Camelot's Blood

Camelot's Blood - Sarah Zettel

And so we come to Camelot's Blood, the last in this series. Laurel, heiress to Carnbrae and Cambryn, Guinever's own ancestral lands, has renounced her claim in favour of her sister Lynet and Lynet's husband Sir Gareth, youngest  of the sons of King Lot and Queen Morgause (who are also the nephews of King Arthur – and of Morgaine).


But Laurel, as we have seen, has powers of her own, for she and her sister are "Daughters of the Sea" – or more specifically, granddaughters, for their mother, a true Daughter of the Sea, gave up her heritage in order to marry Laurel and Lynet's father – and died as a result.


Now Laurel must marry Sir Agravain, brother to Sir Gareth (and to Sir Gawain, Sir Geraint – all the heroes of the other books) and travel north with him to Din Eityn (Edinburgh) where Lot is dying and Agravain must succeed him as king. However, awaiting him there are Morgaine, and her son by her half-brother Arthur: the Black Knight, Prince Mordred.


Old Lot has been mad for years – drievn mad by Morgaine's sorceries – and the castle and the kingdom are in ruins. Will Agravaine be able to stand up against the earthly power of Mordred? Will Laurel be able to withstand the unearthly powers of Morgaine?For Arthur and Guinevere do not come with them, and Merlin seems in despair.


I have to say that I find Sarah Zettel's Merlin less than convincing, but, apart from that one weakness, these "Camelot" books remind me of Juliet Marillier's Sevenwaters series (Daughter of the Forest, Son of the Shadows and Child of the Prophecy) and are indeed the only books I have come across comparable to it. I can't stand the kind of reviewer who compares all medieval mysteries with the Cadfael books and all fantasies with Lord of the Rings, but I have to say that these two modern series both transport the delighted reader into the heart of a world of Celtic magic that no other author except Tolkein has come near to achieving. And his Middle Earth was not a Celtic world, but owed more to Anglo-Saxon mythology. (See Brian Bates' The Real Middle Earth.)