The Endless Knotby Stephen R. Lawhead
Series: The Song of Albion #3
400 pages, Fantasy
Reviewed by Jeanne
A fantastic, moving close to the Albion trilogy with violence and mature content.
PlotLlew Silver Hand reigns in Albion and peace is slowly returning to the land. But both Tegid and Llew know that the prophecy spoken by Gwenllian, Banfaith of Ynys Sci, has not yet been fulfilled and the Endless Knot continues to unravel.
MoralityAs it has been from the beginning, this trilogy is a "good against evil" tale. While the evil characters are willing to destroy others' lives for their own ends, Llew is willing to give up his life for the people he reigns over. He offers them safety after the defeat of Meldron, grants them gifts, and helps to rebuild their villages; his warriors eagerly fight for him and respect him. Indeed, love and courage are just two of the many virtues that shine in this epic tale.
Spiritual ContentOnce again and even more than before, the Goodly-Wise God is worshipped. Tegid extols Him in many songs, implores him for wisdom, strength, courage, and protection, and it is obvious that He is looked upon as Albion's Protector.
There are demon-spirits which can overtake the bodies of the creatures they kill if those creatures are not destroyed first. There is a man who is normally only seen by the eyes of those who are soon to die; it is said that to die in this world is to be born into another, better life.
ViolenceAs before, there are battles and fights that Lawhead describes skillfully enough to make the reader feel it. A huge snake/dragon beast is confronted and fought; a man's infected wound is mentioned; the deaths of two men by Llew's hand are described. Llew also has a nightmare in which he accidentally burns the skin off Goewyn's hand. Probably the most graphic of all the descriptions is that of a man being slowly torn apart by canines. Though not written with the intent of being gory or as an ode to reckless death and killing, "The Endless Knot" is definitely not for the kid who shrinks from dissecting the frog in biology class.
Drug and Alcohol ContentMead is consumed and also used as a symbol to depict the world.
Sexual ContentAt the very beginning of this story, Llew marries Goewyn, daughter of Scatha. Before the wedding they kiss once. Lawhead clearly states that they then consummate their marriage after the wedding ceremony, but he writes it as a praise of the sanctity of marriage and not graphically or lewdly. There is, later, mild seductive language between the two of them, and there is another part where they make love and Goewyn's body is described in vague terminology (not graphically, in any way). Once again, Lawhead depicts it as a wonderful and sacred event.
Maidens perform a sword dance, throwing off their cloaks as they do so (the scene isn't sexualized). Nearing the end of the book, Llew and his warriors are confronted by a horde of prostitutes who attempt to seduce the men. They are soundly refused and Llew even implores one woman not to shame herself so.
Crude or Profane Language or ContentCynan's exclamation of "The Silver Hand" is repeated many times in "The Endless Knot" ('Clanna na cu'). Otherwise, none.
ConclusionLawhead deftly brings his trilogy "The Song of Albion" to a close here in this magnificent work of fiction. Though lacking in the humor of the beginning of The Paradise War and parts of The Silver Hand, this last work draws the reader to the edge of their seat, waiting in suspense for the climax. Concepts like love become solid and tangible, characters from the two previous books are fleshed out; Lawhead draws from the reader many varying reactions through the pages: sadness, joy, anger, and fear. The trilogy is complete with the close of "The Endless Knot", an ending that only Lawhead could deliver.
Note from the Editor:
While the sexual content contained in Lawhead's "Song of Albion" trilogy is done with care and taste, some of his other books (most notably his "Patrick: Son of Ireland") are known to contain more sexual content and language. If you read and enjoy this trilogy, take care before buying any of his other works.
|Written for Age:||13+|
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