By Force Alone
Before starting with the praising pejoratives, I must state that this is a masterwork of startling and brutal perspective.
I urge adult readers to acquire it as quickly as possible and to immediately sequester it, locked away from their children or conventional parents. There is Philosophy, and there is Filthosophy (yes, I just invented that word—reviewer’s prerogative). We have here a prime example of the latter.
Perception tinged by the distressing realization of probable/possible reality shocks within pages; immersion on exceedingly personal levels persists throughout. Nothing is as you probably imagined, and what the author imagines so perversely is no less than brilliantly limned.
Arthur as the product of slum grift, Guinevere as highwaywoman, the questing beast as incestuous tragedy; there is no beloved aspect of the long-elaborated Arthurian mythos that Tidhar does not skew in ways grippingly memorable. That is a fair warning. You will be unable to forget glimpses into the tawdry realities of Faerie, of Leprechaun gold, of why Sir Kay needed kneepads.
In straightforward praise, this unique treatment of the legends of the round table, of the storied locations and personae of the old tales, is an exhibition of scholarly thoroughness on the part of the writer. With the precautions above, this deserves purchasing.
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