News and Reviews

Sales in the UK

I honestly can’t believe how well the sales of the mass-market paperback version of PROPHECY: CLASH OF KINGS is going in the UK.

I know that the three books that make up the MERLIN PROPHECY trilogy are a good read.  This isn’t because I wrote them but because the story-line, the characterization the plot and the action came together so easily.  My husband, Michael, who is my tame editor and researcher and all that jazz was in love with the project from Day One and he is very clever with his part in all this.

He worked twelve hour days polishing everything and would have had me doing the same if he had his way.  I’ve never been lucky in the past so I find it hard to believe that things are going so well.  Michael believes that each novel gets better and better as we progress through the trilogy. I’d like to thank the British readers out there who are enjoying it, and I hope it flows on to the readers from other parts of the world when it is progressively released over the next few weeks.

You can’t believe what it means to me late at night, when I am absolutely whacked and I hear from people I have never met that they want me to succeed.  I can’t thank you enough!

Marilyn H

Merlin Prophecy in Brisbane.

MERLIN:  PROPHECY – CLASH OF KINGS Paperback Edition Selling in UK

Hello to everyone.

I’ve just come back home after a long researching jaunt so, hopefully, I can finally bring the site up to date.  I’ve got fair bit of gossip so it’s all good for me at the moment.

I’ve had some long chats with my publishers and my agent, so we’ve made some heavy decisions about where we go from here.

At the moment, the mass market paperback of PROPHECY: CLASH OF KINGS has just been released in Britain and comes out in the other countries in about four weeks.

This novel is the first book of the MERLIN TRILOGY set in the dark ages, and it came into being because one of the readers who enjoyed the King Arthur series wondered how Myrddion would have been when he was a young man in those days before King Arthur arrived on the British landscape.

The idea appealed to me.  Apart from being not quite ready to let the Dark Ages and King Arthur go, I suddenly saw a whole new sweep of the history of the Arthuriad.  Never one to take an easy, straight-forward path when a difficult one beckons, I began to write the first three manuscripts of what proved to be a prequel to the Arthurian Trilogy, of which Prophecy: Clash of Kings is the first novel.  Basically, my history of the Kings of Britain now consists of:

1.    Prophecy: Clash of Kings.    (Merlin)

2.    Prophecy: Death of an Empire.    (Merlin)

3.    Hunting with Gods.    (Merlin)    (This is a working title till the editor decides on the final name).

4.    Dragon’s Child.    (King Arthur)

5.    The Warrior of the West.    (King Arthur)

6.    The Bloody Cup.    (King Arthur)

7,    Book 1 of The Twilight of the Celts.    (Taliessin)    (This is also a working title).

8.    Book 2 of The Twilight of the Celts.    (Taliessin)    (This is also a working title).

At this stage, I’ll be settling for these eight, but I can always write more if the fire is still there for more at some time in the future.  There is still a plethora of information in the legends that can be used and lots of stories involving Morgan, Morgause, Taliessin, and other characters.

I loved writing the Merlin trilogy because there are so many gaps in the legends, and the project gave me an opportunity to put my own slant on many aspects that weren’t covered by the original writers such as T.H. White, Alfred Lord Tennyson and others.  What do we really know about Myrddion Emrys, as the Welsh still call him, and could he ever have lived?  The evidence available to us is contained in the few manuscripts from about a thousand years or so in the past that refer to him.  These include Geoffrey of Monmouth, Nennius, Malory and others whose works refer back to other manuscripts, long lost and irrecoverable, from which they drew their information.

Could Merlin have lived? Probably!!!!

I am inclined to believe he was a real person, but he had to be a far more extraordinary man than a mere magician, which is the simplistic reasoning of superstitious people.  He had to be a genius, a king-maker, a courtier and an advisor of remarkable talent to earn the soubriquet of magician.  During the Dark Ages, anyone who could cure an abscess, a broken limb, an arrow wound or a head injury was believed to have magical powers because he could cheat the inevitability of death.

