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Book Review of Grail (Pendragon Cycle, Bk 5)

Grail (Pendragon Cycle, Bk 5)
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Seven years of war with the Saecens are followed by an Vandali invasion while the country reels from drought and plague. Arthur's tired host defeats the Vandali but Arthur is seriously injured. The wounds are great and he is taken to Ynys Avallach where Charis, a queen of the fair folk resides. It is hoped that her nursing skill may help him. There a miracle occurs and Arthur survives. That miracle is the Grail brought from its hiding place to heal the Pendragon. Arthur realizes that the Grail is a holy relic that could bring peace and health to Britain and builds a great shrine for it. And, as Arthur has predicted friends and enemy alike come to view and be healed by the Grail.

Meanwhile, Morgian schemes to lure Arthur's champion, Llenlleawg, to become her spy and help bring about the fall of the Pendragon, his queen, Gwenhwyvar, and Myrddin, his bard and counselor. Her goal is to destroy all of Britain and kill the three. Her minions steal the Grail, murdering both guardians and pilgrims in the process. Knowing that his arrogance was the root of this problem, Arthur falls into a deep depression. Myrddin at last is able to bring Athur to his senses and the host pursues Morgians's followers in the hope of recovering the Grail.

The final battle occurs in a place of Morgian's choosing, Llyonesse, where her powers are strongest. Arthur and his host have no recourse but to take up the challenge. Thus begins the major action of the tale as Arthur and his men travel through Llyonesse where Morgian uses her evil magic to raise dead warriors, beasts and create horrible illusions to defeat the host.

For me, the first part of the book seemed to be disjointed and to drag an but when the Grail is stolen, the author seems to hit his stride and the story flows rapidly to the end. From that point, I could not put the book aside unitl I finished. The narrator is Gwalchavad, Lord of Orcady, with parts prefaced by the words and thoughts of Morgian, the Queen of Air and Darkness. All in all, the book is worth your time!