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.
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
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.
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.
(Originally published in Crescent Blues. Reprinted with permission.)