Wednesday 2 December 2015

King Arthur's Sister in Washington Court - Book Review

This blog is going to be a little bit different, although still in keeping with the Arthurian theme. Today I am going to talk about a rather wonderful book called King Arthur's Sister in Washington Court by Kim Iverson Headlee.

Those of you who read a lot of Arthurian literature may well have come across Kim's work before, The Dragon's Dove Chronicles, perhaps?

King Arthur's Sister in Washington Court ( I am going to call it KASIWC from now on ), caught my eye because it sounded really intriguing. Arthurian legend meets baseball - what a concept!

Kim, I think, set herself quite a challenge when she wrote it, because this is a sequel to Mark Twain's  A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court - so hats off to her for that.

The story is about Morgan le Fay, Queen of Gore, and is set in the year AD 600, (Morgan was lucky enough to survive the purge in Mark Twain's book). We all know of Morgan's magical prowess and she has vowed revenge upon the Yankee, Hank Morgan - who in Mark Twain's book caused a great deal of trouble for Arthur and his court.

Morgan casts a spell which is supposed to take her to 1879 Connecticut - she wants to stop Sir Boss (Hank) from ever traveling back to her time and destroying her world, but her spell goes drastically wrong and she finds herself in Washington DC In the year 2079.

She adapts remarkably quickly to modern life - she survives her first encounter with a flying limousine - which she is convinced is some sort of magical dragon. And thank goodness for magic, for she would never have been able to walk in stilettos without it!

Morgan lands on her feet and becomes the Campaign Manager for the American President, Malory Beckham Hinton - whose ambitions are so great that Morgan believes that one day the President will rule absolutely and elections will be a thing of the past.

Somehow, Morgan ends up being the owner of the London Knights - the world-champion baseball team and after that things really get interesting...

Morgan's stormy relationship with Sandy, the general manager of the Knights, is hysterical - I have lost count how many times she fired him! The story is packed with action and you never quite know what Morgan is going to do next ...will she throw the game by using magic or will she refrain herself this one time?

She also tells some incredibly amusing anecdotes about the Knights of her brother's Round Table.

To be absolutely honest, although the title and synopsis intrigued me, I was a little bit wary to start with, simply because baseball is not a national sport where I come from. The only encounter I have ever had with baseball is on my children's Nintendo Wii and I must admit, it wasn't my finest of moments. Oh, and of course, there was that Kevin Costner film, however all I learnt from Field of Dreams was "If you build it, he will come," but apart from that, I know nothing! However, my lack of knowledge did not in any way hamper the enjoyment of the book. So please do not be put off if you are not a baseball fan.

Likewise, you do not have to read Mark Twain's book to understand what is going on in this one. KASIWC stands firmly on its own two feet.

KASIWC is an incredibly well crafted piece of work, of that there is no doubt. The story is told in the first person by Morgan herself, and boy, does she have strong opinions on just about everything - some of which may be a little controversial - but hey, she is from a different era, what can you do?

It is laugh out loud funny, but at the same time some of topics that Kim explores really made me think about how little things have actually changed between Morgan's world and our own. It gave me pause for thought.

There is humour, romance, drama, magic, King Arthur and his Knights, and baseball - what more can you ask for?

I read this book in a day - and I haven't done something like that in a long time - I simply could not put it down. Which I think, in itself, says a lot about the book.

Would I recommend it? Absolutely.

So, if you are looking for something to read that is a little bit different, then what are you waiting for? Click on the links and check out Kim Iverson Headlee, King Arthur's Sister in Washington Court, today!



  1. Mary, thank you so much for your wonderful review of KASIWC on your blog today! It's making the other customers at McDonald's wonder what I'm smiling about. :D
    All my warmest holiday wishes,
    Kim Headlee
    Stories make us greater.

  2. My pleasure! It's a fantastic read, I really enjoyed it. xx


See you on your next coffee break!
Take Care,
Mary Anne xxx