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E-PUB ì Doctor Who: Royal Blood Õ An original adventure tying in to the ninth season of Doctor Who, the spectacular hit series from BBC Television, featuring the new th Doctor as played by Peter CapaldiThe Grail is a story, a myth It didn t exist on your world It can t exist hereThe city state of Varuz is failing Duke Aurelian is the last of his line, his capital is crumbling, and the armies of his enemy, Duke Conrad, are poised beyond the mountains to invade Aurelian is preparing to gamble everything on one last battle So when a holy man, the Doctor, comes to Varuz from beyond the mountains, Aurelian asks for his blessing in the war But all is not what it seems in Varuz The city guard have lasers for swords, and the halls are lit by electric candlelight Aurelian s beloved wife, Guena, and his most trusted knight, Bernhardt, seem to be plotting to overthrow their Duke, and Clara finds herself drawn into their intrigue Will the Doctor stop Aurelian from going to war Will Clara s involvement in the plot against the Duke be discovered Why is Conrad s ambassador so nervous And who are the ancient and weary knights who arrive in Varuz claiming to be on a quest for the Holy Grail McCormack s again splices the world of Doctor Who in a medieval setting, but unlike The King s Dragon this one didn t really hit the mark.It s the first of a trilogy that launches the quest for The Glamour Chronicles, a mini series that is massively underwhelming.Twelve and Clara are well captured but this type of story suits Smiths incarnation better 4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum legions of Whovians are welcoming the Doctor back for another new season of BBC s science fiction television program Doctor Who And then there s yours truly, probably one of the last three people on this earth who hasn t watched the show yet I won t even be able to speak on the matter of how well the books capture the spirit of the series, because I just don t know As such, you might be wondering why I m reading 4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum legions of Whovians are welcoming the Doctor back for another new season of BBC s science fiction television program Doctor Who And then there s yours truly, probably one of the last three people on this earth who hasn t watched the show yet I won t even be able to speak on the matter of how well the books capture the spirit of the series, because I just don t know As such, you might be wondering why I m reading them To that, I point you to my love of science fiction and fondness for media tie ins of all kinds.This is a category of fiction that has come a long way Media tie ins and novelizations of movies or television shows have long gotten a bad rap for hardly ever being able to live up to the original source material, but in the last few years I have noticed a definite rise in the quality of stories and writing in this area Tie ins aren t strictly for hardcore fans any many of the books now can stand on their own with lots to offer in terms of plot and characters, providing general audiences with a good reading experience or the perfect jumping on point for those curious about a media property folks just like me I m definitely interested in the Doctor Who series a lot of my friends adore this show and I want to find outAnd of course I would never say no to checking out a book.After much internal deliberation and conflict, I decided to start with Doctor Who Royal Blood, a story about a falling kingdom, invading armies, and let s face it, any mention of a Grail Quest and you can pretty much guarantee I m on board This book begins with the Twelfth Doctor and Clara arriving on an unnamed planet, where they are quickly ushered into the city state of Varuz to meet its Duke Aurelian and his wife, Lady Guena All is not well in their kingdom Their palace is crumbling, the nobles have wondrous electric gadgets but they barely have the power or knowledge What, shoot death rays I shouldn t think so to work them, and a rival Duke on the other side of the mountains is even now preparing to launch an attack.Taking him for a holy man, Aurelian asks The Doctor for his blessing in the coming war and refuses to surrender Meanwhile, everyone else wants to avoid conflict, seizing upon an opportunity to negotiate with the mysterious stranger who shows up at the castle, presumably the ambassador of Conrad, the rival Duke Aurelian does not take this well when he finds out, throwing poor Clara and the ambassador out of his city which leaves the Doctor behind to hold the fort, so to speak, along with Guena and Bernhardt, Varuz s most trusted knight But even that may not be enough though, when a company of thirty warriors shows up, led by a captain claiming to be the great Sir Lancelot He also claims that he is from Ravenna, and on behalf of his King Arthur, they are on a mission to seek out the most holy of treasures.For such a slim volume presumably to appeal to all Doctor Who fans, young and old I was actually very impressed with the richness of the writing and story A quick look at Una McCormack s author page shows that she s written many other Doctor Who books as well as a few Star Trek titles She s clearly no stranger to writing a good tie in and it shows in her smart pacing of the plot The story s construction is solid, has great flow, and is easy to read I had a moment of confusion early on when I encountered a point of view change, where the narrative inexplicably switched from being first person to third person told in Bernhardt and then Clara s POV, respectively and it continues on in this fashion for the rest of the novel It s a very bizarre decision, one that I wasn t sure about initially, but it ended up working surprisingly well It s worth noting too that even though the Doctor is the series and book s titular character, his role in this feelslike a supporting character rather than the main protagonist It wasn t what I was expecting, but it s also quite intriguing.On that note, while we are speaking of bucking expectations I most certainly also found Royal Blood to go against the trend of tie in books being poorly cobbled together or coming across very bare bones This book reads like a sci fi adventure for young adults, with an ambitious plot written into a small package, but is no less enjoyable because of it I had my doubts before picking it up but I actually ended up liking it a lot If it was fun for me, I imagine it would be even better for fans of the show, though going in blind likely benefited in some ways as well, since I had no preconceived notions of how a Doctor Who novel should feel like Still, based on the things I ve heard, I imagine the tone of style of it to be similar to an episode of the show fast paced and adventurous, with a good dose of humor.In the end, it was probably a good thing that I started with Royal Blood Released on the same day along with Deep Time by Trevor Baxendale and Big Bang Generation by Gary Russel, it seems Royal Blood is the introductory volume of the three books that make up a series called The Glamour Chronicles, following the Doctor on his adventures across time and space in search for The Glamour, the most desirable and dangerous artifact in the universe Whovian or not, the trilogy could be worth a look if that sounds interesting to you This was my first Doctor Who novel but it most likely won t be my last, especially if the other two books in the series prove just as easy and fun to get into The Doctor and Clara arrive at a planet, visits a city and the people thinks the Doctor is the ambassador from another country that is planning war on them They have technology in the city that doesn t work properly since the people have forgotten what the gadgets do Apparently somewhere along the way everyone just forgot how it worked and the new generations just use the things without any real knowledge about it Then another man shows up, is he the real ambassador, and will the Doctor and C The Doctor and Clara arrive at a planet, visits a city and the people thinks the Doctor is the ambassador from another country that is planning war on them They have technology in the city that doesn t work properly since the people have forgotten what the gadgets do Apparently somewhere along the way everyone just forgot how it worked and the new generations just use the things without any real knowledge about it Then another man shows up, is he the real ambassador, and will the Doctor and Clara stop the war And what has the Holy Grail to do with it all I think my biggest problem with this book is that if feels like the Doctor is hardly in it That and that it s so short that it lacks depth It s super easy to read, and that s the bloody problem It s so easy to read because nothing is every really explained or described No real explanations for why Conrad wanted to invade the country, just oh they have it coming since they are not a mighty power any And the Quest for the Holy Grail knights that showed up felt like a sidetrack that really just wasn t that necessary and not even that interesting to read about And, the final explanation for them was like a bit meh And, then we get the explanation for what the technology do And, I still don t understand why no one thought about for instance write it down to explain to future generations what it is for and the cost to use it and frankly I don t even understand why it was forgotten it the first place.Also, I not sure I like Clara, I don t dislike her, but I don t love her either Right now is she also a bit meh for me as a companion I have yet seenthan the first eps of Doctor who with the Twelfth Doctor, but I like him, he just doesn t do much in this book.So, if you re looking for a quick read, but don t need any really deep book Then this one is for you.Thanks to Random House Crown and Edelweiss for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review If you re looking for a really good modern Doctor Who novel to read, you could do a lot worse than Una McCormack s The King s Dragon It s witty, smart and beautifully creates and evokes the futuristic fantasy world of its setting I do like Doctor Who stories where the fantasy part of science fantasy is accentuated In Royal Blood McCormack takes a different Doctor but goes for the same trick, landing the Tardis crew on a planet straight out of a high fantasy novel This time though the If you re looking for a really good modern Doctor Who novel to read, you could do a lot worse than Una McCormack s The King s Dragon It s witty, smart and beautifully creates and evokes the futuristic fantasy world of its setting I do like Doctor Who stories where the fantasy part of science fantasy is accentuated In Royal Blood McCormack takes a different Doctor but goes for the same trick, landing the Tardis crew on a planet straight out of a high fantasy novel This time though the results are much less successful Whereas The King s Dragon captured the spirit of Doctor Who in a way which was both fun and thoughtful, this is just dull and lifeless It s a book which has all the qualities of a slice of strawberry jam on toast that s been left cold on a window sill for a day and a half Clearly the original idea is good, but everything else is now wrong The prose is flat, the characterisation undeveloped and the plot is basic in exactly the same way as an estate agent would describe an empty house with no fixtures, fittings or hot water as basic In short, it ain t good A book I looked forward to, but which disappointed me on nearly every level