The Time Smugglers by Rosie Morgan – a Review
The Time Smugglers
The Camelot Inheritance series – Book # 2
by Rosie Morgan
Release Date: October 30, 2013
Link to order The Time Smugglers: Amazon
It’s been a year since Arthur Penhaligon swapped his skateboard for a sword and became a reluctant, teenage hero – and a Guardian of Cornwall.
Twelve months since he and his friends found themselves among time-travellers and ancient knights.
Fifty-two weeks of wondering what would happen next. The waiting is almost over.
On Cornwall’s shores, old and new enemies are gathering, more deadly and more powerful than the four Guardians could ever imagine.
Memories will live and the Time Keeper will be named. There will be bloody battles, death will finally claim its prize and a tiny green dragon will make its mark
Nick still jokes (all the time), and Gawain’s Uncle Kitto is just as mysterious. Tamar is even more feisty and Arthur discovers that some old enemies will not die – well not quite.
‘A long-limbed figure scrambles over the rocks accompanied by a midnight-feathered bird. On the cliff path, a Watcher observes the man and the bird, before disappearing with a crackle and a ‘woomph’ into another century.
Meanwhile Arthur, Nick and Tamar sit together on the hillside above the beach, three of the four Guardians, unaware that the peace of the last year is about to be shattered in the cruelest way possible
In less than a complete first chapter, author Rosie Morgan thrust me back into the scenic, coastal town of Cornwall, England and guess what? I missed this wonderful cast of characters and was delighted to accompany them on their next quest in The Time Smugglers (The Camelot Inheritance). It’s a year later, but it’s been strangely quiet. Everybody’s thinking it, after the upheaval of last summer (read review of The Golden Sword here), but impulsive Guardian, Nick, voices the sentiment. Oh, oh…that’s an open invitation if I ever heard one!
“But it’s been a whole year since we saw him and everything’s been so…normal. I’m beginning to wonder if anything’s ever going to happen!”
The adversarial Crow Man has located Arthur at his aunt’s home (whom is also a valuable piece of the roundtable, if you will) and his vengeance is as fresh as the summer day. Before long, the Crow Man resumes his menacing role and the “four musketeers” (tagged by Nick) scramble to elude him lest they engage in his vendetta for the death of Matearnas a year ago. Oh, the battle comes, rest assured, but timing is everything as you’ll discover in this sequel.
Ms. Morgan introduces time travel, instantaneous and mind-jarring, as a central theme. Watchers are summoned from individual posts throughout the world across time (Joseph in Egypt, a young Leonardo Da Vinci in Italy), but they’re of the animal variety as well! The cats are back, hooray, but we are treated to helpful aviary and aquatic friends as well. Arthur and his Guardians are surrounded by protectors (bless their hearts), though it seems wholly unfair to supervise/observe their charges, but not be able to defend them when threatened.
“The Rule states that we must never intervene, but at times it is a hard command to follow.” They were quiet as they contemplated their commission: to Watch those assigned to them – but never to interfere.
A scene was particularly brutal and I was furious that harm came to one of our beloved characters! Mental communication, or “deep listening”, lends a hand to speedy exchanges of information (fortuitously preventative on occasion), but they’re also costly to Arthur’s well being (the dark forces inflict agony upon his senses).
That’s when Arthur happens upon a book that unfolds as necessary (difficult to decipher in its current state). Each Guardian, chosen for their unique traits, is being approached and assigned a duty regarding the safety of Arthur and his momentous undertaking. Tamar, the sole female, has been designated the Time Keeper and she gets involved in plenty of “hairy” situations (remember this key word). Unfortunately, as Arthur is evading their clutches, Arthur’s Guardians/friends have become nearly as valuable; they know his honor would never allow those he loved to be sacrificed.
“There are some who refuse to recognize your birth-right Art, an’ Tamar is also a Guardian; they believe that you will be weakened without her.”
A series of developments/revelations at their proper time lead to the inevitable, climactic showdown between light and darkness. So many interesting events! A sea of boiling water, Watchers come to life (trust me, they’re so cool), animals rallying to assist and thwart threats…it’s a magical book. We even join the legend and interact with King Arthur, Lancelot and Excalibur! My tiny criticisms involve character development and too many confusing exchanges. The description of the Watchers, emphasis on the plural, because there are many, forced me to re-read several lines of dialogue. It was at times difficult to keep up with who was talking during dialogue (Walker, Fisherman, Writer?), and I wasn’t always certain who was friend or foe. While we had a good idea of Matearnas’ intentions in the debut novel, the new villain, the Lady of Darkness, or as “she calls ‘erself the True Queen of Kernow”, her role came on a bit late. The dark forces, led by this self-proclaimed queen, are opposed to young Arthur assuming the ultimate power, but this woman, evil incarnate as she may be, is not fleshed out enough to understand her purpose. Perhaps I’m missing something from the legend of King Arthur?
Ms. Morgan is writing/editing book 3 and I am ready to read it in its earliest stages. I love the camaraderie, the contemporary influence on a historic legend, the involvement of secondary characters, and the magic that is woven throughout its pages.
“And in a dusty corner of a bedroom, a book flips wide open. Its pages turn, a blur of ink, until they slow and stop. A picture of a magical island, crowned by a castle and encircled by ice, illuminate the empty room.
The book – and the island – wait.”
As will I…as patiently as possible. 🙂
Reviewed by Carmen
Copy provided by Author