Stealing the Holy Grail
The reason the Arthurian myth has become such a popular tale since the fifth century is because there is so little evidence of it and that period in time. We’re pretty sure there was someone named Arthur, who may have been a king or some sort of leader or warlord. And the Saxons definitely invaded the country that would one day come to be known as England during this time, led by two brother leaders, Hengist and Horsa. There are sources centuries later that tell a little, but nothing is certain, making it prime fodder for storytelling. Stealing the Holy Grail by S. M. Perlow is a wonderful example of Arthurian work, as we see many familiar characters we have come to know over the centuries, but in a completely new and original story.
The year is 523, and in Francia Princess Cera is one of the special few tasked to protect and keep the Holy Grail from being found. There are many who have searched for this sacred relic; many valiant knights, including Sir Perceval, who has tried and failed the test, but wishes to try again, to remain honorable, true, and valiant. But the world has changed; the Knights of the Round Table are no longer. The great King Arthur has died through mysterious means, while there are rumors that Arthur’s most trusted companion, the magnificent Merlin the Magician, is no longer a trusted ally of Camelot, but is now working for Hengist and the Saxons invading Briton. Princess Cera has had enough of the old ways and of continuing to keep the Grail from everyone, so she has a plan to steal it. But she hopes to use Perceval to help, presenting a dilemma to the valiant knight: can he remain honorable to achieving the Holy Grail and help Cera, whom he has become quite smitten with. Meanwhile, there is the Saxon warrior Roan the Relentless, who has gone through his own battles and tragedies and appears unable to be killed, and now also has interests in seizing the Grail.
Stealing the Holy Grail is a fun, adventurous work of historical fiction with a cast of familiar characters in new settings, conflicts, and circumstances. Perlow does a great job of throwing in the history when necessary, but not overloading the reader with details, which keeps the momentum of the story going. We get to see the likes of Sir Perceval and Merlin cast in new and at times unusual lights. The result is a book that isn’t just another Arthurian retelling, but something new and fresh and different.
|Page Count||331 pages|
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|Category||Science Fiction & Fantasy|