Finding Camlann by Sean Pidgeon
This novel is set in Wales, a part of the United Kingdom. Donald Gladstone is an archaeologist studying British history by digging up long buried villages and outposts. He has set a daunting task for himself, to prove or disapprove that the Legendary King Arthur and the mythology of Camelot really existed. That said, this story works on a number of levels. First and foremost in my mind it is a glorious paean to the land, language and culture of Wales.
Second, it is a love triangle between Donald, Julia Llewellyn, and Hugh Mortimer. Julia married Hugh when she was young and impressionable, smitten by the scion of the storied Welsh Mortimers, a prominent family that traces its ancestry far back into the history of Wales. Their marriage which started as a star crossed love affair has fallen on hard times, with Hugh guarding a black secret from his past. Julia happens to run into Donald at a local pub and is instantly entranced by his studies into the Arthurian legends. As events progress, Julia falls further into Donald’s orbit, with Hugh lurking at the ancestral farm seething with jealousy.
Thirdly, this is a well-researched induction into the Arthurian legends and the lore of Camelot. I was pleasantly surprised when reading this book and its many Welsh words how much it reminded me of Tolkien. In fact there is a book out entitled “Tolkien and Wales: Language Literature and Identity” by Carl Phelpstead. Indeed Tolkien himself had done research and writing on the Arthurian milieu. There is a book just published called “The Fall of Arthur” by J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Christopher Tolkien.