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Book Review of Grail (Pendragon Cycle, Bk 5)

Grail (Pendragon Cycle, Bk 5)
BaileysBooks avatar reviewed on + 491 more book reviews

This is book five of The Pendragon Cycle.

This book picks up seamlessly where 'Pendragon' left off and is narrated entirely by Bedwyr. This book describes Arthur's obsession with the Holy Grail and his commitment to making the Grail the cornerstone of the fledgling Summer Kingdom.

The first third of the book describes the preparation leading up to the official inauguration of the Summer Kingdom. The final two thirds describe a long and tortured adventure pitting the virtue of the Summer Kingdom and its allies against the evil of the Queen of Air and Darkness and her minions.

The tone of this book was very similar to Lawhead's 'The Endless Knot' from The Song of Albion trilogy. This is a darker, more claustrophobic book that places the characters far from home on a journey within dangerous and foreboding surroundings.

I found this book to be the fastest read of the entire series. Perhaps it was because it was less tedious, less battle-laden, and more adventure focused. It felt different than the other books and I found the change of pace and perspective to be refreshing.

As the last book in the series (not counting 'Avalon') I found the ending to be rather anti-climactic since the real ending to the series was told two books ago in 'Arthur'. When 'Grail' ends, you are simply told the ending to that particular adventure and are denied any additional sense of closure for all of the still-unanswered questions that the series produced.

As a whole, the series was a worthwhile read (although slow and tedious at times) and I really enjoyed reading about a more noble and Celtic Arthur whose story did succumb to the typical Lancelot-and-Guenevere affair and other worn out Arthurian cliches.