The story of ‘Camelot’s Sword’ begins simply enough on one spring morning in the tin mining town of Cambryn. It is now four generations after the Roman Invasion of Britain and these are restless times.
Steward Kenan travelled to Tintagel to petition King Mark for men, but was denied so he returned empty handed and a bitter argument erupted between Kenan and his son, Colan. Fatally stabbing his father in the stomach and fearing retribution, Colan fled across the water to seek aid from Morgaine, a woman of power whose plans only help herself.
Her response was to take Colan to the water’s edge and introduce him to the Morveich, water spirits and cousins on his mother’s side. He made a pact with them so they were not to let either of his sisters, Laurel or Lynett, travel across the water to seek aid from Guinevere or Arthur at Camelot. This proves to be A Big Mistake!
Unaware of this set of events, Lynett sets off across the water to petition Queen Guinevere at King Arthur’s court. Laurel, being the eldest, must stay at Cambryn, to run the castle. On the journey, Lynnett was able to call up a shadow, named Ryol, to tell her about the water spirits and to calm the waters and get to the other side alive.
The Morveitch failed Colan but still want payment for their troubles and he failed Morgaine, so she binds and hands him back to Laurel as a prisoner. Expecting Laurel to have him killed for the death of their father, she doesn’t, thus causing Morganna to hatch other schemes in her quest for power.
This has been a fascinating page-turner of a story, full of court intrigues, deceits, double-crosses and various other story strands that cause the plot to twist and turn, as schemes unfold. The book is steeped in history and difficult to put down and there are threads that will continue into the next book.
Not a simple pick-up and skim through type story, due to the intrigues, I found that it worked best when I could sit and immerse myself totally in their world. As these are flesh and blood people that are all too weak and extremely strong and resilient in other cases. The magical abilities of Lynett, via a mirror entrusted to her, there are the many stranded schemes of Morgaine as well as the background detail of a very harsh, day to day existence of these troubled people.
This book does not deter from the ages old Arthurian myth, in fact it adds more flesh and back ground detail to often bare bones, of the basic story. I thoroughly enjoyed this tale of magic and mystery and highly recommend it.
(pub: HarperCollins. 455 enlarged paperback. Price: £12.99 (UK). ISBN: 0-00-715871-8)