Tuesday, September 2, 2014

BOOK: The Table of Less Valued Knights by Marie Philips

The Table of Less Valued Knights by Marie Philips, 310 pages

Random House Canada review copy

Things you need on a good quest: a knight, a maiden, a squire, a lady in a lake, an elephant. Wait, you don`t remember an elephant in any of King Arthur`s tales? Well, this isn`t your father`s King Arthur!

This is even better, with a, dare I say it, feminist slant? Because the knights and the kings and the squire (an undersized giant) are not that good. Not good at all. And the maiden, Elaine, looking for her kidnapped finance as well as Martha, a run away Queen looking for her long lost brother are by far, the wisest of this crowd. Oh, Sir Humphrey du Val tries, but he hasn`t been allowed on a quest in many years and has been relegated to the square table, with one shorter leg, the Table of Less Valued Knights that you have never heard of.

This is a decidedly humorous take on Camelot. Martha disguises herself as a boy for her quest to escape her new husband (who thinks he`ll be King, not the King Consort) and find her long lost brother, the rightful king. Martha meets up with Sir Humphrey and his quest for Elaine, and it practically becomes a Three`s Company episode of misunderstandings.

Described as a Monty Python meets The Princess Bride, expect Jemima the elephant to carry our heroines and heroes, the lady in the lake to be rather flaky, magic to `almost` work, gay characters to appear, battles between kingdoms for stupid male reasons to be ridiculed, custom officials to deal with as you enter a kingdom, and everyone trying to find a partner. All in all, great fun!