“There is no one left. Pendragon is no more.”
The battle of Camlann is over, Arthur is dead and Britain is shattered into pieces once again. Guinevere has retired to a nunnery and a heart-broken Lancelot returns to his Kingdom across the sea. Lancelot’s young son Galahad was charged by Arthur to find the buried treasures that can reunite Britain once again and is joined by his twelve-year-old cousin Percival, now King of Gwynedd upon his father’s death (although his uncle rules as regent). The lads are soon following the clues and legends of the hill men, the *ancient ones*, hoping to find the grail and spear of Macsen Wledig that can reunite Britain and make it whole again.
“If I cannot love my fellow-men, however dirty their hands, how can I love the God who made them?”
The book then backtracks to Galahad’s childhood, when he was raised to hate his father and Queen Guinevere (see more of Elen’s story in the first book, Queen of Camelot) by an embittered mother and a vicious priest with an agenda of his own. Lancelet eventually brings Galahad to Camelot to train for his knighthood and his hatred of Guinevere continues to grow and spreads to a disdain for all women, especially those who have been *cheapened* by unclean acts – including rape. The third part of the book backtracks to events leading up to the Battle of Camlann covered in the previous book in the series, albeit this time from Galahad’s viewpoint.
The latter part of the book continues as Britain is rudderless upon the death of Arthur and the Saxon threat continues to grow. The wheel of fortune spins around once more and Galahad finds himself committing the very sin in the flesh that he has so loathed his father for desiring only in his heart, and in doing so dishonors his greatest friend and ally. Galahad continues to wander Britain without purpose until he can face his true self and turn the circle ’round again – will there be happiness or sorrow at the end of end of his quest? Can he find the grail and spear and reunite Britain?
This was a highly entertaining follow-up to the first in the series, Queen of Camelot, and I found it the perfect blend of myths and legends, dreams and just a *wee* bit of magic. Highly recommended for Arthurian fans, although I suggest you leave a goodly period of time between this and book one as there’s a lot of story back-tracking in the middle. A solid four star read until the last 100 or so pages, and then I was riveted and needed the tissue box handy for a few of them. Despite this being part of a trilogy this book covers enough of the previous history that it could stand well enough on its own. The third book in the series is called Prince of Dreams: A Tale of Tristan and Essylte. 4.5/5 stars.
Books one and three,
FTC, well if you must know. I got it from the library.