THE RECRUIT
Debra A. Kemp

 


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The House of Pendragon II
Amber Quill Press 2006
Reviewed by Joy Calderwood

The Camelot of King Arthur

Lin, formerly slave to Modred, is triumphantly acknowledged the legitimate daughter of the Pendragon. The scars won't go away that easily, neither the ones on her back nor on her soul. And in the meantime, she has to deal with the mother who sent her away to the stronghold of Modredís mother and Linís aunt, Morgause. What shall Lin do with her power now that she can choose her revenge against Morgause's sons?

Those who read THE FIREBRAND, first of the House of Pendragon series, know that Lin is looking back on the events of her girlhood from the vantage of a wife and mother. We know what training she has received from the father she would like to be able to worship. Camelot is not the ideal place she has been told. Lin, still only twelve, has more difficult battles to win.

Far from the passion and travail of THE FIREBRAND, THE RECRUIT is a coming-of-age story. Lin's battles are internal, finding a meeting ground between the expectations for a noble daughter and fulfillment for herself. She has brought with her her closest friends, and they all seem able to adapt better than she can. After a climactic clash, Lin and Arthur must choose the path of her future.

I read THE RECRUIT in a few weekend hours, a smooth fast read. I now find it hard to condense a plot, because, eventwise, there isnít a lot to condense. The plot is psychological Ė the coming of age is by far the most important element. Lin is easy to empathize with. There appeared to be a great deal of court drama to develop, but it doesnít seem that author Debra Kemp intends to work in all the possibilities. An impact level that averaged the low-key THE RECRUIT and the heated THE FIREBRAND would suit my taste ideally.

When I spoke with Debra Kemp four years ago her intention was to continue this series. Her website at http://www.telltalepress.com/debrakemp.html doesnít talk about the next book in the House of Pendragon series. Lin hasnít yet seen Modred since she escaped his tortures, and that meeting when it comes must be dramatic. Kemp is a slow writer, so that could be a while yet.

The Debra Kemp website offers a free short story, A Small Compensation. It shows how Arthurís daughter became a slave.

March 2009

 

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