It’s a rainy evening here in Minnesota and I’m enjoying watching a storm from my dry and warm livingroom.
I just finished reading The Return of Sir Percival by S. Alexander O’Keefe. This book was an interesting version of what life might have been like after King Arthur’s death with Merlin still having a plan up his sleeve and hoping things will fall into place.
Sir Percival is a man haunted by many ghosts and who was sent on a journey to find the Holy Grail in an attempt to save Arthur by Merlin. That quest takes over ten years from the Middle East to Alexandria Egypt where he becomes friends with a Numidian named Capussa while serving an unjust year sentence and learning the ways of a Gladiator. When he becomes free, he journeys back to Briton to deliver his findings to Guinevere whom he is in love with though won’t admit it.
In many ways Percival is very much the reluctant but honorable hero who seeks peace and yet can’t stand seeing some of his fellow countrymen beaten down by the Norse and wicked Morgana who took over much of his former King’s lands.
Though he appears to not have the military smarts and determination to not only do what’s right but succeed to his enemies, he’s very much full of surprises.
Guinevere is portrayed in a very interesting way that shows she’s a woman of her time but is also very smart, kind hearted and fiercely protective of those she cares for. Helpless to do some things such as take back her kingdom from enemies without help and go far from the safety of her family’s lands in Wales, she doesn’t let that deter her from trying to do what she can and staying strong.
I thought it was an interesting concept of choosing to have Morgana and Merlin originally from Rome and the Roman Militia aspects. Considering how influential Rome still was in that era, it went well with the storyline.
Overall, I thought it was a complex story full of complex characters and enjoyed that it was written with words you’d expect to find when talking about the time period of King Arthur. I really liked the fact that this wasn’t about Lancelot and Guinevere being star crossed lovers nor were there hints of Guinevere or Arthur cheating on each other. While I do enjoy the occasional read about these two getting together, it wouldn’t have worked with this particular storyline.
I can see why Guinevere and Percival became very close especially during King Arthur’s reign. They are both strong, kind hearted and honorable people who want their country to be free of raiders, Morgana’s treachery and be happy.
This book was an interesting mix of myth, adventure, unexpected love and a few unexpected twists. People who enjoy different versions of King Arthur’s time with a bit of Roman thinking tossed in will enjoy this book.
So that concludes my bookish ramakings about this story. I have a stack of books to read that almost equals my height including ARCs to read before release dates. I hope you’ve enjoyed my review and feel free to drop back in soon.
Book Mentioned In This Blog: