By: Corey Lack
Age of Legends was the latest novel in James Lovegrove’s Pantheon series and rather than focusing on the more classical mythologies, this story focuses on the introduction of British folklore into the modern world. The story takes place in a version of Britain that has become a fascist state and attacking the “undesirables.” These include those of non-British descent, whether they were born in the country or not, criminals, and just those opposing the current government. Suddenly, people across the country, through various circumstances, die, but then they come back as the reincarnations of various characters from British folklore, like Puck, Oberon, and Tom Thumb. Many of these beings seek to remain under the notice of the government for fear of being deported if not outright killed by the government’s troops while the same troops try to hunt them down, first because they are more “undesirables,” but later because their prey turns out to be not as helpless as they originally believe. The main character, Ajia, a Britain-born woman of Indian descent, gains the power of Puck, which she uses to lethal efficiency against those that would hurt her new family.
The plot is definitely the weak point of the story. There wasn’t really an end goal for the main characters through most of the story. Sure, they add one about three-quarters of the way through the book, but even then it feels like the characters are being pulled along by the plot rather than guiding it through. The antagonistic British government clearly has something of an end goal through most of the book, but the whole time, the bad guys only really make an impact when it’s time for more minor characters to be killed off.
The characters are certainly interesting as they bring lesser known beings to the forefront of the story and modernizes them in the process. Sure, there are some reincarnated beings that most people recognize, like Robin Hood and King Arthur, but some, like Puck, won’t be recognized by someone other than a fan of Shakespeare. That said, their different abilities and characteristics are so different that they blend together well.
This book isn’t one of the better ones in this series. It was interesting enough that it’s a worthwhile read. I’d give it 7 talking Holy Grails out of 10.