Go to Homepage   James Lowder, Editor: The Doom of Camelot


Crescent Blues Book ViewsImage:three moon gifGreen Knight Publishing (Trade Paperback), ISBN 1-928999-09-3
Having studied the Arthurian Legends for more than three decades, I delight in discovering new twists on the timeless tales, and The Doom of Camelot contains many enjoyable surprises. As its title implies, the anthology presents 16 original takes on the fabled kingdom's downfall.

Book: James Lowder, editor, The Doom of Camelot The answers offered by authors Mike Ashley, India Edgehill, Phyllis Ann Karr and others range from the clash of faiths and ideals to the pervasive yet subtle flaws in Camelot's concept. Settings transport the reader from Dark Age squalor to medieval opulence. The tones and styles vary just as widely, from a clever Tennyson-esque "Idle" poem dedicated to Alfred E. Neuman to a novelette-length encapsulation of Malory's Le Morte D'Arthur written from the viewpoints of 15 major and semi-major characters.

Not a fan of Malory remakes, I found the novelette, "Avilion," to be my least favorite of the collection. The author draws heavily upon stock character profiles without adding new insights into their personalities or motives. But you might find this piece a help if you need to cram for a Medieval Lit exam.

Otherwise, you'll find several other gourmet delicacies at this literary smorgasbord. Feast upon the tale of the Mordred invented to ease everyone's spirits after the Grail Quest -- an innocent jest that goes horribly wrong. Take a deep draught from the Grail, manifested in two mysterious ladies wielding the power to control time itself. Thoughtfully chew upon the vignette of a pregnant peasant woman whose life changes when a knight dies in her field after the battle of Camlann. The 320-page banquet offers something to please even the most discerning palate.

The Doom of Camelot represents the first in a planned series of annual Arthurian anthologies by Green Knight Press. Just as well. For, much like Chinese food, in an hour you'll be hungry for more.

Kim D. Headlee

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