REVIEW: ‘CAMELOT’S RECKONING’ BY CALEB N. KELLY

In their quest to prove the existence of the mighty sword, Excalibur, Oliver and Roland find themselves in a different realm, as the only wielders of Excalibur and its twin.

Caleb N. Kelly’s debut novel, ‘Camelot’s Reckoning’, the first part of the series: ‘The Primis Vipris Saga’ is to be published in November, 2020. A fantasy novel, it has its base set in the Arthurian legend.

Twins Oliver and Roland used to spend hours playing King Arthur’s knights and wielding the legendary swords in their childhood. Now grown up, Oliver still have not given up his childhood beliefs and has become an archeologist in hope of discovering Excalibur. Roland, on the other hand is much more realistic and has moved on with his life, practicing as a lawyer.

When the twins come together again through arguments, coaxing, trickery and the undeniable brotherly love; and set out for their expedition, they find themselves portaled into the protected world of Merlin. And now they must awaken the knights, pick up their respective swords and save the world from creatures, escaped to destroy.

Along with the tales of King Arthur and Merlin, we also get a tour of Arthur’s castle and come across mythical creatures like shapeshifters and ‘Vipris’- the dragons of the Origin.

The novel explores the legend of King Arthur and Excalibur through not one, but from the perspective of many different stories, passed on to different generations and cultures, and thus modified; and through the excellently vivid and directed imagination of the author himself- from rediscovered riddles to the magical features of the swords.

The character portrayal and the relationship between Oliver and Roland is complicated and realistic- favouritisms, weaknesses, embarassing events- all the things a sibling won’t unlearn and would use as taunts at perfect occasions. Though their goals and ideals differ, the twins reflect each other to an extent that even both of their love affairs are taboo and forbidden by the society.

The first few chapters are rather slow moving, giving the reader a little more time than required to get accustomed to the setting. But the pace picks up after a while and so does the excitement. The plot twists are sudden and pretty mind blowing, which at the end, had me craving for the next book in the series.

The vocabulary is confident and free flowing, but has stumbled once or twice while describing the thoughts of the characters.

The novel is packed with action but does not overdo it. The refreshing elements of humour and sarcasm, that claim popularity in a fantasy novel are somewhat lacking.

An urban take on a century old legend- ‘Camelot’s Reckoning’ makes a stunning opening book for a series-ended at the right time and keeping us on the edge. With a rating of 3.5 out of 5, I am absolutely waiting for the next book in the saga.

I thank Caleb N. Kelley for sending me the ARC copy of ‘Camelot’s Reckoning’ in exchange of an honest review.

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