Camelot & Vine
Casey Clemens is about to celebrate her 40th birthday. She is an actress working on a series of TV commercials, which are suddenly cancelled. Jobless, she flees from her disorientated lifestyle and dysfunctional family but does not reckon on falling through a gap in time into the past world of King Arthur, a world where men fight to stay alive, and where Arthur himself is a rough-mannered warlord. He believes Casey to be a wizard who has come to destroy his enemies. If she does not serve her purpose she will be of no use, so will face death. Casey’s own feelings are mixed at first – falling through time into the midst of a war-camp takes a bit of adjusting to, but Arthur is an attractive man and Casey has always fantasized about her favourite fictional (as she thought) character.
The story reminded me a little of the classic old movie A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, which is a fun, enjoyable film, as is this delightful novel. The humour gave me several chuckles and some outright laughs. My only comment would be that, from the perspective of reviewing this for the Historical Novel Society as historical fiction, I wish the time-slip element had ‘got going’ a little earlier. The Arthurian scenes were wonderful escapism, a light, highly entertaining read, but I felt the opening dwelt a little too much on Casey’s modern-day life. The present-day narrative perhaps did not require quite so much detailed scene-setting. Even so, for pleasurable entertainment – especially for King Arthur fans, this is a good read.