Del Ray, January, 2003.
Hardcover, 510 pages.
One might think that the Arthurian legends had been told in every way possible by now and that this story was time for retirement. Nancy McKenzie, author of Queen of Camelot, proves otherwise in her brilliantly imagined novel, Grail Prince. McKenzie sets her novel in two timelines: during the golden moments of King Arthur's reign, and during the years just after his reign came to an end after his death in a bloody battle. The young Galahad, son of Sir Lancelot, has been raised by his bitter, vengeful mother, the beautiful, Elaine, cousin to Queen Guinivere. Jealous of her cousin, Elaine raises Galahad to despise his father as an adulterer and man of no honor -- which is far from the truth. As his dying wish, King Arthur (whom Galahad admires greatly) asked Galahad to quest to find the Holy Grail, a magical spear and the sword Excalibur. When these magical items are together, England will never fall. Galahad sets out on the quest with his friend Prince Percival. Along the way, they will encounter love, loss, tragedy, battle and of course prophecy and magic.
Galahad is a young man with some very strange ideas. Because of his poisonous upbringing, he has a real hatred for his estranged father and is obsessed with the idea of staying chaste in order to be worthy of completing the quest. He's also developed quite a dislike for women, which is challenged by Percival's beautiful and spirited sister, Dane. But his adventures shake up all of Galahad's preconceived notions, and require him to question all of his beliefs. As much a well-written coming of age story as an adventure into Camelot, Grail Prince is a unique and compelling novel.
Grail Prince is available for purchase on Amazon.com
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This review was published in the June-July, 2003 of The Internet Writing Journal.
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