Written by Giles Kristian
Review by Valerie Loh

Merlin has not been seen for ten years. Arthur, once the unifying leader of the Britons as they fought the invading Saxons, fell along with Lancelot and his other warriors in their final great battle. Britain has returned to a land in darkness, with the Saxons raiding once more. In the wild marshlands of Avalon, a novice about to take his vows sees his quiet life crashed in brutal fashion and his destiny changed. Iselle, a warrior woman who reads the marshes like the palm of her hand – a hand that kills Saxons with bow, knife or sword – and an old warrior, Gawain, enter the novice’s secluded world. He is Galahad, son of Lancelot, and together they will search for an ancient cauldron and the last druid to try to reunite the kings of Britain who now fight only for their own land.

This epic reimagining of the famous Arthurian legend is a masterpiece of storytelling that is totally absorbing and believable. The Dark Isles are brought to life with great skill as detail is slipped into this thrilling, surprising tale of honour, bravery, betrayal, love and heartbreak. The action, from combat to slaughter, despair to hope, is totally gripping, never overworked, never underplayed, their struggle twists and turns as Galahad, reluctantly at first, embraces his legacy. This novel’s standout characters, incredible action scenes and historic period detail presented in an accessible way excite the senses, compelling the reader to continue to the last word of the final page of the book.