We all remember King Arthur and the story of his rise the power. This Arthurian re-telling of the king and his knights of the Round Table produces a brand-new view on what they were actually like, how they treated his population and how their actions shaped the nation. Obviously, Merlin is still a key player but he is definitely not how you remember him. I was lucky enough to be included on Head of Zeus's blog tour for this new release! By Force Alone was published on 5th March and is available here: amzn.to/2uRbOOv - take a look at all the other wonderful bookstagram accounts taking part below!
Initially I was apprehensive about about the sheer size of this hardback but once I got stuck in I was enticed by the volume of humour that was emitted through Tidhar's writing. This novel has some very serious imagery of blood and gore so the positive relief from jokes between the characters was definitely well received. Each of the characters interacted really well with each other, the communication between them was easy and it brought out the relationships very clearly for the reader to pick up on.
The reliance on the readers prior knowledge of the Arthurian myth was a little too strong for my liking. Re-telling novels that I've read in the past have always been heavily reliant on the reader knowing the original story but some do manage to do create a whole new story that intertwines the original story without disconnecting those who are not familiar with it (see: Meg & Jo). By Force Alone unfortunately left me feeling unattached from the story. I know the rough story of King Arthur but not a detailed history, I didn't think this would be a problem but I felt like I was missing important information as certain information the reader was just expected to know.
Along with the reader expectations I didn't connect with the writing style very well. Tidhar seems to jump between varying situations within sentences without explaining the progression to them. Due to the method of storytelling Tidhar adopts by doing this, the information lost became a massive hindrance in how I understood the story. Coupled with the expectation of me to already understand the King Arthur tale I just felt lost all the way to the end.
I want to thank Head of Zeus for giving me this opportunity to review By Force Alone, I thoroughly enjoyed the characters and the humour as in the current climate it is something we could all do with. Unfortunately the expectation of the reader and Tidhar's method of writing just didn't intertwine well enough to my reading style for me to enjoy it any further than 2 stars.