Merlin – Prophecy: Clash of Kings

“It has been a long time since I have read about Merlin. In my twenties, I devoured anything I could find that was remotely Arthurian…..So this book was a walk down memory lane, and what a walk…..M .K. Hume writes beautifully, descriptively, and hauntingly. The characters leap off the page, their facial features, hair and clothing etched as carefully as their traits…. Filled with a cast of historical figures including Vortigern’s Saxon wife Rowena and her kin Hengist and Horsa, M.K. Hume weaves fact and legend to create her own spellbinding tale…   JT Webster

“…..I’m going to stick my neck out and say that if you want the definitive King Arthur, look no further than M K Hume. That’s my recommendation, and I stand by it!……With Series 3 of BBC TV’s Merlin series just finished, this couldn’t be more timely….. M.K. Hume turns her attention to the legend of Merlin . It’s every bit as magnificent as Arthur! The (world) that the author describes is as real as the landscape we can still find in the unspoiled regions of our country……Popular belief now is that Arthur was a Romano-British warlord, and this is the world into which M K Hume puts her Merlin – not the white-haired Dumbledore of Disney-Arthur, but an outcast with a penchant for healing, undergoing the brutalities of life under the ancient regional kings of Britain before it was unified under Arthur, born Artor. This is a magnificent story, told by someone who is committed to the Arthurian legend……I can’t fault it, and I can’t wait for volume two!”        Book’s Monthly

King Arthur – The Bloody Cup

“The first two volumes of M.K. Hume’s Arthurian trilogy were released in 2009 to critical acclaim…This is an amazing conclusion, but still manages to offer some surprises along the way….. The story, retold, retooled and ripped-off as it has been over the years, is instantly recognisable and it’s hard for any author to come up with new things to say about it…..Hume not only manages to give us a historically realistic Arthur, but also manages to twist the established legends into new forms, making us think about their meaning anew.” Ian Banks   Specusphere                (March 2010)

The third book in this debut series was eagerly awaited by the reviewer, intrigued as to how the author would deal with later stages of Arthur’s life.  The fact the novel is “The Bloody Cup” is also intriguing, given the obvious link to the Holy Grail and all the connotations this attached…….. Having created Artorex the boy, and then Artor the King, in Dragon’s Child and Warrior of the West, in this volume Hume undertakes what must have been a heartbreaking task: the slow destruction and decline of all that had been built before – Artor’s twilight years……..I would recommend this book to anyone who appreciated strong prose and effective storytelling.  The real King Arthur may have been a myth.  He may have been a Celtic warlord, or nothing more than an embellished folk tale.  Whatever the case, M.K. Hume’s Artor lived and breathed for three captivating novels.  Impressive, and thoroughly enjoyable. Jon Owens @ Bookgeeks.

“…’s an altogether totally original version of the Arthur legend, owing more to Cornwell and Iggulden than to Malory….. but it’s the characters who stand out in this fantastic story of how his arch-enemies sought to bring about the demise of the man who united Britain at the very beginning of the Dark Ages. It’s a slice of history that’s totally, utterly believable. Magnificent. Read them all.                   01.04.2010

……it was a with bated breath that I had to wait to see if the third part in the series would live up to my expectations…… What occurs within is not only a fitting tribute to perhaps the reality of Arthur (as MK Hume sets the tale in Post Roman times) but perhaps a great example of an author who loves her work so much that she’ll go the extra mile to make sure that it will please the reader…… A truly great series in the historical fiction world and one that I really can’t recommend enough. Gareth Wilson “drosdelnoch2″  21.03.2010

I discovered this trilogy by accident, but I’m so glad I did – it’s an altogether totally original version of the Arthur legend, owing more to Cornwell and Iggulden than to Malory, – it’s different enough to grab my attention, and it’s kept me engrossed over several days and nights during the exceptionally cold March here in North Norfolk. It’s a set of books I cannot recommend highly enough. It’s a slice of history that’s totally, utterly believable. Magnificent. Read them all…If I had to choose one trilogy on Arthur, I really think it would have to be this one…                  Books Monthly.2010

