Welcome All- A Few Things to Know

Welcome All- A Few Things to Keep In Mind:

1. Hi all. I'm Storyteller Knight. You can find me on Fictionpress where I write novels about King Arthur, Superheroes and Vampires (but not at the same time) and at Pardon My Sarcasm where I rage about how the republicans are ruining all things.

2. Here is the Master List of books read, books owned and books needed to complete a series. Superscripts next to title links to reviews on this site. Or you can search using the lables.

3. I'm approaching this blog with the assumption that everyone reading already knows the ultimate spoiler of the King Arthur Legend: Everyone Dies. Those who read King Arthur books do so to see different interpretations of the characters and the stories. My goal here is to analyze the effectiveness of those interpretations. Thus, all my reviews will include spoilers.

4. This is not an Arthurian 101 blog. As I said above, I'm assuming that everyone reading already knows the legend and is looking for different interpretations of that legend. Therefore, I'm not going to take time to explain who the characters are and what roles they traditionally play. Links to Arthurian Encyclopedias at the bottom of the page.

5. These reviews are my opinions of the books. I may hate a book you love or I may love a book you hate. If you have a different opinion, write it up. I'd be more than happy to have some guest posts.

6. Please don't ask me (or any of the guest bloggers) to do your homework for you. As I said above, this is a blog dedicated at looking at these books from an Arthurian perspective. If you comment on posts asking us what the theme is or such, we're just going to screw with you.

Monday, May 15, 2017

SamoaPhoenix Guest Review: Endings (King Arthur and Her Knights, Part III)

Title: Endings
Author: K.M. Shea
Publisher: Take Out the Trash
Synopsis: (from Goodreads) The thrilling conclusion to the King Arthurs and Her Knights series!

Britt has finally settled into her life as King Arthur. Her knights know who she really is, her lands are peaceful, and she has friends and family who she loves. But all of this is threatened when Rome, led by Emperor Lucius, invades.

In order to repel the Romans and ascertain Camelot's survival, Britt must achieve Merlin's greatest dream: to unite all of Britain. 

The Twist: See my earlier review of the first five books in this series. A young woman is pulled back from the 21st century to take the place of a vanished King Arthur and begins to build a unique, and ultimately legendary, kingdom.

Spoilers, etc…

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

SamoaPhoenix Guest Review: Endeavor (King Arthur and Her Knights, Part II)

Title: Endeavor
Author: K.M. Shea 
Publisher: Take Out the Trash
Pages: 112
Synopsis: (from goodreads) Only a few weeks have passed since Britt—or, as most know her, King Arthur—was outed as a girl. Britt’s relationship with her knights is strained and precarious, Lancelot is mucking up everything from tournaments to questing, and Merlin starts to act strangely when a beautiful girl named Lady Vivien comes to Camelot.

Can Britt reclaim her knights’ loyalty? Will Merlin finally realize how much Britt means to him?


Spoilers, etc…

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

SamoaPhoenix Guest Review: King Arthur and Her Knights, Part I

Title: King Arthur and Her Knights Series (Enthroned, Enchanted, Embittered, Embark, and Enlighten)
Author: K.M. Shea
Publisher: Take Out the Trash
Pages: ~600 for all five
Synopsis: (from Goodreads) After posing with a rusty sword for a photo in a British graveyard, Britt Arthurs is pulled through time all the way back to the age of King Arthur where the shockingly young and handsome Merlin is waiting for her. The wizard has some bad news: the real Arthur has run off with a shepherdess, and whoever pulls the sword from the stone is to become the King of England. Unfortunately for Britt, the sword slides out like butter when she pulls it after fighting with Merlin. Long Live King Arthurs!

King Arthur and Her Knights Series
--Enthroned
--Enchanted
--Embittered
--Embark
--Enlighten

There are five fairly short ebook-only novellas in this series already and more planned. Due to their length, I will review the first five all together. The next book, Endeavor, will be released in late 2015 so I will try to review it in a timely manner. When it comes time to discuss plots and characters, I will do the plots of each book, the characters that appear in more than one book (most of the important ones do), and then characters that are unique to one book.

