Thursday, January 26, 2017

Marked by Fire (Sons of Britain #1) by Mia West

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Eighteen-year-old Arthur burns for two things: a warrior’s ink, and Bedwyr, his older brother’s friend and shield-mate. Though the warlord’s son is beyond his reach, a Saxon incursion finally brings Arthur’s chance at the tattoo that will brand him a fighter. But when he abandons his training in the heat of battle, his reckless ambition costs Bedwyr his sword hand.

Once, Bedwyr trusted in two things: he was a warrior, and the presumed heir of Uthyr ap Emrys. Now, reeling from injury and banished by his father, he’s lost everything. The last person he can face is the cub who ignited his disastrous instinct to protect, especially when he arrives with Bedwyr’s armor and a dangerously hopeful scheme to restore him to his rightful place.

MARKED BY FIRE is the 1st book (28,000 words) of SONS OF BRITAIN, a fresh, dark, sexy retelling of Arthurian legend:

1. Marked by Fire
2. Etched in Stone
3. Bound by Blood

Content Note: Includes depictions of violence in battle settings.

They’re a long way from legendary. Amid the volatility of 6th-century Britain, Arthur and Bedwyr are just two young men, born to fight and bound to their warlord by blood and oath. But when fierce hearts collide, loyalties can shift, creating bonds far stronger—and ideas far riskier—than their world may be ready for.

SONS OF BRITAIN is the second series of the STORM’S EDGE saga.

I needed a quick read as I was in between books and Marked By Fire fit the bill. What I know about King Arthur is essentially what I've been exposed to in pop culture - lady in the lake, sword, knights, round table, Lancelot, Guinevere - so I was naturally curious about Mia West's reimagining of the legendary king. She certainly had fun with it. 

In West's version, Arthur is an impressionable young lad of eighteen who's ready to prove to his family and king that he's prepared for warfare. His first battle goes horribly wrong whereby the king's son, Bedwyr becomes injured when he attempts to protect Arthur from attack. Bedwyr is sent away from the village to heal and Arthur later follows after to care for him, train him and return with him to the village once he is all better. During this time Bedwyr's feelings for Arthur come to the surface. For Arthur, it's all his dreams come to fruition as he's been pining away for Bedwyr all this time. There's something innocent and sweet about their bond despite all the complications surrounding them.

I had a fun time reading Marked By Fire. Granted, it's a bit odd at first because an M/M version of the Arthurian legend has never crossed my mind. But since the legend itself has so many possible sources, it's easy for West to put her own spin on it. That time period in Britain has always fascinated me so I could hardly say no to ancient warriors, magic and romance. I liked that this starts off with a young Arthur before he discovers his destiny. This is my first book by Mia West and I plan on reading the rest of the Sons of Britain series!

~ Bel

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