Friday, May 19, 2006

Percival's Angel - Anne Eliot Crompton [May/06]

From the back of the book:

Percival's Angel

Lili, an apprentice of the legendary Nimway, the Lady of the Lake, lives among the magical spirits of Fey Forest. Lili has magic in her soul and the knowledge of enchantment and spells. But there is one magic she cannot command - the magic of the Human Heart. Of all those in the world of Fey, there is but one boy who can help her...

Awed by the splendour of King Arthur's knights, seduced by tales of glory, Percival has a fantasy of his own. But to safely embark on a quest for the legendary Holy Grail he will need the help of an angel. Only Lili can take them far beyond the limits of their home, and closter to everything they cherish most. Yet to survive in the Human world it will take more that a passion for adventure, more tha desire to change their destiny, and more than the counsel of the shining giants of Arthur's court.

I bought this book because I like novels that retell the adventures of Arthur and his court, but this book really didn't do anything for me. According to the back of the book, some reviewers found it comparable to Marion Zimmer Bradley. Far from it! It does have an Avalon-like place, like Bradley's novels, but the adventures and the writing style do not hold up to her at all. Percival has been secluded from the rest of the world because his mother already lost her other sons and husband to battle, and does not want the same to happen to Percival. So, with the help of a member of her court, she takes her son and a girl that was like a daughter to her and hides them away from the outside world. She hopes this will be enough to save Percival, but alas you can only keep the outside out so long and then it manages to make itself known. Percival learns about the outside world, and suddenly he wants to see more of it, taking Lili with him.

The problem is that he is not very good, he has never had to know how to save himself, so he is a little lost and naive when he makes his way to the court. It is Lili that really wins the battles for him, and it is her that knows enough about the outside world to survive. She tries to help him, but in the end his head gets too big for his helmet and he decides he will be fine on his own. It is this moment that danger strikes, but in the meantime, this is supposed to be a novel about Arthur in some sense. He does make a couple of appearances, but not enough to make you understand what the point of this book is.


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