From the award-winning pens of Kim Iverson Headlee and short fiction veteran Patricia Duffy Novak come this darkly humorous mage-out-of-water tale:
A funny thing happened on the way to the battlefield.
Arthur, High King of Brydein, must fight the last of the rebel kings to acknowledge his right to govern them all: his old nemesis, King Urien of Dalriada. Before he can lead his army to where Urien's forces sit ensconced, however, a fey man appears from the midst of a sudden, eerie storm to block the way. The man claims to be the high king of an altogether unknown land...and he wields uncanny power the likes of which Arthur has never seen.
Garrin, High King of Helvar, steps into a patch of mist. A breath later, he's standing toe to toe with a man claiming to be the high king of an altogether unknown land...and this warrior-king is leading an army into Helvar, wielding a sword that resists Garrin's magic. Only, the man insists that his sword isn't enchanted and that Garrin isn't in Helvar anymore.
What the bloody hell - or five hells, in Garrin's case - is a high king to do?
Their encounter reeks of an enemy mage's dark arts, and no one is laughing.
A creative mix of King Authur and a King from another world who is thrown into Authur's path as he and his men attack the one outstanding King who refuses to bow to King Authur's power.
King Authur has no doubt his sister, Morgan is responsible for the Other World King and his magical powers. Instead of Authur and the Other World King fighting and killing each other, which was Morgan's plan, they become friends. The Other World King even helps in a special way to defeat the enemy.
I absolutely loved this story, despite my lacking the ability to remember their complex names. However, I do remember the fabulous three dimension-able characters that the authors have created..
This short story brings to life the true nature of King Authur better than any story I've read before.
The narrator's voices between the kings are so different that I thought there were two narrators. Fabulous narration!!!
Overall, it could not be better than this. This might very well be the best short story ever written and narrated.
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