In the first volume of a saga chronicling the exploits of a knight of the Round Table, Sir Percival returns to Albion only to find that much has changed.
After 10 fruitless years of searching for the Holy Grail, Sir Percival arrives in Albion alongside his loyal companion and fighting partner, Capussa. Unfortunately, Arthur Pendragon died while the knight was gone, and the rest of Camelot with him. His queen, Guinevere, hides in a monastery, alone but for a few trusted ladies and a network of spies. Albion is ravaged by violence at the hands of the cruel Morgana and the Norse raiders that she employed as sellswords to defeat Arthur. Rather than a witch, Morgana is actually a Roman princess and assassin whom the king in Constantinople sent to Albion so that she could kill a wise man called Melitas. In Albion, Melitas is better known as Merlin, Arthur’s most trusted adviser. While Merlin remains alive, Morgana won’t leave Albion in peace. When Percival learns of the tragedy that has befallen his country, he sets out to find his queen—with whom he always had a special bond—and report to her. He recalls his feelings for the young Guinevere a decade ago (“His days and nights were haunted by her enchanting laugh, mesmerizing smile, and noble soul”). But Morgana refuses to have a knight of the Round Table back in the country, inciting the beaten-down people of Albion to rise up against her iron fist and reclaim their freedom. Another big battle is coming, and soon. O’Keefe (Helius Legacy, 2012) takes elements of Arthurian legend that most readers are familiar with and grounds them in the harsh, historical reality of the time period. The story of heroic Percival and his quest to save the land—and the lady—he loves is suitably epic and full of adventures, not to mention colorful characters. Percival is appropriately noble and easy to root for against the utterly evil Morgana, but the real star here is the knight’s fiery friend, the warrior Capussa, whose sharp sense of humor should make him a favorite of readers. At one point he tells Percival: “Well, now that you’ve decided to start a war, do you mind overly much if I propose a plan to win it?”
An engaging and epic yarn that explores the history behind the magic of Camelot.