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Sleepless Knights
     

Sleepless Knights

by Mark Williams
 

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It's not easy being the man behind the myth. Sir Lucas is butler to King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table - the person who managed every quest from behind the scenes. He's a man whose average working day involved defeating witches and banishing werewolves, while ensuring the Royal pot of tea never crossed the thin line separating 'brewed' from 'stewed.'

Overview

It's not easy being the man behind the myth. Sir Lucas is butler to King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table - the person who managed every quest from behind the scenes. He's a man whose average working day involved defeating witches and banishing werewolves, while ensuring the Royal pot of tea never crossed the thin line separating 'brewed' from 'stewed.' What's more, 1,500 years after that golden age, he's still doing it - here in the modern world, right under our noses. When King Arthur and six of his knights are exposed as living among us, Merlin is unleashed and a grim apocalypse unfolds, uncovering secrets from the past that King Arthur would rather stay buried. When Lucas is forced to confront his own peculiar destiny, will he choose to sacrifice his true love and lay down his life in the service of his master? Sleepless Knights is a tale of high adventure and warm humor, with a spring in its step, a twinkle in its eye and, at its heart, the ultimate butler. I suggest you find something to hold on to, I said. I fancy this will be somewhat unorthodox. I edged the car onto the embankment at the side of the road, which got progressively steeper the closer we got to the tanker. Realising that I was not about to stop for him, or indeed his vehicle, the driver ran for the safety of the surrounding fields. Between the cab of the tanker and the side of the road there was a gap exactly half the width of the Jaguar. I took the last few metres of the embankment at top speed. The car swung up onto its right side. The wheels left the ground, and we shot up and clear through the gap. The weight of the Grail on the roof turned us upside down in mid-air, and the momentum of the jump flipped us back round again in a perfect side roll. We landed upright on the road, on the other side of the tanker, just as its engine caught fire. The world exploded.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Action and comedy duel for prominence in this brilliant debut novel about the knights of the Round Table. Sir Lucas, King Arthur’s butler, has been Arthur’s faithful servant for hundreds of years. In the modern world, it’s Lucas’s job to make sure that Arthur and his remaining six knights gather on an annual basis to drink from the Grail and continue their Eternal Quest toward “truth, justice and the Arthurian way.” When the exploits of Lancelot and Gawain make the modern news broadcasts, threatening the secrecy of the quest, desperate measures must be taken, but plans to find Merlin end up releasing a host of dragons and undead. Lucas is left, Jeeves-like, to clean up the mess, which might do more harm to Arthur’s legend than the fall of Camelot did. Lucas brings a refreshing “downstairs” sensibility to the usual heroic acts, and his fate is both surprising and entirely satisfying. Williams, an experienced playwright and television writer, has created a delightful addition to the Arthurian canon. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
SLEEPLESS KNIGHTS is, quite simply, a cracking good read. A cross between THE REMAINS OF THE DAY, LE MORTE d'ARTHUR and HARRY POTTER, it's packed with charming characters, thrilling chases, intrigue and mystery. A glorious modern chapter of an age-old legend, SLEEPLESS KNIGHTS introduces us to a distinctive and sympathetic new voice in fantasy writing. -- Toby Whithouse (writer for DOCTOR WHO, creator of BEING HUMAN)

Mark Williams' dazzling d?but shakes up Arthurian legend into a wildly inventive, roller coaster ride of thrills, hilarity, dark fantasy and brilliant characterisation all written with an exquisite elegance befitting the originality of the tale. Treat yourself. -- Muriel Gray (THE TRICKSTER, FURNACE, THE ANCIENT)

Wonderful neo-chivalric highjinks. Williams gleefully takes the training wheels off the Arthurian cycle. -- Mike Carey (THE UNWRITTEN, the FELIX CASTOR novels)

Who would have thought that a mash-up between Jeeves and King Arthur would result in such a charmingly bonkers adventure? SLEEPLESS KNIGHTS has the kind of silly energy that inspired MONTY PYTHON and TIME BANDITS, and plays out like a modern-day version of THE SWORD IN THE STONE. It's clearly the Arthurian epic PG Wodehouse never got around to writing. Grail-tastic fun for all ages. -- Christopher Fowler (FILM FREAK, HELL TRAIN, the BRYANT & MAY MYSTERIES

One of the most imaginative and original books I have read in ages. This type of out there fiction is right up my street. Give me more! -- Darren Craske (ABOVE HIS STATION, BEFORE HIS TIME, the CORNELIUS QUAINT CHRONICLES)

Library Journal
As butler to King Arthur, Sir Lucas has always managed the affairs of Camelot's elite, and he's still doing it, as the Knights of the Round Table continue to exist, in hiding, in the modern world. When Arthur, whose connection to reality comes and goes, determines to enact a ritual bringing Merlin into the world, he does not realize that the act will also open a door to other banished creatures. As havoc in the form of wild dragons and other fantastical beasts draws the attention of the modern media, the spotlight also focuses on the knights of Camelot, whose swords and courage are all that stand between the world and destruction. Williams's first novel begins humorously, as it imagines the heroes of Arthurian legend living quietly in the English countryside. Soon, however, the tale takes on a more serious note as it deals with the problems of those who try to live beyond their time. VERDICT Written with obvious love for the Arthurian mythos, this tragic-comedy should appeal to anyone who shares a longing for the days of Camelot.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781927609026
Publisher:
Atomic Fez Publishing
Publication date:
09/24/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
418
Sales rank:
845,683
File size:
3 MB

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Mark H Williams is a playwright and scriptwriter. His work includes Here Be Monsters (Theatr Iolo, 2013) and a stage adaptation of Jason & The Argonauts (Courtyard Hereford, 2013). He has written two UK-touring stage adaptations of Scholastic's 'Horrible' series for The Birmingham Stage Company including Horrible Histories: The Frightful First World War (2009; nominated for a Manchester Evening News Award). Sleepless Knights is his first published work in any form.

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