Kingsmen of the Grail

Written by Dorothy James Roberts
Review by Rachel A Hyde

If you’re a fan of the haunting, dream-laden world of Malory’s Arthurian Cycle you’ll enjoy this novel. If you prefer a gritty Dark Ages version you probably won’t.

Weary Gawin’s travels lead him into a benighted part of Wales where resides the Lady Iglais and her wild, innocent son Perceval. Gawin releases Perceval into the world where he is always a step ahead of Gawin as they pursue their obsessive quest for the Grail. Gawin must choose between following Perceval’s lead and his duty to King Arthur…

Camelot is not a glittering fairytale palace but the City of Legions, more converted Roman ruin than castle, so there is a mixture of fact and fantasy here which makes a fairly well-balanced whole. My main criticism is that the story sags somewhat in the middle, but on the whole it is an enjoyable and quite undemanding read, halfway between the colorful fantasy of Tennyson and Vera Chapman and the modern trend for a realistic picture of Dark Age Britain.