By Stephen R. Lawhead
Arthurian Britain is invoked with robust verisimilitude in Lawhead's fifth novel in his Pendragon Cycle. The narrator here is Gwalchavad, a member of Arthur's elite guard whose soldierly frankness lends credibility even to fantastic events. Indeed, one of Lawhead's achievements is his integration, true to the medieval mind, of the mundane and the miraculous. Myrddin (Merlin) is engagingly drawn as both a curmudgeon and a sage. Arthur is interesting for his blend of youthful folly and courage. Interspersed with Gwalchavad's accounts are passages voiced by the enchantress Morgian, Myrddin's evil arch-foe, as she schemes to overthrow Arthur and steal the Holy Grail.