The Wicked Day by Mary Stewart
New York : William Morrow and Company, 1983. First Edition. Hardcover. 453 pages ; 21 cm. Price clipped dust jacket. Pages are unmarked and binding is firm.
The Wicked Day by Mary Stewart
Author of The Crystal Cave, The Hollow Hills, and The Last Enchantment
The Wicked Day is the gripping story of Mordred, bastard son of King Arthur by incest with his half-sister Morgause, witch-queen of Lothian and Orkney. Morgause sent the child to the Orkney Islands to be reared there in secret, in the hope that one day he would become, as Merlin the Enchanter had prophesied, the doom of her hated half-brother.
When Mordred is taken from his rude life as a fisherboy in the islands and suddenly thrust into the full panoply of the High King Arthur's court, he learns of his true parentage and rises to a position of trust in his father's kingdom. But, as the plots and counterplots of the last part of Arthur's reign unfold, Mordred is drawn into the tangled web of tragedy that is the climactic drama of the Arthurian legend.
The Wicked Day breathtakingly displays Mary Stewart's extraordinary gift for bringing the obscure past to life. Her characters are unforgettable: the young Mordred, whose close bond with his father arouses dire jealousies in the High Court at Camelot; his malevolent mother; her four unruly sons by King Lot; King Arthur himself, his Queen, Guinevere, his trusted friend Bedwyr; and the warring factions that seek to bring down the bastions of Arthur's new confederation of Britain.
As she did in her earlier Arthurian novels, Mary Stewart challenges the accepted legends in this stirring and danger-ridden tale. Was Mordred in truth a traitor—or the victim of implacable fate? Mary Stewart's view brings tremendous emotional impact to the drama, as Merlin's prophecy hangs broodingly over each moment and the action plays itself out inexorably to the final, wicked day.
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