of a BBCTV/Freemantlemedia Enterprises Merlin episode -- one of my daughter's fave shows at the moment, that. It was her idea to pluck this title from the supermarket bookshelves as her new bedtime story. She's enjoying it too: the evil knight Valiant has a shield whose serpent design can magically come alive and kill people. How will Prince Arthur fare in his tournament battle with this nasty fellow? Now, if it all seems to me pretty flabbily written, I guess you'd expect me to say so. But on balance I'd say kudos to Tucker, nevertheless, for actually opening the novel with, in effect, 'It Was A Dark And Stormy Night':
The storm bore down mercilessly on the hillside town. Dark, swollen clouds raced across the sky like black wolves, obscuring the pale moon that struggled to rise in the sky. [p.1]
As bad writing goes, that has a certain je ne sais quoi.

Hmm: I wonder what part Actor-Who-Plays-Prince-Arthur's handsome phizog, smouldering out from the cover there, had on influencing my daughter's decision to buy this book?


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