The Chapel Perilous • 2013 • Fantasy novelette by Kevin Hearne

★★★

Very entertaining retake of 6th century Sir Gawain’s quest for the grail – this time with a druid Atticus O’Sullivan – the Iron Druid series hero – as knight, and a necromantic pict laying waste to the Fisher King’s empire.

In fact, the grail’s legend is founded in celtic mythology and this is a loosely derived but excellently told story. The frame story starts with the same druid in contemporary U.S. telling his intelligent dog and his apprentice this story. This modern, “cool” language gives the epic quest a funny side note which I liked. And there is this sidekick horse AppleJack which is wise in its own way, always holding back the druid’s cockiness.

It is Atticus’s origin story and how he came to his cold iron amulet and the silver charms on his necklace as well as his inspiration to teach languages to animals (like to his dog Oberon).

This novelette led me to reading Hearne’s Iron Druid Chronicles start Hounded.

Meta: This novelette appeard 2013 in Unfettered. It is the start of the Iron Druid Chronicles series.

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