A sequel-slash-parallel to the King Arthur trilogy by the same author. Except I liked this book much, much better. Perhaps it was that I knew what to expect. Perhaps it was because, having read the trilogy, I was set up mentally for Crossley-Holland's world. Perhaps it was because the story was allowed to flow, without being chopped up with interruptions from legend. Perhaps it was because the heroine was such a plucky, likable gal. Whatever the actual reason, this book spoke to me moreso than the trilogy. Sure, in a book review, you're supposed to say why. But what if you don't quite know why? What if one of the reasons was a song Gatty made up? I didn't know I didn't know
Nobody told me so. Perhaps it was throwaway quotes like this one, "Nothing can be nothing. Everything's something." Or, "You can teach someone a skill but you can't teach them spirit" Or, "It's one thing to know, Gatty, but quite another to understand." Or, "The quill is a miracle because it drinks darkness and sheds light." Or, "No one is really quite as interested in us as we are in ourselves." One thing's for sure, I didn't enjoy it because I was itching to read a story about a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in the middle ages. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. But the story of this book wasn't the pilgrimage; the story was within the pilgrimage, just as a pilgrimage isn't really about the destination but, rather, the journey. And this was a delightful journey.