Zettel - Camelot's Shadow

August 16, 2004

Sarah Zettel
In Camelot's shadow
New York, NY : LUNA, c2004.

Zettel is a smart, literate, and compelling author. I like most of her stuff. I especially liked Fool's Game and this is also quite good.

She is working in well-trodden territory here, but she does nice things with the standard elements. It is an Arthur story. Magic works. Arthur is fighting against Saxon invaders. Many of the individual elements are familiar from Mallory.

Zettel focuses on Risa, a young woman whose father made a very bad deal at her birth - saving the mother's life at the cost of promising the child to a sorcerer when she comes of age. The action starts with Risa upset about her betrothal prospects, but she soon runs away, confronts the sorcerer, meets up with a nicely drawn Gawaine, and the story progresses from there.

I like the character. I also like the fact that Zettel brings in one of my two favorite Arthurian Knights (Gareth is the other) as well as my favorite tale from the Arthurian legend. It is giving little away to say that we meet the Green Man in a bit of foreshadowing early on, and once you have Gawaine and the Green Man in the same story you can guess that Gawaine and the Green Knight will follow at some point. It does. It is well integrated into the story. Even the villains are believable, plausible, and smart. The heros win, for a while, but not without consequences.

Highly recommended.

Posted by Red Ted at August 16, 2004 08:59 AM | TrackBack
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