Friday, August 9, 2013

Return From Avalon (And Points West) by Rusty Rhoad

I have just finished a delightful first novel by Rusty Rhoad called Return from Avalon.  I don't consider myself an expert on Arthurian Fantasy--in fact, most of my experience with the legendary king is through the movie Excalibur.  Which was a fine film, by the way.  But back to the book.  Arnie Penders is a mild-mannered bookseller in San Francisco who decides to chuck it all and go on a road trip.  The trip is driven by dreams--vivid, sometimes frightening dreams of what he was in the past or will be doing.  It is told as a series of letters to his ex-wife, starting out quite tongue-in-cheek and presuming she won't read them.  He also begins to act a bit strangely--braver than he has been in the past, seeking out evil to confront.  And getting respect he isn't used to from strangers, particularly women.

His journey takes him across the country and the ocean, all the way back to Mother England.  You can watch him grow every step of the way as he encounters and deals with the characters that cross his path.  I rooted for him all the way through, and was fully rewarded.  This book will make you smile all the way through it.  There's enough action, heroic and erotic, to keep adrenaline going for a late night read.  But unless you are the most delicate of hothouse flowers nothing to be offended at.  Read this one to make yourself feel better, it will work.  Four stars from me.

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