I bought this book because BBC 1 gave me the most depressing Christmas Eve ever. It was the last ever episode of Merlin and the writers decided to stick true to the legends of King Arthur, which was both amazing and saddening.
It left me with a craving for more of the legendary tales and magical moments that make the Arthurian myth so captivating.
I’ve always loved myths and I’ve always had a particular fascination with the courteous King Arthur, his gallant knights and the world famous Round Table, but I have never read any of the multitude of stories. I have always relied upon popular culture.
So, one day I was perusing Amazon, looking at the Barnes and Noble classic collection when I stumbled across Howard Pyle’s version of events. When it finally arrived my excitement was bubbling over and as soon as I realised it was written in an older version of the English language I knew it was going to be amazing. So, in tribute to a fantastic reading experience I aim to emulate the language for the rest of this blog post (please forgive me if I use some words in the wrong context).
As I openeth the book I wist not what to expect. The story of that noble King Arthur has oft been told, yet as I assay the contents page it seemeth that many of the tales are new to me. Some of them are about matters of fay that until now I did not know, and others are altogether familiar.
There are knights that, before now, I did not know, hight Sir Pellias and Sir Ewaine cousin to Sir Gawaine, son of King Lot of Orkney.
Now, Sir Pellias’ story is altogether bittersweet, for he was good friends with Sir Gawaine but in a misunderstanding they two fight with one another leaving the former close to death. He rides away into the forest, perilously close to the swoon of death. But a damsel and a dwarf findeth him and the damsel wist not what to do. Luckily, the dwarf knew of a hermit, deep in the forest, who
might be able to help.
Yet, when they party commeth to him in his hidden glade he is altogether unable to heal the knight. When he says Sir Pellias will die that day, a lay of peculiar appearance arrives. She is all clad in green and identifies herself as a Lady of the Lake, it is apparent to those there that she is altogether fay.
It so happens that she is able to heal Sir Pellias but resulting from his otherworld treatment he becomes part fay, part human and leaves the court of King Arthur.
It was one of the stories I liketh best, most likely because of the bitter sweetness to it.
Yet, as much as I like it, as aforetold in this review, it did repeateth itself a lot. Every mighty duel between knights followed the same pattern, every knight was the greatest in all the court of King Arthur and since the court of King Arthur is the most renown and stateliest that the world has ever seen those adore mentioned knights are all the best.
Yet I can findeth it in my heart to forgive this slight as the rest of the tale, from the procurement of Excalibur to the fall of Merlin were mighty and the more I readeth the more desperate I became to continue.
It sayeth at the end that there are more tales of the knights, including Sir Launcelot (spelled that way in the book) if the Lake.
If thou liketh tomes of legend and myth then thou will suffer no disappointment with this.
Forgive me as I bid you farewell as I start upon yet another great amazon adventure which will hopefully endeth with the discovery of more Arthurian tales.