Book Cover
Title Keeper of the King
Author Nigel Bennett & P.N. Elrod
Cover Art David Mattingly
Publisher Baen Books - 1998
First Printing Baen Books - 1997
Book Cover
Title His Father's Son
Author Nigel Bennett & P.N. Elrod
Cover Art Jaime Murray
Publisher Baen Books - 2002
First Printing Baen Books - 2001
Book Cover
Title Siegen Perilous
Author Nigel Bennett & P.N. Elrod
Cover Art Jaime Murray
Publisher Baen Books - 2006
First Printing Baen Books - 2004
Category Horror
Warnings Blood & sex
Main Characters Lord Richard d'Orleans (Sir Lancelot du Lac / Richard Dun), Sabra, She-Who-Walks (Iona), Charon, Sharon Geary, Philip Bourland, Michael, Edward d'Orleans, Ambert d'Orlean, Montague d'Orleans
Main Elements Vampires, Gods
Website P.N. Elrod Official Site
Black Hat Station - Official Nigel Bennet Site

Click to read the summaryKeeper of the King

Click to read the summaryHis Father's Son

Click to read the summarySiege Perilous

Don't be frightened off by the cover art, though I must admit it is hard to picture Nigel Bennett as a 35-year-old Lancelot. Lacroix (from the TV show Forever Knight) yes, but Lancelot no. But one shouldn't judge a book by its cover.

Now if you're reading this series for its Arthurian lore, you're likely to be disappointed. Most of the action takes place in the present, and when in the past, it is generally his life before Arthur. This is not to say that I didn't enjoy those flashbacks, on the contrary, I kept looking forward to the past.

One scene comes to mind, where Sabra and Richard were reminiscing about those knight-in-shining-armour days, laughing at how historians and writers got the stories garbled over the years. But that they got enough of the essence right just the same. If the historical characters were indeed real, one could probably assume they would think the very same of their fictional counterparts. There is also the scene where Lancelot sets out to search for the Holy Grail with the other Knights, but seeing as Sabra is its keeper, he knows exactly where it is :) He just goes along with it.

No, the main action takes place in Toronto, and the second novel in Texas. Seems like that Canadian city is a hotbed of vampire activity. Montreal and Calgary must be feeling left out, with Vancouver showing up once in Tanya Huff's Blood series. But seeing as I've been to Toronto often enough to know the layout of the place, it makes it fun to find a street name or location I've been to before.

And the plots? Well, they were ok, a bit of a stretch at times, even taking into account this is a fantasy novel. The characters? I like Richard and Sabra and I've never read such gentle and loving love scenes. This wasn't about sex and lust and downright pornographic writing that you find in many other vampire novels. Those scenes were actually a pleasure to read. Richard is a gentleman and definitely pleases his women. And when he is with Sabra you can't help but feel their connection.

One thing I didn't like was the occasional inconsistencies in the vampire lore. Sometimes Richard is superhuman, as he should be, and other times he was a total wimp. But I find this common among vampire novels, probably authors having to tone down their characters to prevent them being too godlike. It isn't much of a story if your hero doesn't have to struggle a little. This is also the first book I've read where free flowing water actually has an effect on vampires. That piece of lore is commonly disregared, made it a little different.

And Richard makes mistakes. Though one would expect a thousand year old vampire to know better, he is a warrior, not a thinker, and sometimes jumps into things without pausing first. This is what he was brought up to be when he was Lancelot. It probably makes sense that he'd not change all that much over the years.

And Charon's manner of speaking? That was hilarious! This guy spits out things like "Hasta la Winnebago, baby!" among other gems.

Do I recommend? They're OK, not the best vampire novels around. It had its well done moments, and bits that were a pleasure to read. I would say they are used bookstore fare, worth the look if you come across them and have some times to spare.

Posted: October 2007


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