Twist of the Blade Review - Resource Links

Reviewed by: Patricia Jermey

There are five shards of the legendary sword Excalibur, and this book tells of the finding of the second. Ariane, who lives with her Aunt Phyllis since the death of her mother, has inherited a magical connection with the Lady of the Lake, and has accepted her quest to seek out and reassemble the shards. Her best friend, Wally (Walter Arthur Knight), was indispensable in obtaining the first shard. Ariane keeps it strapped to her body in order to protect it from computer magnate Rex Major, the most recent incarnation of Merlin. He wants Excalibur to conquer not only this world, but also the realm of Faerie, currently under the control of the Lady. He has determined that just as Ariane is linked to the legend, so is Wally, and he will use Wally a surrogate for King Arthur. Ariane has discovered that she can control fresh water, and transport herself through it. When the second shard is discovered in France, she travels via cloud cover across the Atlantic. The plan is for Wally to meet her there, but he is intercepted by Rex Major, who convinces him that Ariane is losing control to the power of the Lady. In fact the shard seems to be influencing Ariane's decisions, and she irresponsibly goes ahead in the quest without Wally. He now has evidence that despite his sacrifices to help her, she has turned her back on him. Their battle for the three remaining shards, for control of the power of Excalibur, and for their relationship, will continue in the remaining volumes. 

The overlay of the Arthurian legend on a modern Canadian context works surprisingly well. Merlin's magical powers are invested in Rex Major's software embedded in the internet. Wally's loyalty and courage accurately reflect both Arthur's strength and fatal flaw. Ariane's cool calculated actions are reiniscent of the dispassionate deeds of the Lady of the Lake. Yet the characters remain realistically grounded in the twenty-first century, and the readers can relate to their struggles on both level.s

Thematic Links: Arthurian Legend; Fantasy; Adventure

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