Quick note from Two: This is a guest review by our very own CJ, who can occasionally be found lurking in the comments. Everybody be nice, as it’s very nice for CJ to contribute.
There is none so cursed as those with stupid sisters.
Lynet’s sister Lyonesse is a doozy of a stupid sister. She is everything a lady should be. Beautiful if you go for doe-eyed, manipulative, and useless. Their castle is besieged by an amorous and amoral knight that thinks beheading all comers is the way to a lady’s heart. Of course with a lady like Lyonesse he is not far wrong.
Lynet on the other hand is smart and resourceful if a bit naïve. She sneaks from the castle and heads for Camelot. Armed only with the promise of her sister’s hand she seeks a knight of the round table to save her home. Along the way she meets and defeats a strange little dwarf named Roger. He helps her to Camelot. She was a bit lost if we are honest.
At Camelot she finds she is not the first to offer the hand of the fairest lady in the land. In fact, the knights suspect her sister is less lovely than claimed. To make matters worse she refuses to name her castle for fear Arthur will not aid a former enemy. All she manages to get for her trouble is a scruffy kitchen boy. She soon finds he is as dumb as he looks though not bad with a sword. She needs the help of the dwarf to counteract the idiocy.
This is the kind of story where nothing is what it seems. Morris takes the oldest of Arthurian lore and infuses it with wit and hilarity. He captures the beauty and peril of the fae world and makes it new. The damsels are savage and smart. Courtly love is seen for the farce it is and real love gets a chance.
Join the savage damsel, and the odd dwarf as they meet enchantresses, Sir Gawain, King Arthur, and more on the way to complete the quest.
‘A lady,’ he repeated. ‘I’ve just been disarmed and taken prisoner by a lady.’ He shook his head slowly. ‘I really am pathetic,’ he moaned.”
Don’t read if: you can’t stand witty banter, role reversals, enchantments, or dwarves who like farming.
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