Author: Catherine Fisher
A contemporary retelling of the Fisher King legend, and Percival's search for the Holy Grail, this story confronts several dark themes in a deeply moving and emotional story.
Cal has been looking after his alcoholic, mentally unstable mum for all his young life. He jumps at a chance to go stay with a rich uncle, and ruthlessly severs his ties with his mum. However, he gets off the train at the wrong station, and finds himself in Corbenic, taken in by Bron (the wounded Fisher King), and sees a vision which he later denies.
Cal has been deeply wounded by his difficult upbringing, and his coping mechanisms work against him, leaving him lost in a pain filled wasteland. It's not until he accepts that he must face his past, acknowledge the way it has shaped him, and forgiven his mum and himself, that he can finally have a chance at gaining his Grail.
An excellent book - the dark themes are explored with confidence, and the mix of contemporary and legendary symbolism is nicely handled. I wonder though, how a reader not familiar with the source material would find the story...I feel that they may not be as drawn in as I was.