SIGN OF THE WHITE FOAL BY CHRIS THORNDYCROFT
Publication Date: July 1, 2019
eBook & Paperback; 327 Pages
Series: Arthur of the Cymry Trilogy (Book 1)
Genre: Historical Fiction
A generation after Hengest and Horsa carved out a kingdom in the east, a hero of the Britons rises in the west…
480 A.D. The sons of Cunedag have ruled Venedotia for fifty years but the chief of them – the Pendraig – is now dying. His sons Cadwallon and Owain must fight to retain their birthright from their envious cousins. As civil war consumes Venedotia, Arthur – a young warrior and bastard son of the Pendraig – is sent on a perilous quest that will determine the fate of the kingdom.
The Morgens; nine priestesses of the Mother Goddess have found the cauldron of rebirth – a symbol of otherworldly power – and have allied themselves with the enemy. Arthur and six companions are dispatched to the mysterious island of Ynys Mon to steal the cauldron and break the power of the Morgens. Along the way they run into the formidable Guenhuifar whose family have been stewards of Ynys Mon for generations. They need her help. The trouble is, Guenhuifar despises Arthur’s family and all they stand for…
Based on the earliest Arthurian legends, Sign of the White Foal is a rip-roaring adventure of Celtic myth and real history set in the ruins of post-Roman Britain.
Today is my stop on the blog tour for Sign of the White Foal by Chris Thorndycroft. It’s a fabulous book, the first in a wonderful new trilogy based on the earliest of Arthurian legends, so make sure you enter the giveaway for it-the info for the giveaway is at the end of the post!
I’ve been fascinated by Arthurian myths and legends since my mother gave me her copy of Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur to read when I was 12 years old. The romance and chivalry were spellbinding and of course, when I decided to get my Literature degree, I jumped at every opportunity to take classes on Arthurian literature, legends, and history. So I was more than thrilled to host the blog tour for Sign of the White Foal by Chris Thorndycroft!
Sign of the White Foal is based on the earliest of Arthurian facts and legends, the Welsh accounts of Arthur that appeared as early as the 9th century, not the later French-inspired romantic legends (French poet Chretien de Troyes influence is greatly seen in Malory’s later work) of Arthur, Guinevere, Lancelot, and Merlin (neither who existed in the original Welsh myths but were later added as the stories grew) that most people know. Although I love the later stories tremendously and have taught Malory’s Arthur more times than I can count over the years, I have to admit that I much prefer this Arthur, these facts mingled with myth, and Thorndycroft’s take on the story.
The King of Venedotia has died leaving his son Cadwallon the next Pendraig. Yet, civil war breaks out after he’s kidnapped and escaped. It’s up to him, with the help of his war band and half-brother, Arthur to ensure he regains his throne. Arthur, age 16, is sent to the island of Ynys Mon where the Morgens, nine priestesses of The Mother Goddesses, live to steal a magical life-restoring cauldron. The Morgens have aligned with the enemy, so it’s a highly dangerous crusade for young Arthur.
While romance and chivalry are great, I prefer the adventure, danger, bloody battles, fighting for kingdoms, and the inclusion of the Mother Goddess in this one. The Welsh setting and retelling of this story certainly seem much more suited to the factual history and legend of what is known to be true of Arthur, and I think those truths gave the overall story immense believability compared to the medieval one. Thorndycroft has done a spectacular job bringing alive the characters (even with their hard to pronounce Welsh names), the descriptive settings, and writing a compulsive, action-packed storyline. It was so hard to put this one down!
If you enjoy Arthurian legends or books based on early Celtic myths, then you’ll enjoy Sign of the White Foal. I’m already looking forward to the second book in the trilogy!
~Thank you so much, Amy, at Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for inviting me to join the blog tour!~
**Thank you to the publisher for the gifted copy. All opinions are my own.**
About the Author
Chris Thorndycroft is a British writer of historical fiction, horror, and fantasy. His early short stories appeared in magazines and anthologies such as Dark Moon Digest and American Nightmare. His first novel under his own name was A Brother’s Oath; the first book in the Hengest and Horsa Trilogy. He also writes under the pseudonym P. J. Thorndyke.
Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, July 22
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books
Tuesday, July 23
Review at Passages to the Past
Wednesday, July 24
Review & Interview at Jorie Loves a Story
Thursday, July 25
Review at My Reading Chronicles
Friday, July 26
Guest Post at Gwendalyn’s Books
Wednesday, July 31
Review at Hoover Book Reviews
Friday, August 2
Review at Stephanie’s Novel Fiction
During the Blog Tour, one winner will receive an eBook of Sign of the White Foal by Chris Thorndycroft! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.
– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on August 2nd. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open internationally.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen