“And tell me, will we never hear the end
Of puir bluidy Charlie at Culloden yet again?”
— Brian McNeill, “No Gods and Precious Few Heroes”
Review: Culloden!, William Meikle, 2016.
As in our history, Bonnie Prince Charlie, the Bloodking, has a rendezvous with destiny at Culloden, and much of this novel takes place in Scotland.
In some ways, this, the conclusion of the Watchers trilogy, is more leisurely than its successors. Oh there are battles and gladiatorial combats and lots of bloods and new methods of killing vampires en masse. (I would like to see the final battle at Culloden in a graphic novel or movie, so I could linger on the details Meikle doesn’t get into.)
But there’s also a lot of time spent with ale and agony, song and memories. I suppose some might view that as padding, but I liked hearing the back stories of the supporting characters including the Prince, and I also liked Meikle smuggling in a bit of his inner musician with invented ballads. I could almost hear them being sung.
Here Sean and Martin have largely come to terms with not being “men-and-only-men”. Sean’s strange amalgam of man and vampire proves handy in infiltrating the Edinburgh stronghold of the Bloodking. Martin has learned to control the wolf-like berserker side of himself. Sean is still on the trail of Mary Campbell, the Bloodking’s intended, and Martin has been sent into Scotland on a reconnaissance mission by the Duke of Cumberland to make sure Bonnie Prince Charlie is found, fixed, and destroyed. Continue reading “Culloden!”