The Shadow of Camelot by Wendy Leighton-Porter continues the time traveling adventures of Joe, Jemima, Charlie, and Max the cat. This time they travel back to Camelot because they were called by Merlin the Magician. Merlin was trying to understand a prophecy about an event that would save King Arthur from the Saxon invaders. Max, the cat, plays a role in this adventure because he retrieves Excalibur for King Arthur after the children discover that it is magic. The sword was owned by Arthur’s enemy, the Saxon king, Aelle. The two cats in the story, Midnight and Max, sneak into the Aelle’s tent and drag the sword away so they can hide it in the bushes. Because they have gold magic owl charms, the children can understand Arthur and the Saxons, as well as Max the cat. This tale combines many of the Arthurian legends that have been handed down. It is a charming retelling by blending the stories together.
I enjoyed the story. I found the use of history, myth and legend to be entertaining. This is not the Disney version, but it is a ripping good tale. The descriptions advance the story which is well plotted. The dialogue is realistic and believable, even coming from a man from Gaul, Lancelot, who turns out to be a relative of Joe and Jemima. I love the part that Max plays. He gives the Britons instructions on winning the battle by painting a face of a cat on their shields. Arthur won the Battle of Badon without any fighting because King Aelle was so afraid of the cats on the shields. It was very entertaining. A five-star read.