Spoilers, etc…

Friday, August 22, 2014

SamoaPhoenix Guest Review/Reread: The Legend of the King

Title: Legend of the King
Author: Gerald Morris
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books
Pages: 295
Synopsis: (from the publisher) Sir Terence has come a long way since he first left his guardian twenty years ago and joined the insolent Gawain as his squire.  Dark Forces are at work in England, and Terence and Gawain had set off once more in service of King Arthur, but this time the two friends are sent on separate missions.  At last, a true Knight of the Round Table, Terence has no time to rest on his laurels, but must continue his work to protect King Arthur and the peace that the king and his knights have created for England.  Unfortunately, the king's enemies are at work as well.  Morgause and Mordred had spies even at Camelot itself, and together mother and son attempt to divide the Fellowship of the Round Table, bring Camelot to ruin, and place Mordred on the throne.

In this final installment of the Squire's Tales series, Terence and his fellow Knights of the Round Table must ready their swords, enchantments, and wit to come together in a last stand to save Camelot.  The characters Gerald Morris has brought to life throughout his series--Terence and Gawain, Lynet and Gaheris, Luneta and Rhience, Dinadan and Palomides--each have an important role to play if they are to defeat their enemies.  Only by maintaining their faith, selflessness, and honor, can Morgause and Mordred banish and defeat the dark magic from England forever.  

Legend of the King was published the year after I graduated from college. I had been dreading it for a lot of reasons, since it had been established since the previous book’s release that this was the last of the Squire’s Tales and it was obvious a lot of beloved key characters would die. In the end of this series, it was also a sort of final good-bye to my teenagehood and an assertion that yes, indeed, I had entered the adult world for good. I had outgrown these books and was ready for what came next, just as the characters are all finally ready for what comes after their final adventure for Camelot. An ending and a beginning.

In this re-read I have been both eager to get this final book over with and fine with putting it off. Some of the delay between the reviews for this book and Squire’s Quest were the two sessions of Camp NaNoWriMo in which Story participated (that knocks out April and July for both reading and writing reviews) but neither one of us has been particularly inclined to prompt finishing the series. This re-read has stripped away a lot of the nostalgia I feel for this series and revealed significant flaws in books I once loved (though nothing can dampen my love for Savage Damsel) and I know there have been a lot of elements that Story has been deeply unhappy with that have made the series overall less enjoyable. But we agreed for the sake of other projects we must proceed with the final review.

Spoilers, etc… and warning for almost 4,000-word review.

Review: The Legend of the King

Title: Legend of the King
Author: Gerald Morris
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books
Pages: 295
Synopsis: (from the publisher) Sir Terence has come a long way since he first left his guardian twenty years ago and joined the insolent Gawain as his squire.  Dark Forces are at work in England, and Terence and Gawain had set off once more in service of King Arthur, but this time the two friends are sent on separate missions.  At last, a true Knight of the Round Table, Terence has no time to rest on his laurels, but must continue his work to protect King Arthur and the peace that the king and his knights have created for England.  Unfortunately, the king's enemies are at work as well.  Morgause and Mordred had spies even at Camelot itself, and together mother and son attempt to divide the Fellowship of the Round Table, bring Camelot to ruin, and place Mordred on the throne.

In this final installment of the Squire's Tales series, Terence and his fellow Knights of the Round Table must ready their swords, enchantments, and wit to come together in a last stand to save Camelot.  The characters Gerald Morris has brought to life throughout his series--Terence and Gawain, Lynet and Gaheris, Luneta and Rhience, Dinadan and Palomides--each have an important role to play if they are to defeat their enemies.  Only by maintaining their faith, selflessness, and honor, can Morgause and Mordred banish and defeat the dark magic from England forever.  
"Is the Arthurian mythos more than Arthur’s death?  I think Gerald Morris would answer that question with a ‘yes’.  But I also don’t think he’s sure.  And I think that uncertainty has wormed its way into the subtext.  I have one more book to go and only then will I know if the Squire’s Tales will forever be defined by Arthur’s death or remembered for something more." X
(Also, this book is not, in fact, about Mordred and Morgause working together to banish the forces of evil and I am done with book blurbs forever).

