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May 24, 2023

Perilous Times by Thomas D. Lee ~ a Review

by MK French

Sir Kay is reborn as an immortal warrior, rising to fight for England at multiple world wars. Now that he's clawed his way back to life, he's in a world where oceans have risen, the army’s been privatized, and half of Britain’s been sold to foreign powers. He can handle the dragon, but the rest is new. In the meantime, Mariam's been fighting against a corrupt system and is exhausted. When she meets Kay, she hopes that the world has finally found the savior it needs.

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book cover of dystopian novel Perilous Times by Thomas D. Lee
May 2023; Ballantine Books; 978-0593499016
audio, ebook, print (496 pages); dystopian

Kay isn't the only one that rises when England needs warriors; other knights from King Arthur's court had been bound in magic by Merlin himself. He's swept up into Mariam's journey when he sees people shooting at her and later finds out that she's an eco-terrorist, working to try to reduce the pollution that led to the melting polar ice caps. Magic is still in the world, and the stray wisps resolve itself into the creatures of fairy tales. This allows Kay and Lancelot to rise, for the dragon to form, and for the people necessary to take action coalesce around each other. Mariam's fight is a difficult one, when businessmen and politicians want their money and racism grew worse as resources dwindled and much of England was privatized and sold off. Kay thinks it's going to be an easy enough task, to find Excalibur and slay the dragon. Of course, it's not that easy. If it was, we wouldn't have a novel to read.

There's social commentary built into this novel. The poor are always the ones that suffer when things go wrong; those with privilege will work to ensure that they keep their position. The text makes it clear that this is selfishness and greed, and it only makes the overall situation worse. It's by coming together and truly wanting to ensure change that it works. Magic doesn't make everything easier, and that's something that Mariam and Kay realize by the end. Magic is there, but it's a tool. The real way to reverse the damage is to put on the hard work and get it done. The easy path, relying on anger or someone else to solve problems, isn't the right one. It's hard work to make the world a better place, but it's worth it. 

Buy Perilous Times at Amazon

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and a golden retriever.

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