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From A Library – Book: Knight Life

Knight Life by Peter David

As well as comics in my local library, they have actual text-only books as well. I know, weird. Having read Peter David’s comics since The Incredible Hulk, I had been wanting to read his own novels (rather than his Star Trek stories). This version of Knight Life was the revised text – PAD had gone back to it to update and expand it quite substantially – so bear that in mind when reading my thoughts.

Arthur has been returned from a suspended state by the immortal Merlin (he is ageing backwards, so he is now a twelve-year-old boy), and is running for mayor of New York under the supervision of Merlin, with Percival as their accountant (he is immortal due to drinking from the Holy Grail). Guinevere has been reincarnated as Gwen de Vere Queen, with whom Arthur reconnects. Morgan and Modred are still alive (the latter as Moe, a PR to the republican candidate), with Morgan wanting to destroy everyone as usual. Arthur is honest, charismatic and a born leader of men; Gwen is a modern, smart woman in a bad relationship with a useless layabout of a writer called Lance.

This is a fun tale of Arthur Penn (short for Pendragon) as the independent candidate who runs for mayor based on his ‘old’ ideas about things, e.g. his response to the question about the death penalty is that the wronged party of a murder should determine the punishment. Of course, things don’t run smooth when Morgan gets involved.

Compared with his comics, this novel doesn’t ‘feel’ like PAD – the story is relatively ‘straight’ and the jokes are less abundant (although there are nice small gags thrown in: Merlin talks about his skill with computers is due to being involved from the start – IBM stands for Invented By Merlin) but it is an enjoyable tale told in a straight-forward manner, all with PAD’s excellent grasp of story construction and the world of fantasy in the real world.

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