Rating: 3 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Length: Novel


One thousand years ago (give or take), Merlin watched helplessly as Arthur — his king, his friend — was slain by his own son, Mordred le Fay. He watched Nimue take Excalibur, even as she took Arthur’s body to it’s final rest and, as a mercy, she took Merlin, too. Across the sea, in a new land, Merlin mourned and, as the years passed, he continued to live. He thought he was the last of the sons of Camelot, the last of those who had followed Arthur. He was wrong.

Mordred le Fay is alive and well, touring as a rock star. After all, if Lestat could do it, why can’t he? When he sees Merlin at one of his gigs, Mordred sees a chance at a new life. One that involves killing his mother; one that involves fucking Merlin up against a wall. And one that involves returning Camelot to it’s rightful King.

This is the first book in the Far From series and focuses on the Arthurian mythology. I’m a sucker for any and all Arthurian stories and, as a kid, they were my favorites, with knights and battles, magic and tragedy. This book, when it’s focused on Camelot and the tangled relationships between Arthur and Mordred, does all of that fairly well. However, when it comes to the romance between Merlin and Mordred, it stumbles, enough so that I found myself struggling to continue reading. Fortunately, it picked up steam around the 80% mark and managed to keep me interested until the end.

To be honest, I didn’t really feel any chemistry between Merlin and Mordred at all through this book. Their protestations of “I hate you” and “oh yeah, well I hate you more” felt rote. They managed to convey the feeling of familiarity between them, as two men who’ve known each other for some time … but the problem with that is that they’ve been apart for over a thousand years and have no knowledge of who the man standing in front of them even is. Merlin, after all, thought Mordred was dead. And Mordred, in his thousand years of living, never looked Merlin up. There’s no sense of history, just a shrug and acceptance that they met before.

Not once in this book does Merlin express any interest in who Mordred is, other than as the son of his best friend … and his murderer. But he forgives that pretty easily. Other than saying how much they hated one another, I just didn’t feel it. I didn’t feel any animosity, much as I didn’t feel any tension. Merlin goes from “I hate you” to “I want to own you, possess you, mark you and make you mine!” so quickly and indifferently it ends up feeling flat and dull, because it’s so much of a given. Merlin is given visions of himself blowing Mordred, and begging to be fucked, so he knows it’s a foregone conclusion. There is no need to have a motivation; a magic vision showed him the script and he obediently follows it. This is a romance, therefore the two men must be in love … but there’s more time spent on the sex between them than on building up either man as a character, let alone establishing a relationship between them. Mordred does have some moments, expressing his tangled relationship with his parents to Merlin — how his father hated him, how his mother used him — but, like Merlin, he doesn’t feel interested in who the person he’s talking to is. He just seems interested in the sex.

However, the moments in between the sex are interesting. Mordred’s relationship with two parents who both abandoned him, his anger and his rage fueling his actions, make sense. Merlin’s complex feelings about how he was a part of this, how he encouraged Arthur to ignore Mordred, how he, too, distrusted Mordred because of his mother without giving him a chance caused the rift between father and son to grow feel real. The moments they spend talking about the past are good; they give glimpses of who the characters could be, but those moments are often interrupted by sex, and broken up by attempts at banter that never felt genuine.

The book does finish stronger than it began, and I enjoyed the last quarter or so of it much more than I did the middle. If, like me, you’re a Camelot fan, this book has some good story beats and takes on the mythology that I think are enjoyable. I just wish there had been more character building, and more for the characters to do than fuck because a vision told them to.