The Raven's Warrior by Vincent Pratchett 5*
BLURB: If Death takes a man it is called fate, when Death leaves a man it is called destiny. Wounded in battle (900 A. D.), a near dead Celtic warrior is taken by Viken raiders and sold into a Baghdad slave market. He is dragged further East, through the desert, into the Middle Kingdom where he is bought by a Taoist Priest and his beautiful daughter. Hazy images of silk, herbs, needles, potions and steel, can only lead to one thing, he has been purchased by a wizard and his witch. Arkthar fears for his soul. Death finds Arkthar's predicament interesting. I have heard the delirious ramblings of countless dying minds. I am amused by yours. Don't be afraid, I won't take you now. Your life sentence has just begun. Arkthar s owners become his teachers and then his companions. The priest wizard and his witch daughter heal and teach Arkthar their Eastern ways of medicine, science, war and philosophy. Under the watchful eye of death, this journey unfolds, as a slave becomes a king, and new root of Arthurian legend takes hold.
My Review: This was a review copy from YMAA Publication Center, Inc. via NetGalley I have always love the Arthurian Legends and delight in finding variations on it, but this one just blew my mind. It was such a wonderful read and held so much of Eastern mysticism that it gave the story a whole new outlook. Having spent some years in Hong Kong when young I learned a lot about Chinese theocracy and the use of it here was a lovely addition to the Arthurian legends I grew up with. The fighting, politics and medical information was given in such a way that I was never bored by it and the storyline was well executed. For a debut novel this was really good and I look forward to seeing Vincent Pratchett's name on another book soon.