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Hawk of May

Hawk of May An award winning author finally gives voice to Arthur s greatest warrior Tutored in dark magic by his mother the beautiful infinitely evil sorceress Morgawse Gwalchmai doubts his path in life But t

  • Title: Hawk of May
  • Author: Gillian Bradshaw
  • ISBN: 9780553299229
  • Page: 439
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • An award winning author finally gives voice to Arthur s greatest warrior Tutored in dark magic by his mother, the beautiful, infinitely evil sorceress Morgawse, Gwalchmai doubts his path in life But the isle of immortals calls him on a quest as a warrior of the Lightd seals his destiny as the hero of King Arthur s Britain Framed by historical realism, Gillian BradsAn award winning author finally gives voice to Arthur s greatest warriorTutored in dark magic by his mother, the beautiful, infinitely evil sorceress Morgawse, Gwalchmai doubts his path in life But the isle of immortals calls him on a quest as a warrior of the Lightd seals his destiny as the hero of King Arthur s Britain Framed by historical realism, Gillian Bradshaw expertly weaves convincing magical elements into her fantastic tale of Gwalchmai, the Hawk of May.

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      Published :2019-02-17T07:36:11+00:00

    1 thought on “Hawk of May

    1. Gwalchmai ap Lot, the middle child of Morgawys and Lot, learns sorcery from his mother to make up for his short comings as a warrior. However, his mother's sorcery is seething with Darkness and Gwalchmai flees the Orcades, set on joining Arthur's warband. Before making it to Britain, he stays in Lugh's domain for what ends up being three years, acquiring the sword Caledvwlch and horse Ceincaled. Will Arthur accept him, knowing who his mother is?I've read a fair bit of Arthurian fantasy over the [...]

    2. This is the first in a trilogy by Gillian Bradshaw, retelling the Arthurian legends. As with some other retellings as far back as Rosemary Sutcliff’s The Lantern Bearers and Sword at Sunset, written in the late 1950s/early 1960s, the story is set against post Roman Britain where the (former Celts, now British) have splintered into rival kingdoms and are fighting off waves of invasion by the Saxons, who have taken large parts of the country and settled there. The Saxons are not content with the [...]

    3. I have mixed emotions about this book. Generally speaking, I love anything Arthurian, which this book certainly is. All of the major characters are here, or most of them anyway. The story is good and Gawain (who is the main character) is likable. But I suppose my biggest criticism is one that would be a big plus for many people, there is too much fantasy here for me. I like my Arthurian historical fiction to more history and less fantasy. On the other hand, this is the first of a trilogy by an e [...]

    4. There are two basic types of Arthurian stories: the high fantasy ones that embrace the anachronistic plate-mail wearing knights with all the wizardry and magic and the ones that attempt to impose a more accurate sort of historical framework on them, usually focusing heavily on the Saxon invasions that the English versions of the legends conveniently left out. This book attempts to do both, which is enough to make it uniquely different from either. This is an ahistorical but not entirely implausi [...]

    5. I really disliked this book. I love both historical fiction and fantasy, and have really enjoyed other Arthurian books, so why did this one rub me the wrong way?I think it was because, in an effort to create the "warrior of light," this author took a path I thought we had long abandoned, of old ways and old gods being a darkness needing eradication. Students of history know, of course, that this is what happened- that pagans were considered witches and heretics and even as recently as the 19th c [...]

    6. An Arthurian fantasy from the point of view of Gwalchmei (later named Gawain), this book caught my eye in a used bookstore because it is one of the few recent books I've seen to draw almost entirely upon the earliest Welsh versions of the legend, although some elements from later stories are incorporated for familiarity's sake by the author's own admission. Nevertheless, what that means is that many familiar faces are missing--there is no Lancelot, and so far at least no Merlin--and certain trad [...]

    7. For me, this book is a dream come true. Finally, someone with a penchant for history as an author of an Arthurian tale! Gillian Bradshaw sets this book about Gawain in 6th Century Britain, shortly after the withdrawal of the Roman Empire from the islands. Some of the characters in this series were even real kings of the kingdoms that existed in that region and era. She draws from the rich and diverse cultures of the lands in ancient Britain, and uses older versions of the names we hear in Arthur [...]

