MERLIN'S BONES by Fred Saberhagen


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 Following his rather fine Dracula-meets-Sherlock Holmes yarn (Seance for a Vampire, 1994), Saberhagen tackles Camelot and King Arthur from a fresh perspective. Soon after the fall of Arthur, a group of players fleeing from the brutal warlord Comorre stumble upon a deserted, half-finished castle, perched dramatically above the sea, that supplies all their needs by magical means. In a sea cave deep beneath the castle, young Arby detects magical emanations from a tremendously powerful oracle--perhaps the rock-entombed bones of the legendary Merlin himself. Meanwhile, a band of Viking warriors arrive by boat and agree to help defend the castle against Comorre. Furthermore, in the 21st century, Dr. Elaine Brusan of the Antrobus Foundation perfects a revolutionary device capable of twisting space, time, and matter. She will soon be visited by the Fisher King, while outside the building stands an ambulance containing the wounded King Arthur, no less, and his sorceress sister, Morgan Le Fay. And all this is merely the prelude to a plot in which many of the characters strive against one another to discover and possess Merlin's bones, while Merlin himself schemes to establish a new and greater Camelot. Wildly, astonishingly different. So, despite a plot that doesn't bear close scrutiny and the irritant of multiple first- person narrators: a truly exhilarating jaunt.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-312-85563-X
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Tor
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 1995


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