Warning for Spoilers

Monday, March 31, 2014

SamoaPhoenix Guest Review/Reread: The Squire's Quest

Title: Squire's Quest
Author: Gerald Morris
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Pages: 275
Synopsis: (from the publisher) Why is it, Terence wondered, that the things you know most surely are always the things you can't demonstrate to anyone else?

And why is it, after all these years, that Terence is still just a squire, offering advice on how best to scrub rust spots from armor?  But Squire Terence has more to worry about that his place on the social scale.  For all the peace and prosperity that have made England famous across Europe, Terence is uneasy.  After nearly six months without contact with the World of the Faires--not even from his old friend the mischievous sprite Robin--Terence is sure something is rotten in King Arthur's court.  And while the squire is always on the watch for the latest plot of the enchantress Morgause, he now also has suspicions about Mordred, King Arthur's misbegotten son, who has appeared at court.  Is Mordred after Arthur's throne?

In this ninth rollicking adventure in the Squire's Tales series, Terence's efforts to defend the Fellowship of the Round Table lead him on his farthest, and most fantastic, journey yet--a quest that ultimately brings Terence rewards he never imagined or expected.  

This is the first book in the series to be released with only the new, more serious, cover designs. In these final two books I feel this is appropriate as the mood shifts towards the twilight years of Camelot. There is still plenty of humor to be had but it is tempered with the revelation that this golden age must come to an end—likely sooner than anyone wants or expects.

The timeline is still completely messed up and none of the time periods the characters give in this story match up with anything logical, but at this point I’ve just decided to ignore it and stop trying to figure out how old everyone is. It will just give me a nosebleed. Sarah alone is anywhere from sixteen to twenty-six and it just gets worse from there.

Spoilers, etc…

Review: Squire's Quest

Title: Squire's Quest
Author: Gerald Morris
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Pages: 275
Synopsis: (from the publisher) Why is it, Terence wondered, that the things you know most surely are always the things you can't demonstrate to anyone else?

And why is it, after all these years, that Terence is still just a squire, offering advice on how best to scrub rust spots from armor?  But Squire Terence has more to worry about that his place on the social scale.  For all the peace and prosperity that have made England famous across Europe, Terence is uneasy.  After nearly six months without contact with the World of the Faires--not even from his old friend the mischievous sprite Robin--Terence is sure something is rotten in King Arthur's court.  And while the squire is always on the watch for the latest plot of the enchantress Morgause, he now also has suspicions about Mordred, King Arthur's misbegotten son, who has appeared at court.  Is Mordred after Arthur's throne?

In this ninth rollicking adventure in the Squire's Tales series, Terence's efforts to defend the Fellowship of the Round Table lead him on his farthest, and most fantastic, journey yet--a quest that ultimately brings Terence rewards he never imagined or expected.  

So, a couple years ago, when Samoaphoenix gave me this book for Christmas, I did start reading it.  And it was awesome because ~*Sarah!*~.  But then Sarah's part of the book became really uncomfortable and Mordred showed up and his part was like nails on a chalkboard.  I got about a quarter of the way through and stopped.  That means technically I'm done with the rereads and this is my first impression of the book instead of second+.

Warning for Spoilers

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Muppet King Arthur Chapter Four Review

Title: Muppet King Arthur, Chapter Four
Written By: Paul Benjamin and Patrick Storck
Artist: James Silvani
Colors: Eric Cobain
Letterer: Deron Bennett
Assistant Editor: Jason Long
Editor: Aaron Sparrow
Designer: Erika Terriquez
Cover: David Petersen
Publisher: Boom Kids!
Pages: 22
Synopsis: (from the publisher trade) A Tale of Chivalry, adventure, chickens, and magic!  The tale of King Arthur has been told many times over the centuries, but never before has it included robots, knock-knock jokes, and boomerang fish!  The Muppets bring you this beloved classic in their signature style, adding twists and turns to the quest for the Holy Grail that would make a sane driver pull over and ask for directions!  Will the Frog King save his beloved England from the curmudgeonly Sam of Eagle?  Will the Lady of the Lake get back on the festival circuit?  Will they find a carpenter capable of making a round table?  Find out in MUPPET KING ARTHUR!

