Return to Caer Lon
I’ve got several shelves in my humble abode that are devoted to books written about King Arthur and his knights of the Round Table. I’ve just added a new one to the collection, Return to Caer Lon by Claude Dancourt.
In a word, Return to Caer Lon is “satisfying”; in two words, “satisfying climax” (wink…read it…you’ll “get” the pun!) Dancourt weaves a tale that is sturdily built upon the foundation of a plot driven by tension: Tension between a man and a woman, tension between warring kingdoms, and the tension that surrounds a young man who should be king.
Dancourt is in no hurry to tell the story of Derek, descendant of the High King Arthur, who lives in exile under the watchful eye of Sir Geraint, vassal of Derek’s dead father, King William. Camelot is held by an evil that the reader will not fully comprehend until Derek confronts him. There are glimpses of Derek’s enemy, and hints as to what the enemy really wants, but what lies in Caer Lon is not fully revealed until the climax.
Derek goes in search of Caer Lon with Sacha, daughter of Geraint and twin sister of the missing Elwyn. Their journey is full of bickering and banter and heavily dosed with pheromones. More than once, I wanted them to just really take an hour or so at the inn and get it out of their system. I wanted to get to Caer Lon and see what was there, dangit!
I wasn’t disappointed in what they found in Caer Lon, by the way. In fact, I was quite thrilled when this “missing piece” of the Arthuriad finally revealed itself. But then, the ending came much too quickly. We had spent so much time getting there and making this discovery! Was it really over?
Indeed, the climax comes quickly and soundly. It is satisfying, and the denouement tidies matters quite neatly. A tale well told!