by Tony Lee
Candlewick Press, $21.99, 144 pages
The story of King Arthur seems to be one of those stories that get re-told every so often. Excalibur: The Legend of King Arthur is the newest incarnation. The story concentrates on the usual four, King Arthur, Guinevere, Lancelot, and Merlin, with the Vivianne, the Lady of the Lake, thrown in to complete couples. The variation here is that Merlin spirited the young Arthur away to spend two years in Avalon during a night of real time, where he falls in love with Vivianne. When they depart, Arthur has Merlin curse him so that he forgets Vivianne. He remembers her, and it adds yet another crack to Camelot’s doom. It is not a bad take, especially as it ensures that King Arthur gains a little happiness when he eventually ends up in Avalon. However, the story itself is a little lackluster, and is a little slower-paced than other versions. It focuses more on the social interactions, and adds a little to Morgan Le Fey, making her willing to do anything to get revenge on Arthur, as well as some to Lancelot, as it explores his fey background. A little slow for newcomers, but something that Arthur fans will definitely like.
Reviewed by Jamais Jochim