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by Catherine Fisher (more about Catherine Fisher) 1609/5 first published 2002
Fantasy and Magic for ages 10 to 15 published by Red Fox
Mrs Mad's humble opinion
9/10 Very good. I am pleased with this.
What's it about?
A modern reworking of the Grail Legend.
What happens?
Cal has grown up coping with his mother's drinking and psychotic episodes. He has tried to close himself off from them because they are so painful. When he finally leaves home to live with his uncle he is ruthless about breaking the ties with his bitter past. When he gets off the train at the wrong station Cal finds himself seeking shelter at the strange castle of the Fisher King. The night he spends there plunge him into desolation and a journey back to seek out all the things he has betrayed.
Is it easy to read?
A wonderful read for anyone who likes a bit of reality and myth mixed together.
Anything else?
This is a wonderful story, with a lot of grief and pain for the reader to interpret. Catherine Fisher has taken a legend and turned it into a convincing story for today. It is still of the other realm but mixes easily with the world of today. Absolutely riveting
Other books by Catherine Fisher include The Interrex, The Margrave, The Relic Master, The Snow-Walker's Son.
Who says so?
This review by Mrs Mad.
The publisher reckons...
Cal has struggled to cope with his mother's drinking and her psychotic episodes since he was six; cooped up in their dirty council flat he dreams of a new life. So when he leaves to live with his uncle Trevor in Chepstow he is ruthless about breaking with the past, despite his mother's despair. But getting off the train at the wrong station he finds himself at the castle of the Fisher King, and from then on moves in a nightmare spiral of predetermined descent into a wasteland of desolation and adventure, always seeking the way back to the Grail he has betrayed. Catherine Fisher has created a gripping and highly moving novel that moves between myth and a contemporary journey of self-knowledge until one becomes indistinguishable from the other. Drawing in Arthurian themes, historical re-enactments and the Four Hallows, Cal's quest for a return to peace of mind is an elaborate and ambitious Grail novel for our time. An important new work from the author of the Book of the Crow
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