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Spear    by Nicola Griffith order for
by Nicola Griffith
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2022 (2022)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Nicola Griffith's Spear gives a very different perspective on the Arthurian saga. The girl grows up in a cave with her changeable mother Elen, who will not tell her her true name, and fears cruel Mananden (Tuathan son of the sea) from whom she fled after stealing something of great value, a bowl that heals.

The girl roams and spies on men. She finds a broken sword and works on it. She makes, and learns to hurl, spears. She follows and secretly helps Artos's knights, the Companions. She leaves her mother, who finally gives her a name (Peretur) and heads for the court at Caer Leon, disguised as a boy.

First though, she makes a name for herself - against bandits and then the Red Knight. But Artos will not accept her as a companion, since she will not speak of her origins. Peretur remains an outsider, until she meets Nimue - Myrddyn's pupil, Artos's chief counsellor, and 'keeper of the lake'.

Peretur loves Nimue and learns from her - of her family and that she is not wholly mortal. Then she dreams of Mananden and her mother's danger. The Grail quest is launched. If you enjoy tales of Camelot, you will not want to miss Spear.

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