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Book Review: Perilous Times

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“An immortal Knight of the Round Table faces his greatest challenge yet—saving the politically polarized, rapidly warming world from itself—in this slyly funny contemporary take on Arthurian legend.

Legends don’t always live up to reality.

Being reborn as an immortal defender of the realm gets awfully tiring over the years—or at least that’s what Sir Kay’s thinking as he claws his way up from beneath the earth yet again.

Kay once rode alongside his brother, King Arthur, as a Knight of the Round Table. Since then, he has fought at Hastings and at Waterloo and in both World Wars. But now he finds himself in a strange new world where oceans have risen, the army’s been privatized, and half of Britain’s been sold to foreign powers. The dragon that’s running amok—that he can handle. The rest? He’s not so sure.

Mariam’s spent her life fighting what’s wrong with her country. But she’s just one ordinary person, up against a hopelessly broken system. So when she meets Kay, she dares to hope that the world has finally found the savior it needs.

Yet as the two travel through this bizarre and dangerous land, they discover that a magical plot of apocalyptic proportions is underway. And Kay’s too busy hunting dragons—and exchanging blows with his old enemy Lancelot—to figure out what to do about it. 

In perilous times like these, the realm doesn’t just need a knight. It needs a true leader. 

Luckily, Excalibur lies within reach. 

But who will be fit to wield it? 

With a cast that includes Merlin, Morgan le Fay, the Lady of the Lake, and King Arthur himself—all reimagined in joyous, wickedly subversive fashion— Perilous Times is an Arthurian retelling that looks forward as much as it looks back . . . and a rollicking, deadpan-funny, surprisingly touching fantasy adventure.”

Title: Perilous Times

Series: Standalone

Author: Thomas D. Lee

Page Count: 496

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 3.5/5.0

Date Read: August 13th, 2023

This was my third buddy read completed for the month of August. This one had a lot of promise just reading the description going in. I’m a sucker for a good Arthurian tale. Unfortunately, I feel I probably would have enjoyed it more it the story was completely its own without the inclusion of the Arthurian legend connections.
The pacing was on the fast side, which isn’t a problem for me. I ended up getting through this one in just about a weekend. No real issues with writing styles or names. I did opt for the audio version of this book which was narrated by Nicola F. Delgado which did a really good job on telling us this story.
The world building itself was also really good. I found the overall story rather interesting actually. It just seemed rather jarring to me when we tried to mash it up with the Arthurian characters. I still feel like I would have enjoyed this world more if it was completely it’s own. Even if we had other characters who were simply immortal for one reason or another taking those places.
The character development was again very solid excluding the Arthurian characters. It just felt like those characters were very jarring in this world. But the authors own characters were really good. We have some solid villains to dislike, plenty of intrigue and questionably moral characters and of course those characters you can help but get behind and hope they either do the right thing or can find a way to save the day!
Overall I think perhaps my own expectations of characters I grew up with just didn’t fit into this story very well. If someone is looking for a wild story where heroes from the past arrive in current or future times to mix things up then you might do well with this one.

World Building 3.5/5
Pacing 4/5
Character Development 3.5/5

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Chad Barnard

Owner/Operator of The Hiking Reader Blog. Sharing thoughts on books and hiking trails and trying to find ways to continue to incorporate both hobbies together.

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