Imagine an England so distant in time that the only law and order townspeople identified with was whatever power and might a nearby land lord provided for them. In return for abeyance to his rule and whatever taxes he extolled, this “king” would provide protection from conquering hordes of barbarians, or from other land lords expanding their borders.
In The Merlin Prophecy: Battle of Kings, author M.K. Hume tells readers about an unforgivable act committed against the daughter of a powerful land holder. Knowingly, this overprotected young girl wanders a bit too far along the beach on the western coastline of England at a place called Segontium. Alone without her maids or any protection, she saves the life of a waterlogged fugitive. But when he recovers, he brutally rapes her but allows her to escape when she cleverly defers to his rugged but greatly inflated masculine ego and sexual prowess.
As expected in so many brutish single copulation rape stories, the young maiden is now pregnant with what she considers a demon fetus. At birth, she rejects the infant boy even going so far as to use a soft pillow to smother it. In what could have been a murderous instant, the girl’s very own mother saves the life of the struggling boy child. She hires a wet nurse, sees to the infant’s every need, provides him constant protection, and raises this boy as her own son. He is given the name, Myrddion Merlinus (Merlin).
In The Merlin Prophecy: Battle of Kings, the reader will find Myrddion at age 11 apprenticed to a known seer and healer, but this remarkable woman cannot read. Sensing the quick wit and premonitious mind of her charge, she gives him a treasured box containing deerskin scrolls. These hold the healing formulas of Greek and Egyptian physicians translated into Greek. Myrddion voraceously studies these live saving scriptures.
In distant Forden, King Vortigern has rebuilt the tower to one of his fortresses. But within a short time the tower crumbles. Angry, he seeks the wisdom of a necromancer to explain why the tower had fallen. To make a truly strong fortress, he is told to mix the blood of a demon child with the mortar. Now the king’s warriors steal Myrddion, the demon seed, from his Sergontium home.
Realizing Myrddion’s gifts, Vortigern does not harm the lad but keeps him alive. Myrddion warns the king about accepting too quickly, generations of barbarians across his borders.
“Warriors will come from Gaul and the Saxons will know the taste of bitter defeat.”
Myrddion fortells the horror of war—of burning towns and pillaged villages, of warriors and townspeople screaming out and dying in agony. His words shock Vortigern and all who hear them. He talks of brother rising up against brother and sons against their fathers. He even fortells of
“_____a child (who) will pluck a sword from a stone_____”
When war eventually comes, Myrddion struggles as valiantly as any skilled warrior. But it is after battle that he struggles just as diligently to save the lives and limbs of the wounded, using what readers will come to know as more scientific treatments rather than superstitious cures and unending mantras or sacrifices to a myriad of ancient gods.
And thus I will now leave to the reader, the fascinating story of The Merlin Prophecy: Battle of Kings. I highly recommend this tale because of its well developed characters with whom one can identify, even though they lived in a far less scientific era so very long ago. Like me, you might even hate to leave them until the second book of the trilogy is published. By reading The Merlin Prophecy: Battle of Kings, one can gain much insight into pre-Arthurian history, religion, and the troubles of imagined forebears to a more unified enlightened England.