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Iron Grail
by Robert Holdstock

Category: Fiction / Fantasy
299 pages; ISBN: 076530726X

Rating: 9/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner


Iron Grail
Robert Holdstock
Tor, Feb 2004, $24.95, 299 pp.
ISBN: 076530726X

Seven hundred years have passed since Merlin and Jason (see CELTIKA) searched for the Golden Fleece, but now the magician resides in Alba where he receives three warnings including one about a man who wants him dead for betrayal. Also Merlin is warned to beware of a being used by a man and a ship that is more than a ship.

Merlin travels to Ghostland to rescue the children of the warlord Urtha at about the same time that Jason sailing the Argo arrives in Alba still seeking his son Kinos the “Little Dreamer” after failing in his reconciliation with his older boy. Merlin joins Jason on his quest to the Otherworld, where the latter’s wife Medea probably has hidden Kinos from him. Jason believes the Mage is assisting him out of guilt because Merlin’s first love Medea faked the deaths of the sons she had with Jason. Still the Argo captain wonders if he can trust the magician once they locate Medea who may have Merlin under her spell.

Combining English and Greek mythology, Robert Holdstock provides the audience with a delightful fantasy as the audience will enjoy the exploits of Merlin and Jason as they struggle to find the lost lad. Though some of the early fantasy scenes seem unnecessary, this epic tale is exciting non-stop action especially once Jason arrives on the scene. The second Codex tale is a treat for Camelot fans and Greek mythos readers who will want to hitch a ride on the Argo as the adventures in Otherworld are fun to follow as the two heroes each know that love can blind the purest.

Harriet Klausner


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