Historical/futuristic Arthuriana from the author of Grail, 1997, etc. In the not-too-distant future, Britain’s drunken reprobate King Edward IX blows out his brains in a villa on Madeira. He has no heirs, and was secretly helped on his way by Prime Minister Thomas Waring (an anti-monarchist nursing ambitions to become Britain’s first president). The mysteriously knowledgeable old Embries, however, insists that Captain James Arthur Stuart is the rightful King of Britain. Despite documentary proof, James is reluctant to go along, until Embries forces him to recall memories of his previous life—as King Arthur! Embries, of course, is Merlin. James’s soon-to-be wife is Guinevere, and so forth. So James, proclaiming himself the true Christian King of Avalon, raises his standard against modern cynicism to battle not only the devious Waring but also the reborn witch Morgan le Fay. Pleasant but far from gripping, with the necessary inference that Lawhead’s purpose is more agitprop than storytelling.