King Arthur – Warrior of the West

In King Arthur: Warrior of the West, retired Queensland academic M K Hume fuses history and myth to offer an imaginative retelling of the later years of Arthur’s reign. This is historical fiction of the most bloodthirsty and roistering kind…… Warrior of the West reads perfectly well as an independent novel. Fans of Fiona McIntosh, David Gemmell’s Troy and Manfredi’s ‘Alexander’ series will greedily devour this book…… – Australian Bookseller & Publisher Magazine (November 2009, Vol 89, No. 4)

I’ve really been looking forward to reading this book: the first novel in Hume’s Arthurian trilogy was one of the standout books of 2009 for me. It was gripping, historically accurate and told a great story convincingly……….. This is Camelot as it could have happened, with very little myth and hardly any magic, save for that of a good story well told………I enjoyed this as a worthy successor to the first book. I can’t wait for the final volume.
….   Excerpts from review by Ian Banks

MK. Hume is now on my favourite authors list. I find that her writing style is quite unique in its level of detail and originality. Her ability to paint gory battle scenes and then move on to describe the subtle complexities in human relationships is second to none. You will certainly not be disappointed if you are looking for `blood and guts’, but will also be pleasantly surprised with the wonderfully described human thought processes and characterisation…..I have read and greatly enjoyed Bernard Cornwell’s Arthurian trilogy but have to say that M. K. Hume’s Arthurian saga is an excellent alternative rendition of perhaps one of the most best loved British legends. This story contains all the traditional elements of the popular legend but is fresh, gritty and most importantly believable.  I eagerly anticipate further works from this remarkable author.         J. Cooper 27 August 2010

“… the second book progresses into the reign of Artor (his adult name) we start to see the boy we had watched grow in Dragon’s Child, mature into a man that has to make viciously hard decisions in a brutal and bloody world….. These first two installments in Hume’s King Arthur series are thus an excellent addition to the world of Arthurian fiction. Refreshing in their approach if not their subject matter, the two novels create characters that will endure, and most crucially these are not always the “usual suspects” of this kind of work. It is the nameless Celts who make these novels, rather than the warrior legends a reader might expect…..I for one am looking forward to the final book in this debut series, and can only hope that Hume keeps up the momentum of the first two books. Somehow, I think she probably will.      

King Arthur – Dragon’s Child

“I was lost in this wonderful tale and sad to finish this wonderful book. I feel sorry for those who don’t enjoy reading and instead wait for the movie….. My comments could end up being as long as the novel itself, suffice to say, it is a fantastic read, and I look forward to more from MK Hume…..”- Lala from Brisbane, Queensland.

….she paints a wonderful picture of the imagined life & times of the young Artorex and his rise to the kingship, showing us the boy/man as well as the emerging King. A nice addition to the different interpretations of the Arthurian legend/legacy, a fun read and I look forward to the next installment in the series.” – Brook Walker

“It’s always good to come across another great historical series and this new trilogy from M K Hume looks set to be one. The first book follows the story of Arthur from childhood into manhood. Exciting, violent and bloody and full of historical facts to keep you gripped throughout. Up there with Conn Iggulden and Bernard Cornwell.” –

Outstanding.” ……The first part of this King Arthur Trilogy is tremendously stirring stuff and rather well-written, taking time to establish the historical context of the period…… Prophesy and destiny are in this way mixed with history and personality, cutting through the legend to the people underneath, making it all very real and meaningful and thoroughly engaging the reader. Outstanding.” – N. Megahey,

With a great many books having been written about the life and times of King Arthur, an author really does have to come up with something a little special to stand out in the sea of literature. Here MK Hume steps into the front line with her first tale in what’s set to be a trilogy of a tale that utilises the best of the myths along with transferring them to what many believe is historically the real time period of the King.”……. Definitely a tale for all who love a good historical epic with characters so tangable you can almost meet them face to face – Gareth Wilson,

……What I particularly enjoyed with this version was the way in which the author presented the tale with less of a focus on the usual mythological aspects and with more emphasis on human achievement and logical reasoning. It was refreshing to read an Arthurian story where it appeared that the author had based the plot on historical sources and was following Arthur’s known timeline….. I highly recommend the book to all people who have an interest in the Arthurian legends and are willing to try a fresh perspective.” Regards J. Cooper,