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STEALING THE HOLY GRAIL

By S.M. Perlow

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IR Rating:
4.0
S.M. Perlow's STEALING THE HOLY GRAIL has a cinematic narrative and an original take on the plot of the classic King Arthur is driven by dynamic action scenes, with twists worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster. 
IR Approved

There are countless adaptations of the story of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. One of the most popular – written by French poet Chrétien de Troyes in the 12th century – put the Knights on the search for the Holy Grail. This story inspired STEALING THE HOLY GRAIL, but its author S.M. Perlow escaped the trap of simply retelling the same thing, preferring a totally original approach. Instead of King Arthur or one of the well-known Knights (like Lancelot or Galahad), this new adventure puts the focus on Sir Perceval, a secondary character in the old stories involving the Round Table.

Perlow begins his book without wasting time: in the middle of the hunt for the Holy Grail, Perceval finds a secular Order that aims to protect religious relics. One of the members is Princess Cerise, or Cera, who believes that the group should use the Grail to help the poor, rather than simply hiding it from the rest of humanity. When her appeals are disregarded, Cera decides to ally with Perceval in a risky plan to steal the relic and use it to eradicate hunger and disease. The argument sounds simple, but Perlow divides the adventure into three big blocks. The first presents and develops the characters, showing Perceval in his trajectory of becoming a knight worthy of the Grail. The second block is practically a heist story, with the dangerous plan to steal the relic. And the third and final block is epic: the heroes face the threat of Merlin, the Wizard in a great and bloody battle in which many heads will roll, literally.

The author reserves some great surprises along the way. There is, for example, a change of protagonists in the middle of the book that’s totally unexpected – and it may not appeal to all readers. There’s also an antagonist who keeps coming back from death to face the heroes. STEALING THE HOLY GRAIL has a cinematic narrative, using even onomatopoeias to describe sounds during the action (“schvt”, “pfwt”, “crash-cadrack baddom!”, and so on). The plot is driven by action scenes, with twists worthy of Hollywood blockbusters. Perlow spends relatively little time on drama but still finds space to discuss serious themes. For example, the way Cera disagrees with her Order is a criticism that can be extended to the Catholic Church’s trajectory of accumulation of wealth and struggle for power.

But while it’s an entertaining adventure, STEALING THE HOLY GRAIL has some small problems along the way. Merlin doesn’t quite convince as the great villain because he barely appears in the development of the plot (the characters only talk about him). When he finally shows up, it doesn’t seem like that big, scary threat. And Perlow uses a lazy resource that resembles the many lives of a character in a video game: the Grail miraculously recovers the health of those who own it and the protagonists can simply drink from it to recover from fatal injuries. Suddenly heroes and villains are returning too often from death, something that works against suspense. Finally, the end of the book announces that STEALING THE HOLY GRAIL is only the “Part 1” of a larger saga and that the characters will return. But Perlow concludes this first adventure satisfactorily, without leaving things too open, and the book can be read as an independent story by those who don’t intend to follow another literary mega-saga.

STEALING THE HOLY GRAIL has a cinematic narrative and an original take on the plot of the classic King Arthur is driven by dynamic action scenes, with twists worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster.

~Felipe M. Guerra for IndieReader

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N/A

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N/A

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ISBN:
ASIN: B08VF8CFYT

Binding:
Paperback

U.S. SRP:
N/A

STEALING THE HOLY GRAIL

By S.M. Perlow

An unconventional and compelling Arthurian fantasy tale mixed with religion, S. M. Perlow’s STEALING THE HOLY GRAIL features a unique plot, an array of enthralling characters, unexpected twists and turns, and lessons on virtue and faith.