Anne Eliot Crompton
Sourcebooks, 2011 (1999)
Softcover, Paperback, e-Book
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Reviewed by Elizabeth Crowley
is an Arthurian fantasy novel written by Anne Crompton, author of
Gawain and Lady Green
. Several characters from her previous novel appear in
, but the book also introduces many new enchanting characters. The story begins in the Fey forest, which is the home of Feys, fairies, and half Feys. No human has ever entered the Fey forest and made it out alive. Humans fear the Feys, who steal from their village and abduct their children. Although Feys and humans avoid each other as much as possible, two humans live in the Fey forest – Percival and his mother Alanna.
ercival grew up in the Fey forest and has never lived among humans. Alanna brought Percival to the forest in order to avoid losing another son to King Arthur. However, when Percival encounters two of King Arthur's knights in the forest, he is in awe of the King who inspires such love and devotion in his knights. Percival also learns about the knights' quest for the mysterious Holy Grail and becomes determined to find his way to King Arthur so that he might be knighted and seek out the Grail for the King.
lanna refuses to let Percival leave for the world she has sheltered him from all his life. However, Percival is determined to leave the Fey forest. Lili, his Fey friend and protector, joins him in his quest. Lily is a magical being who can see people's auras, cast spells and charms, and read thoughts. Although Lili accompanies Percival in order to protect him from the dangers that lurk outside the forest, she also wishes to live among humans, in the hope of growing a human heart. Lili begins to long for a human heart after wise Merlin tells her the human heart can produce the strongest magic in the world.
ith Lili by his side, Percival sets out in search of King Arthur. He encounters many obstacles on his way, but conquerers each and every challenge. Soon, Percival becomes Sir Percival, one of King Arthur's best knights. Lili's proximity to human suffering awakens the heart she desperately wanted. However, Lili finds it hard to adjust to human emotions as she discovers that with a human heart comes heartache.
is a unique reinterpretation of the Arthurian legend that combines romance, poetry, and magic to retell King Arthur's story from the perspective of a magical female. King Arthur plays only a small part in the novel. It focuses on Percival's quest, Lili's desire for a human heart, and Alanna's fear of losing her son. I would recommend this one to young adults who enjoy medieval or romance fantasy novels.
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