Resource Links Review - Cave Beneath the Sea

Reviewed by: Patricia Jermey

King Arthur's legendary sword Excalibur has been broken into five shards, and this book tells of the finding of the fourth. Our heroine, Ariane, now has two of the shards, and continues in her quest to reassemble the sword on behalf of the Lady of the Lake, which will allow her to finally close the door to the realm of Faerie. Her friend, Wally Knight, has now become more than just a friend, as they share their first real kiss. Rex Major, the computer genius who is the current incarnation of Merlin the Magician, has one shard, and has befriended Wally's sister Felicia, who shares with Wally the bloodline of King Arthur and thereby enhances Major's power.

Ariane and Wally, her Aunt Phyllis and her friend Emma, are safely hidden beyond Major's magic in an off-grid farmhouse in Saskatchewan. Through Ariane's powers, Wally travels to various internet sites, and he locates a clue to her estranged mother, last seen on a ferry to Vancouver Island. The teens find her, but Major's men follow them, and her mother is taken hostage. Meanwhile Major and Felicia locate the fourth shard through his internet magic, and fly to a small Caribbean island. The shard is hidden in a saltwater pond in a cave, under a freshwater cascade. Wally and Ariane meet them there; now the struggle is between Ariane's power over freshwater and Major's intensifying magic. In accordance with the arc of the series, book 4 ends with each side controlling two of the shards. 

The overlay of the Arthurian legend on a modern Canadian context continues to work well, and interest is enhanced by international travel. The shift of point of view between the major players adds depth to the narration. Tech geeks will appreciate the fact that Rex Major's spyware embedded in the internet works through the wifi connections of data enabled mobile phones. Wally's growing strength and maturity are palpable evidence of his Arthurian inheritance, and the inclusion of his sister complicates the power balance. Ariane is increasingly under the violent influence of the sword, as shown by flashes of dangerous anger. Her mother's return adds a new and as yet unclear element to the plotline. The stage is set for the climatic resolution of the Excalibur series. 

Thematic Links: Arthurian Legend; Fantasy; Adventure

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