The Savage Knight (Malory’s Knights of Albion) – Paul Lewis (Abaddon)
The Untold Adventures of the Round Table…. Sir Dodinal the Savage is more at home in the wild forest than in the tilting yard or the banquet hall. Keenly attuned to the natural world, but burdened with a terrible rage, he turns his back on Camelot to find peace, or a just death. In a quiet village on the Welsh border, Dodinal believes he may have finally found a home, but the village is struck by child stealing raiders from the hills, and he must take up arms once again in his new friends’ aid. His quest will take him into the belly of darkness, as the terrible secret hidden in the hills comes to light…
What an amazing book This story is based around the character of Sir Dodinal the Savage, and bear in mind, there are different versions of Dodinal depending on what you read. The main source of text is obviously ‘Le Morte D’Arthur’ by Thomas Malory which, if memory serves right, had Dodinal as a bit of a brave fool who always needed rescuing by the other knights of the round table. In this book though the Author has concentrated on the character from the Celtic story base. In this sense, Dodinal was a quiet intense character, a loner who didn’t not enjoy the life of a knight but was completely driven by a rage that was bron from witnessing the slaughter of his family and village by the Saxons as a child, Dodinal was very much in tune with the forests and was not at all suited to a comfortable life.
Paul Lewis has obviously researched this story and ‘The second book of King Arthur and his Noble Knights’ (more commonly known as the second book or the Salisbury manuscripts) which caused uproar when planned to go into print), which is used as a basis for this and the rest of the Malory’s Knights of Albion series as an updated version. Lewis really has come up with an exceptional shorter novel. From the first page onwards it’s hard to put down, starting off with Dodinals loyalty to his knights vows leading him to stray off his quest to find peace in life and come into contact with a village on the Welsh borders, which in turn quickly turns to tragedy and forces Dodinal into action which in turn develops the harsh set up which carries on through the rest of the book. The writing is easy to read and doesn’t not shy away from what should make for a happy story at any times. There are also very well placed notes and excerpts from the before mentioned manuscripts to help explain smaller points and older terms you may not be familiar with. I can’t recommend this enough, I read it once more as soon as I’d finished it and will without a doubt be looking for the rest of the books in this series and anything else by Paul Lewis. Gav.