Welcome back to Fantasy Friday where you will find reviews of classic and new books!
This fifth book of The Pendragon Cycle is dark and depressing. Told by Gwalchavad (Galahad), it takes place, like Pendragon did, before the ending of the third book, Arthur. Arthur builds a shrine to the Holy Grail, the cup Jesus used at the Last Supper, and which healed him of grievous wounds sustained in the third book. Its present custodian is the Fisher King, father of Merlin’s mother, but Arthur wants such a tremendous boon accessible to anyone who needs it. So it is for three miraculous days. But good is not the only power that seeks it and so the depressing part begins after the Grail is stolen by the forces of darkness.
But even in the heart of evil’s domain, goodness yet resides. I love the insights a holy man gives into the Enemy of souls, the same one who is so active in the world today and seems so terribly powerful. If only we knew and took advantage of the power we have over him rather than give into his wiles! “The Enemy’s powers are far less than we imagine. The Evil One cannot overwhelm us by force. Indeed he can use against us only the weapons we give him” (377). “…in order for it [evil] to succeed…evil must first remove the preserving goodness of the thing it would destroy. For the truth is that even the smallest good is more powerful than the greatest evil” (383). “Much of Morgaws’ [who is not the devil but one of his pawns] power lay in her ability to make herself appear something very different from what she was. It is the Evil One’s oldest deception, and we are no less vulnerable to it than we ever were. . . . [From the Enemy’s POV,] it is also the one deception that must be preserved at all costs, for once mortals truly understand what a weak and contemptible thing evil really is, the Ancient Enemy’s destruction is assured” (ibid.).
Have you read this book? What did you think?