More Muppets (that cover is GORGEOUS)!

Warning For Spoilers and General Silliness

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

SamoaPhoenix Guest Review/Reread: The Quest of the Fair Unknown

Title: The Quest of the Fair Unknown
Author: Gerald Morris
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company
Pages: 264
Synopsis: (from the publisher) On her deathbed, Beaufils’s mother leaves him with a quest and a clue: find your father, a knight of King Arthur’s court. So Beaufils leaves the isolated forest of his youth and quickly discovers that he has much to learn about the world beyond his experience.

Beaufils’s search for his father is more difficult than he’d imagined—when a traveler asks him “What is your father’s name?” Beaufils replies “Father, I suppose.” He doesn’t have much to go on when he arrives at King Arthur’s court. There, at a meeting of the Round Table, Beaufils is not the only one surprised when a mysterious dish appears and a voice commands the court to seek this vessel: the Holy Grail. He doesn’t hesitate to join King Arthur’s knights on their quest. Beaufils quickly learns, though, how one quest can lead to another. After accompanying Galahad for a time, Beaufils parts ways with this holiest knight of all to help a new friend, Lady Ellyn, fulfill her own quest, whether she knows what it is or not.

Beaufils’s innocence never fails to make his companions grin, but his fresh outlook on the world’s peculiarities turns out to be more of a gift than a curse as they encounter unexpected friends and foes.

Oh, and what about Beaufils’s quest?

This was my first disappointment in the Squire’s Tales series since Ballad of Sir Dinadan. I just…I don’t like this story. It has a few likeable elements and a healthy dash of Morris’s trademark wit that always makes me laugh out loud, but at the same time, it’s a weird story. It doesn’t really match up with any of Morris’s others, and to boot it throws the timeline of the series into total disarray. Even on a second go-round years later, Story and I can’t get all the elements to match up in a way that make any sense no matter how much we discuss it. And I’m still not all that fond of it even on a second try with fresh eyes.

Spoilers, etc…

Reread: The Quest of the Fair Unknown

Title: The Quest of the Fair Unknown
Author: Gerald Morris
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company
Pages: 264
Synopsis: (from the publisher) On her deathbed, Beaufils’s mother leaves him with a quest and a clue: find your father, a knight of King Arthur’s court. So Beaufils leaves the isolated forest of his youth and quickly discovers that he has much to learn about the world beyond his experience.

Beaufils’s search for his father is more difficult than he’d imagined—when a traveler asks him “What is your father’s name?” Beaufils replies “Father, I suppose.” He doesn’t have much to go on when he arrives at King Arthur’s court. There, at a meeting of the Round Table, Beaufils is not the only one surprised when a mysterious dish appears and a voice commands the court to seek this vessel: the Holy Grail. He doesn’t hesitate to join King Arthur’s knights on their quest. Beaufils quickly learns, though, how one quest can lead to another. After accompanying Galahad for a time, Beaufils parts ways with this holiest knight of all to help a new friend, Lady Ellyn, fulfill her own quest, whether she knows what it is or not.

Beaufils’s innocence never fails to make his companions grin, but his fresh outlook on the world’s peculiarities turns out to be more of a gift than a curse as they encounter unexpected friends and foes.

Oh, and what about Beaufils’s quest?

Oh this book.  I have so many issues with this book.  I could easily write a review longer than the book laying out all the problems with it.  I won't do that here--I'll stick to reviewing it within the context of the legend as that's what this blog is for.

It's really disappointing, actually, because Morris has done so well up until this point.  It's almost though he really didn't want to write this book and put as little effort into it as possible.

Warning for Spoilers