CORBENIC by Catherine Fisher


Age Range: 12 & up
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A sullen teen is unwillingly cast as the hero in a modern replay of the Grail Quest. Cal has struggled all his life with his alcoholic, schizophrenic mother, so he leaps at the opportunity to escape offered by his fastidious uncle. But on the way to join him, he accidentally gets off the train in Corbenic, where he encounters a man who calls himself the Fisher King and whose magnificent castle becomes suddenly derelict when Cal refuses to acknowledge the Grail. Fisher ably splices the Arthurian legend into Cal’s very modern quest for self-determination, introducing a band of historical re-enactors who claim to be immortal and with whom Cal becomes increasingly involved, as he discovers the sterility that underlies the life he used to covet. It is only when Cal yields to the inevitability of his quest that he is able to free himself from the shadows cast by his mother, his acceptance of responsibility for the healing of the land an expiation of his guilt at having deserted her. The teen’s progress is rarely seen in mythic terms, but here it works just right. (Fiction. 12+)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-06-072470-6
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2006


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