Spear by Nicola Griffith

by Nicola Griffith

Leaving her isolated life with her mother behind, Peretur sets out for Caer Leon to serve the king Artos.

An Arthurian retelling of Percival and the search for the Quest for the Holy Grail. I like Arthurian stories, although I don’t actually know that much about the lore in detail. This version swaps the knight Percival for the female Peretur. The other main characters in standard King Arthur stories are present, although they are also altered to fit this version of the story. I like retellings in general when they take the main points of a tale and put them into something that feels entirely new.

Small and magical, this one didn’t really do anything for me. Although beautifully written, it never pulled me in and, because it’s so short, by the time it was over I didn’t feel like I had gotten anything out of it. I didn’t dislike it at all and I was interested in what was happening, but I had a hard time connecting with it. This may have been a case of bad timing but because of its length I figured I’d just carry on and hope it hooked me eventually.

Might give it a re-read in the future or try something else of Nicola Griffith’s when I’m more in the mood for this kind of story. Additionally, Rovina Cai’s illustrations are incredible.

I would recommend this if you’re looking for a unique take on a short Arthurian retelling.