    8. I liked this book very much. It's the first part of a retelling of the story of King Arthur's knight Gawain. There's just enough magic (a horse from the Undying Lands, Taliesin the bard, time spent Elsewhere, etc.) to be interesting, but not enough to overshadow the story of the people.Gawain has a troublesome family. His mother is a sorceress who's embraced dark magic, and tries to bring Gawain along with her to the dark side. She's an adamant enemy of Arthur. Gawain escapes her clutches at the [...]

    9. King Arthur's rise to power - it's what makes England what it is in so many ways. The overcoming of darkness and petty feuding between rivaling 'mini' kings to be united, together, under one man - one king - and the light.This is a lightly veiled intro into Christianity actually. I don't really remember seeing Arthur's story that way, but it is. And - truth be told - this book isn't about Arthur per se. It's about another character - Sir Gawain - and the complicated story of how he came to be th [...]

    10. I can always depend upon Bradshaw for a good story grounded in history with appealing characters. If I'm not rating this higher Well, when it comes to Arthurian works, she has really tough competition--even if you leave aside acknowledged classics of literature by Mallory and Tennyson. There are two basic approaches, the historical and pure, often anachronistic fantasy, with works often distinguishing themselves by how they mix the two. I have two favorites in the subgenre. Mary Stuart in her Me [...]

    11. Hawk of May started rather slowly, and I found myself reading only a little each day, but once I got to about the middle of it, it was much more absorbing. It's an interesting take on the legend, set while Arthur is still establishing a kingdom, with more ties than is usual to the older Celtic myths and legends, including CuChulainn. So far there's been no sign of the now traditional Lancelot, Guinevere and Arthur love triangle, or Lancelot the super perfect knight. Gwalchmai is Gawain, basicall [...]

    12. Gwalchmai (which means Hawk of May) is the second son of Morgawse and Lot of the Orcades. He just wanted to fit in - but he couldn't be a warrior to make his father proud, so he turned to his mother's sorcery. However, the magic his mother wields is like nothing he imagined and he remains unable to protect that which he holds most dear. Until something changes one night and he heads off to find Arthur - his uncle and High King.This is a very different take on Gwalchmai's story. I've read a lot o [...]

    13. I thought this was an interesting take on Arthurian legend. It was the first Arthurian book I've read with a strong Arthur character that thinks for himself instead of being told what to do by advisers. I got bogged down with all of the strategy details, but I loved the imagery Bradshaw used. As this was her first book, and she wrote it at a young age, I expect the rest of the series will be better.

    14. 6 starsThe more I read of Gillian Bradshaw, the more I am impressed. This book made me think about why one book is better than another and, on the Arthurian legends, I think the reason I was able to love Bernard Cornwell's Arthurian trilogy was that it was both a legend - so not subject to a fact check - and set in the Dark Ages whence little is known. So his mad plotting could be as mad as it liked and I didn't so much mind; aside from that trilogy I find him unreadable.So, what is the differen [...]

    15. I have read most of the Arthurian classics—Le Morte, the Mabinogion, Sir Gawain & the Green Knight, the Idylls, A Connecticut Yankee, and so forth to even delve into the more contemporary versions by White, Stewart, Cooper & Sutcliff. All of these I consider books that should be read before going down a tier into other noteworthy works such as this one. Somehow this novel elides the category of fantasy a la T.H. White and the pseudo historical retellings that have now plagued the marke [...]

    16. Not only was he brave (and generous as a High King and fierce as a wildcat: qualities of a great warrior) but he also loved and admired me. I could not understand both of these existing together, but I accepted them joyfully and gave to him all I had, save what would bewilder him. Though precocious, he was only seven, and that is too young to care for dreams properlyI suddenly remembered how Medraut had stopped speaking about magic, about unexplained absences of his from training, about a thousa [...]

    17. I've had this book, along with the other two in the trilogy, on my shelf for ages. Since I had never actually read the synopsis in the inside cover, I had no idea what the book was about or what to expect. Within one chapter, I was hooked.The writing is clear and the story is direct in this entry in the Arthurian fantasy genre. "Hawk of May" is narrated by Gwalchmai (better know as Gawain in English--Gwalchmai is the Welsh version) and tells the first part of his journey from bullied adolescent [...]

