A straight, almost solemn retelling of the quest for the Grail: from the coming of Galahad and the knights' rushing off--"knowing well enough where the Grail was lodged," but knowing too that "they must cast themselves on fate, welcoming whichever way it took them"--to Galahad's successfully "coming into the heart of the mystery, where it is not possible for a mortal man to come, and yet remain mortal." Without a hint of divergent sensibility, Sutcliff takes us into a legendary climate where voices sound forth with guidance and direction, strange knights are slain for sport in chance encounters, false ladies pursue the pure young men with evil snares, a perfect maiden sacrifices herself for an unknown lady, Lancelot suffers searing agony in his struggle to choose between God and Guinevere, and the unquestioned supremity of the spiritual mission endows all the headlong adventure with nobility. Inevitably, Lancelot's struggle is the most moving; without the actual miracle of the embodied sacrament of Communion, Galahad remains paler and more strictly allegorical than ever. Before stumbling on a parody, reinterpretation, or contemporary reworking, young people should have some acquaintance with the material and viewpoint as set down by Malory. Sutcliff provides this with grace and an air of wholehearted feeling, for readers who might shy away from a more inclusive volume of Arthurian legends. (Her introduction asks us to remember as well the story's Celtic roots, but their spirit is less evident here.) Librarians should also remember, though, that equally readable but stronger versions exist in such staples as Keith Baines' rendition of Malory's Le Morte D'Arthur.