Chalice of Shadows review

Chalice of Shadows

by CN. Lesley (Kristell Ink)


This is the third book in C.N. Lesley’s Shadow series.  The previous books in the series —Shadow Over Avalon, and Sword in Shadows–have ranked well on Amazon  (especially in the UK) in the combination of Science Fiction and Arthurian Legend categories, and it is easy to see why. It’s a masterfully done far-future piece of scifi that resonates with riffs off the Arthurian legend. You really don’t know if her characters will follow the pattern of the original characters in the Arthurian saga or break free of them: Merlin is an AI, Avalon is an underwater city peopled by genetically engineered people with gill slits, some folks have telepathy. And yet here we are, dealing with Arthur, Ector, Gawain, Mordred and Morgan le Fay in a world that has space ships and a version of Excalibur that breathes Clarke’s Third Law: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

In lesser hands, it could be a regrettable mash-up, but these books are wonderful. And in Chalice of Shadows the characters of Mordred and Morgan evolve their relationships to Arthur in surprising ways. If you love both King Arthur and science fiction, you won’t want to miss this series.

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