Sure, the story starts in the most “naughty” way, imagining an all male court of Camelot, where the mighty Knights of King Arthur enjoy the naked beauty of young servants; the same King Arthur has an open and joyful relationship with Sir Lancelot and so his various knights with squires or peasants, depending on each man preferences.
Each chapter is a tale of a different knight, Lancelot, Gareth, Peveril, Ulric, Quentin and so on; while introducing the different knight, the author maintains a light tone, focusing on the different relationship each knight intertwines with their chosen partner. But more or less at the middle of the book, with the starting of the betrayal of Sir Morion, the previous favourite knight of King Arthur before the newly arrived Sir Lancelot took his place, the tone suddenly change, so suddenly that I almost didn’t have the time to realize it, and the end was even more a punch in the gut for that reason.
I’m not saying it was a full drama, but it resembles more some troubadour tale (and sometime they were not happily ever after tale) than the light romance I thought I was reading. In a way I think this change in tone made the story more epic and poetic, so that it will probably appeal to a more literary reader than a full romance would have been. Now don’t think this is an historical tale, the author took plenty of licenses on the history, for example having the court of Camelot in a Norman era, while, like the same author highlighted in the postnote and I also remembered from my own study, King Arthur if indeed existed, probably lived in the 6th century.
I know it’s stupid to feel sad for fictional characters, but some of them, like Gareth and Ulric, where so kind and tender, that I was hoping for them to have their own happily ever after within the main story that is the one of King Arthur with Sir Lancelot. More since I think the author wanted to write a satirical story, a farce, and he was doing it quite well, the stories of Peveril is, for example, very funny, but also the same introduction to the book, with the description of the court and its inhabitants. For this and other reasons when the tragedy struck, I was not prepared.
Amazon Kindle: Gay Knights and Horny Heroes: Tales from the Court of King Arthur
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (April 12, 2011)
Cover Art by Paul Richmond