Welcome to Camelot

Written by Tony Cleaver
Review by Rachel Malone

The Camelot Hotel in Monmouthshire is a top of the range, luxury hotel with a familiar Arthurian theme. Gwen Price is a local teenage girl, given the job of receptionist. A highly independent girl, fixated with fashion, technology and all things modern, she is never one to shy away from flirting to get what she wants. Little does she know that her life is about to be turned upside down when she wakes up in the court of King Arthur, as is the life of Lady Gwendolyn, lady-in-waiting to Queen Guinevere. How will the two ladies from two very different time periods cope in each other’s world?

This is a difficult one. Welcome to Camelot has a fantastic premise, a character that you initially loathe and then love to see redeemed, well-loved characters from mythology and history that are just as beloved here as they are in other books; and a real fantasy aspect that is highly enjoyable. There are issues though, characters should not retort at somebody’s thoughts (‘author’s voice’). Writing using ‘thees’ and ‘thous’ can be difficult for the reader to follow, and are jarring when the wrong one is used. Yet this is enjoyable. It has a feel of a young-adult book, but the flirtatiousness and the language puts it beyond that market and into a limbo territory that may make it difficult to market.

Cleaver’s writing style is brilliant and it is impossible to read some characters’ dialogue without hearing a lilting Welsh accent, no mean trick and certainly to Cleaver’s credit. I would, perhaps, suggest a copyedit or even a beta reader to help provide insight to how this book could work better. This does have the potential to be a huge success, but there are elements that could do with being polished – I think it would be worth it.