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Friday, April 29, 2011

The Third Magic - Molly Cochran

Read for the Once Upon a Time V Reading Challenge.

Arthur Blessing was a normal 20th century boy until he found a dirty old cup in the gutter. That cup was the Holy Grail, and finding it was the first step for Arthur to find his destiny, for he is King Arthur, reborn into our time.

This is the third book of a trilogy, and Arthur is eighteen, finally a man. For the past several years, he’s been hiding out in North Dakota under the care of the Knights of the Round Table, brought forth from the past to protect Arthur, and now morphed into a motorcycle gang of sorts. Only Hal (Galahad), who has lived a normal life, and Merlin, fully recognize the danger that will confront Arthur if he seizes his destiny.

There’s also the small matter of a girl named Gwen who has dreamed of Arthur all her life, though she doesn’t initially know who he is. There are darker dreams as well, where she is a medieval queen who has lost something she can never regain.

Though the third book, this actually functions fairly well as a standalone. I read the other two books long enough ago that the details are a bit fuzzy, but all the pertinent bits are covered by well placed exposition. I do remember enough to know there’s a lot more back story in this book – plenty of interesting and different takes on the motivations of people that have been written about many times before. I actually really liked Guenevere’s remembrance of why she betrayed Arthur. She’s still not totally a sympathetic character, but this is the most sympathetic treatment of her I can remember.

All and all, this is a good modern day retelling of the Arthur legends – well worth the time to seek out and read.

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