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The Third Magic (book 3 of The Forever King Trilogy) by Molly Cochran

01/10/2008. Contributed by Jill Roberts

Buy The Third Magic in the USA - or Buy The Third Magic in the UK

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pub: Forge/TOR. 444 page hardback. Price: $24.95 (US), $34.95 (CAN). ISBN: 0-312-86440-X).

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For those of you who haven't read the first two books in this series, it isn't a problem as there is a recap on the front and back inside cover flaps and there is also a short prologue before the story itself.

In terms of the past, this book talks of the Celtic, 6th century reality rather than the 12th century romanticised fantasy.

In the present, it speaks of Arthur and his knights being resurrected in the 21st century, in bike leathers and motorbikes rather than long flowing robes and horses. For most of the time, they live on a farm in Jones County, South Dakota. Arthur is now 18 and comes of age. Here, Gwen is an 18 year-old punk with an ageing mother and absent father. It also includes The Holy Grail for the Christians out there.

In the past, it was the pulling of the sword out of the stone, In the present, it was the loaves and fishes, cooked salmon, courtesy of a refrigerated trust that turned into an oven and a knock on collision between two delivery trucks that caused their loads, bagels and bottles of water to be spilled out on the banks of an interstate highway.

Written in short, easy to read chapters with each chapter forming a different part of the story. Sometimes set in the past, sometimes in the present, but sill adding to the overall development of the story and Arthur's development. Some of it has the hilarious exploits of knights out of their time. Like when the knights get separated from their minder, decide to scale Mount Rushmore and add Arthur's face to those of the presidents. Some are serious, when the knights go to Sturgis for a large motorbike rally and have a run-in with a psycho called Pinto and a blond, blue-eyed international terrorist who turns out to be Gwen's absent father.

A mixture of amusing, serious and rather iconoclastic writings, all of it thoroughly readable.

Jill Roberts

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