Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Table of Less Valued Knights by Marie Phillips

5 Star

Sir Humphrey du Val of the Table of Less Valued Knights - Camelot's least prestigious table, boringly rectangular in shape and with one leg shorter than the other so that it always has to be propped up with a folded napkin to stop it from rocking - has been banned by King Arthur from going on quests, and hasn't left the castle in fifteen years. He's tempted out of his imposed retirement by Elaine, who is looking for her kidnapped fiance. She appears to be the classic Damsel in Distress, but turns out to have a big secret to hide.

Across the border in Puddock, the new young queen, Martha, is appalled to be married off against her will to the odious Prince Edwin of Tuft. She disguises herself as a boy and runs away, but doesn't get very far before the Locum of the Lake - standing in for the full-time Lady - intercepts her with some startling news: Martha's brother, the true heir to the throne of Puddock, is not dead as she has always thought, and Martha must go on her own quest to find him.

The two quests collide, entangling Humphrey, Elaine and Martha's lives, and introducing a host of Arthurian misfits, including a twelve-year-old crone, a magic sword with a mind of her own, a freakishly short giant, and not one but three men in iron masks.

Kathryn- 5 Star

The Table of Less Valued Knights is a great read. It's funny and original and I couldn't put it down. It was also a tad complicated so try to keep track of the various knights, squires, distressed maidens and temper tantrum throwing lords as best you can.

The premise behind the novel is about those knights that didn't make King Arthur's inner circle of great knights and ended up on the "also-ran" tables. Or worse, had failed so utterly at their missions that they'd been demoted from the round table to the square or triangle one (where the wine is watered down). I laughed out loud so many times reading this one and was constantly poking the husband trying to explain something that had made me giggle. This is always frustrating as you can rarely translate these things to their full effect.

The loose plot line is that there are two damsels in distress and that one requests the help of a knight to locate her missing husband-to-be. They end up meeting the other damsel who is in disguise as a man, has a magic sword and is trying to escape her boar of a husband and find her brother who may or may not actually be dead. There is also an elephant and a not-quite-giant giant. They all spend the novel marching round, having duels, drinking and chopping each other’s heads off!

This Month Python’esque novel will make you happy and I've already compiled a list of people I'll be mentioning this one to!

Thank you to Random House of Canada for our review copy. All opinions are our own.

Connect with Marie Phillips:
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