Monday, June 1, 2015

Liza Reviews King Arthur's Sister in Washington's Court by Kim Iverson Headlee

Today, I'm reviewing King Arthur’s Sister in Washington’s Court by Kim Iverson Headlee,
 but first let's learn about this unique story. 

Lesson 1: Nothing's simple.

Morgan le Fay, 6th-century Queen of Gore and the only major character not killed off by Mark Twain in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, vows revenge upon the Yankee Hank Morgan. She casts a spell to take her to 1879 Connecticut so she may waylay Sir Boss before he can travel back in time to destroy her world. But the spell misses by 300 miles and 200 years, landing her in the Washington, D.C., of 2079, replete with flying limousines, hovering office buildings, virtual-reality television, and sundry other technological marvels.

Whatever is a time-displaced queen of magic and minions to do? Why, rebuild her kingdom, of course—two kingdoms, in fact: as Campaign Boss for the reelection of American President Malory Beckham Hinton, and as owner of the London Knights world-champion baseball franchise.


Written as though by the old master himself, King Arthur’s Sister in Washington’s Court by Mark Twain as channeled by Kim Iverson Headlee offers laughs, love, and a candid look at American society, popular culture, politics, baseball...and the human heart.


Liza Note: Having read the story, I assure you, the above jibberjabber is an accurate representation of this book. I expect you will love it.


EXCERPT 
(from Chapter XXIV: A Rival Player)


“So, you don’t want Grigori under any circumstances, Boss?” I again confirmed that I did not. “Then I quit!”

“You cannot. You are under contract.”

“Fine. Then fire me. It won’t be the first time.”

“The Dragons have offered you a job.”

“Yes—and for a lot more money and a lot less grief than you give me!”

“Grief? Is that how you view our relationship? Naught but grief?”

“No, of course not, but—”

“Indeed. Then how do you view it?”

He rolled his eyes. “You know how I feel about you—privately, that is. I just don’t appreciate my judgment being questioned on the job all the time. Believe it or not, Boss, I do want what’s best for the team, and I do know what the team needs; but I can’t deliver it to you under these conditions—it’s like I’m bound and gagged. I can’t operate like that. Either free me to do my job for the Knights or free me to do it elsewhere.” His gaze turned soft and sad. “Please.”

Oh, God, he used that magic word on me—me, mistress of magic, and I stood helpless to resist its effect. The rage that had built within my breast throughout his speech seeped from me like helium from a balloon, leaving the skin inflated but with no volition to rise from the floor. Quietly I said:

“Very well, Sandy Carter, if your job means more to you than I do, then you are fired.”

Again.

Alas.

Liza: I love the million times she fires Sandy through this book. There are so many things I loved about this book, so let me find my glasses and begin this review....
Wow! Just Wow!

What Kim Headlee has done here is just amazing. The story begins with Mark Twain talking from beyond his grave.  He wants a sequel to A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court and he’s chosen Kim to deliver it.

And man does she!

There’s so much to love about this story.

First, let me say this book, even the ebook, is stuffed full of the most beautiful engravings. From the comments at the end of the book, I believe there is also an audio book and yes, even a screenplay floating about. If you purchase the audio, you should buy the ebook or book as well so you can have the engravings.

 The ebook is only 2.99, as I write this, a bargain for the engravings alone, nevertheless the superb story that comes with it.

Next, let me list a  few of hurdles that Headlee has to jump over:

First, she had to really get to know Mark Twain, and then get beyond her ‘unworthiness’ to write for him. It took her years to do this, but IMO time well spent.

Now, to the undercurrents of the story that could have caused her trouble:

This book relies on Time travel for the backbone of the story. Time Travel is always tricky, and normally leaves me dissatisfied due to implausibility issues. But I had no issues with Kim Headlee’s solution. While she didn't attempt to explain the technology and physics in detail, (being too busy playing baseball) I found it most plausible, so I was happy.

Next challenge: Handling romantic interludes like Twain. I was very pleased here. Kim matches what he would have done very nicely, although, to be honest, I enjoyed hers more than Twain’s. (I firmly believe women, or at least Kim, can write better romance than an old guy with wild white hair.) Still, the sections were more humorous than descriptive, much like Twain’s.

In addition, Twain had a habit of ‘thought wandering’ while he shared a story and Headlee does him justice in this matter as well.

Next, she has to make a believable transition for Queen Morgan to become a protagonist we wish to root for. 

Honestly, I didn’t see how she would manage that, but she did. I loved Morgan from beginning to end. I especially loved the way she would talk to the reader throughout the book, confessing the truth and sharing details. It was as if I were her BFF.

I read this in a single setting, despite having a great deal to do, because frankly, I could not put the book down. I think Morgan may have enchanted me…
I give this a well-deserved five stars.
 

Now, I give you a plethora of Links for your buying pleasure.






Kim Headlee lives on a farm in southwestern Virginia with her family, cats, goats, Great Pyrenees goat guards, and assorted wildlife. People and creatures come and go, but the cave and the 250-year-old house ruins—the latter having been occupied as recently as the mid-twentieth century—seem to be sticking around for a while yet.

Kim is a Seattle native and a direct descendent of twentieth-century Russian nobility. Her grandmother was a childhood friend of the doomed Grand Duchess Anastasia, and the romantic yet tragic story of how Lydia escaped Communist Russia with the aid of her American husband will most certainly one day fuel one of Kim’s novels. Another novel in the queue will involve her husband’s ancestor, the seventh-century proto-Viking king of the Swedish colony in Russia.

For the time being, however, Kim has plenty of work to do in creating her projected 8-book Arthurian series, The Dragon’s Dove Chronicles, and other novels under her imprint, Pendragon Cove Press. She has been a published novelist since 1999, beginning with the original edition of Dawnflight (Sonnet Books, Simon & Schuster, ISBN 0671020412).

YouTube video interview: http://youtu.be/DV5iKrEIROk


AND HERE ARE AN EXCESSIVE QUANTITY OF PLACES TO STALK KIM HEADLEE.
(In case you take your stalking seriously.)

ABOUT.ME PAGE – https://about.me/kimheadlee
WEBSITE  – http://kimheadlee.com
Street Team “Kim’s All-Stars” – https://www.facebook.com/groups/705479912880602/
TRIBERR PROFILE – http://triberr.com/KimHeadlee

5 comments:

  1. OMG, Liza, thank you so much for sharing such a fabulous review of KASIWC!!!
    Diving back into coding my blog post for your Pack of Trouble now...
    Kim Headlee
    Stories make us greater.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Between you and Mark Twain chatting in my head, the constant firing of Sandy, and my BFF Morgan enchanting me, I'm glad you realized the chances of me BEHAVING were nil. I do ponder if 'diving into the coding' is a subtle threat of retaliation. Since you and Mark Twain are one, you should tell him about Twitter and that he needs to SHORTEN HIS TITLES. I bled over the twitter promos. Bled, I tell you! May I suggest the following: Huck, Tom, Damn Yankee....

      Delete
  2. What a wonderful review. It makes me want to buy the book! All the best Kim!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you both so much! (Yeah, I know, I forgot to turn on email notifications; butter my butt and slap me on a biscuit. :D) But Liza your review remains my favorite to date!

      Delete

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