Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
King, Bernard

(1946-    ) UK writer who began publishing with a translation (from French) on Magic: The Grimoire of Pope Honorius III (1984 chap). BK's first published novel was Starkadder (1985), a Nordic Fantasy about a late-Dark-Age Swedish warrior blessed by Odin with three lives and cursed by Thor (see Aesir) to end each in dishonourable betrayal. The novel initiates the interlinked stories of Hather Lambisson and of the stolen dwarfish Sword Tyrfing, cursed to kill any mortal bearer: in Vargr-Moon (1986) Hather's wife tries to become a vargr (a Werewolf with great magical powers); in Death-Blinder (1988) Hather destroys a Lappish sorcerer who has taken one of Odin's names and seeks to establish an evil empire. The Chronicles of the KeeperThe Destroying Angel (1987), Time-Fighters (1987) and Skyfire (1988) – is an ambitiously constructed Fantasy-of-History trilogy whose central notion is that Thule (see Lost Lands) was not a physical place but a prehistoric empire of successor Gods, some of whom sought to destroy humanity; the benign faction planted Religion in human minds, projected Thule into "alterjective" Reality, and appointed the first in a continuing succession of Keepers, who must maintain the separation, moulding human history where necessary. In Witch-Beast (1989), which shares a minor character with the Keeper trilogy, the canine Spirit Black Shuck tries to establish itself as the new god and usher in an Age of Dogs. Blood Circle (1989) is Horror involving Black Magic. King's work is fertile in ideas but clumsily written, barring him from a wider audience. [JG]

see also: Library.

Bernard John Howard King


This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.