The Forgotten Kingdom: A Novel (The Lost Queen Book 2) by Signe Pike

The Forgotten Kingdom: A Novel Book Cover The Forgotten Kingdom: A Novel
The Lost Queen Book 2
Signe Pike
Young Adult, New Adult, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Medieval Fantasy
Atria Books
September 15, 2020
Kindle, Hardcover, Audiobook, Audio CD
496

AD 573. Imprisoned in her chamber, Languoreth awaits news in torment. Her husband and son have ridden off to wage war against her brother, Lailoken. She doesn’t yet know that her young daughter, Angharad, who was training with Lailoken to become a Wisdom Keeper, has been lost in the chaos. As one of the bloodiest battles of early medieval Scottish history scatters its survivors to the wind, Lailoken and his men must flee to exile in the mountains of the Lowlands, while nine-year-old Angharad must summon all Lailoken has taught her and follow her own destiny through the mysterious, mystical land of the Picts.

In the aftermath of the battle, old political alliances unravel, opening the way for the ambitious adherents of the new religion: Christianity. Lailoken is half-mad with battle sickness, and Languoreth must hide her allegiance to the Old Way to survive her marriage to the next Christian king of Strathclyde. Worst yet, the new King of the Angles is bent on expanding his kingdom at any cost. Now the exiled Lailoken, with the help of a young warrior named Artur, may be the only man who can bring the Christians and the pagans together to defeat the encroaching Angles. But to do so, he must claim the role that will forever transform him. He must become the man known to history as “Myrddin.”

Bitter rivalries are ignited, lost loves are found, new loves are born, and old enemies come face-to-face with their reckoning in this compellingly fresh look at one of the most enduring legends of all time.

Historical fiction at its best…

The Forgotten Kingdom by Signe Pike, is the second book in the The Lost Queen saga.  Set in first century Scotland this captivating novel pieces together the historical references of Languareth of Cadzow, one of the most powerful Scottish queens, and her twin brother Lailoken, who became known as Merlin and inspired the Legend into an epic tale of love, loss, and conviction.

In addition to continuing Languareth and Lailoken’s story, The Forgotten Kingdom, follows Angharad, Languareth’s daughter, after she leaves her mother to go and study the Old Way under the guidance of her uncle, counselor to the most feared protectors of the realm.  When attempts to preserve the Old Way in the face of the new Christian religion force rulers to choose political sides, battle ensues, sweeping young Angharad away to a faraway land where she grows into a beautiful young women while maturing her powers in the Old Way.

Signe Pike is as much a historian as she is a fiction writer.  She spent over a decade researching the threads of Languareth and Lailoken in the histories and literature of the Scots of Dalriada, the Picts, and the Anglo-Saxons.  The bones of the novel are a retelling of actual people and events and then fleshed out with her fictional development of characters and conflicts.  The end result is a truly fascinating and authentic piece of historical fiction that will thoroughly captivate and entertain you.  I literally cannot wait for the next book to be published.

Pike is also a my favorite style of author.  Not only does she deftly weave history and fiction into a seamless and intriguing tale but she is a wordsmith whose individual sentences bring life to the story.  One of many favorite quotes illustrates her talent for painting pictures through words: “I walked, enthralled and nearly seduced within intimate stones, places where the rocks had been weathered so round that their curves resembled the finest bits of a woman’s body.”  Her characters are vibrant and captivating and exude all the flaws and failings of a real person which makes them that much more authentic and memorable.  Whether or not you are a fan of historical fiction I guarantee you will will love The Lost Queen saga.

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