    18. A very worthwhile addition to the Arthurian genre. This enormously interesting story, the first of three, sheds some new light on Arthur's illicit incestuous one-night-stand with his half-sister. In an period of history with precious little in the way of documented evidence, suppositions are the order of the day. Who is to say what did and did not occur.

    19. This was an enjoyable book. It's the first in a series that combines Arthurian legend with early British history and geography with some magic and sorcery. There are hard to pronounce Welsh or early British names (there is a bit of a pronunciation guide which is hard to remember). I'm not sure if you could call it a "youth" book, but it doesn't have anything inappropriate for that age group.

    20. I really liked this but then, I read it ages ago. I hope you enjoy it as much as I remember enjoying it. :)

    21. I love Arthurian tales. This one had a bit of a slow start but came together nicely. I plan on reading the series.

    22. I loved this book. I am a sucker for Authurian books, and I believe this one hit the nail on the head. I have learned facts from this book (and hopefully the ones to come) that I didn't know, and I like that very much. I like information mixed in with my entertainment. I also like that it is told in an "olden days" fashion (for lack of a better term, you can see I'm not knowledgable about history). There are too many books these days that are all fantasies and made up characters and just plain s [...]

    23. 3.5Originally posted at Fantasy Literature.I thought I was tired of Arthurian Legend and I’ve avoided reading one for quite a while now, but Gillian Bradshaw’s beautifully written story about Sir Gawain has changed my mind. Hawk of May takes place early in Arthur’s career and is inspired by the Welsh legends of King Arthur, the Sidhe, and Cú Chulainn. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of Bradshaw’s DOWN THE LONG WAY trilogy.In Hawk of May, we meet Gwalchmai, son of the Morgawse, [...]

    24. Halcón de Mayo nos cuenta la Leyenda Artúrica, esta vez desde la perspectiva del afamado Sir Gawain y de la pluma de Gillian Bradshaw.Gwalchmai es un joven con habilidades que calzan más con el rol de un bardo, que un guerrero hijo del Rey de las Orcadas. Su vida diaria transcurre entre las burlas de Agravain, su hermano mayor y las alabanzas de Medraut, el menor. Al sentirse parte de nada, emprenderá una senda oscura que lo llevará a desafiar a su madre y posteriormente ponerse al servicio [...]

    25. My home library consists of a room, shelved from floor to ceiling on three sides, with thousands of books lining the walls. This doesn't count the specialty shelves in other rooms.Trust me when I say I have lots of books - and Hawk of May, while not my all-time favourite, has consistently reigned in the top five for the last few decades. It would always be amongst my choices in the 'ten books I'd take to a desert island' scenario.The novel relies hugely on a knowledge of Arthurian legend. Don't [...]

    26. T. H. White’s The Once and Future King was one of the trio of formative reading experiences at about age ten for me (along with the Narnia books and the Lord of the Rings trilogy) and ever since I read it, I’ve been an avid reader of anything Arthurian. Gillian Bradshaw’s Arthurian trilogy, in which the primary character is Gwalchmai (Bradshaw’s version of Gawaine), begins with Hawk of May, in which the young Gwalchmai grows up a semi-outcast at the court of his father Lot, in Orkney. Br [...]

    27. If you like tales of King Arthur then you will most likely enjoy this one. It smatters of courage, darkness, magic, cruelty and kindness, justice and liberation and all the things that you have come to relish in the tales of King Arthur and his brave knights.From a very young age Gwalchmai is frowned upon by his father and elder brother as everything he seems to try and do falls short of the elders expectations. He is coddled by his mother the Queen Morgawse, who in her own right is the flesh an [...]

    28. Hawk of May is the first of an Arthurian Trilogy by Gillian Bradshaw. It tells the tale of Gwalchmai, also known as “Hawk of May” or Sir Gawain in Arthurian Legend. Gwalchmai is the middle child of King Lot and Morgawse (in this version of the tale, Morgawse is the daughter of Uther). While Gwalchmai’s older brother Agravain is a brilliant warrior, Gwalchmai finds himself lacking. In order to find something that he excels at, he starts to learn Latin and sorcery from his mother Morgawse. O [...]

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