“The Sword of Ice and Fire bears all the marks of John Matthews’ great knowledge of the historical/ mythical setting, the clarity of his prose, and a sure sense of narrative momentum.”
Philip Pullman, Author of the His Dark Materials and Book of Dust trilogies, winner of the Costa overall award and Carnegie Medal
An exciting re-imagining of the early years of the boy who would become King Arthur. John Matthews has conceived a quartet of books under the title Red Dragon Rising, of which this is the first volume.
We meet Arthur, Merlin, the Questing Beast, the Green Knight and the mysterious Nine women who rule the castle of Avalon, with its ever-shifting rooms and prophetic bronze mirror. There are horrific enemies such as Amangons and the hideous Fir Bolg. And stalwart companions in the shape of the four Eldest: the shape-shifting Salmon, Stag, Eagle and Blackbird.
And there is Mabon, the shining golden boy-god, whom Arthur and his companions must rescue from an underground dungeon which quenches his powers.
He must also achieve the four Hallows of Albion, of which gaining the Sword of Ice and Fire is the first quest.
A new novel by John Matthews published by The Greystones Press on 5th April 2018
ISBN: 9781911122173 (paperback) Buy on Hive
Fabulous review by Philip Womack in The Literary Review 26th July 2018:
John Matthews, in The Sword of Ice and Fire, intelligently refashions another familiar tale and does something remarkable with it. Young Arthur lives with his guardians in a mysterious, Gormenghastian castle, inhabited by magical creatures and ruled by the Nine, supernatural women who watch over the world. Matthews takes several elements from the Arthurian cycle – the Green Knight, the Questing Beast – and shapes something entirely new, in which Arthur becomes the beacon in a cosmic battle against darkness, fighting an enemy who rules a band of insect-like humanoids. Arthur must learn heroism and courage before he can set out on the road to his throne. More is promised, and it is to the great credit of the tiny independent publisher Greystones Press that they have taken on this fine addition to the Matter of Britain.