Eternal Knight is the exciting conclusion to the Guardians of Camelot series, which involves a new take on the King Arthur mythologies with Merlin, Lancelot, Gawain, Galahad, Lancelot and others fighting to save the world against Morgan le Fay and her demonic army. Galahad, Lancelot’s son, has been rescued from the torment he’s endured for hundreds of years and is revealed to be Gawain’s Tresor, his soul mate. And now that the last Knight has found his Tresor, it’s time for the final battle of dark against light.
Galahad was only fed lies about his father, but he had a good, loving heart and wanted to make his father proud of him. Now, having endured centuries of torture, of having to watch as other people suffered, he’s afraid of how he’ll be judged by his father, the great Lancelot, hero of Camelot and true love of Merlin, himself. Will his father forgive him for his mistakes, the ones that led him to falling for Morgan le Fay’s lies, for allowing himself to fall into her power? Will he hate him? And then there’s the new life he’s living. A life in the mortal world, with noise and color. Galahad has gone from being isolated, with only pain and his torturer for company, to a house filled with people. Walking is hard enough, but socializing? That’s almost more frightening than Morgan le Fay’s monsters.
The worst parts, though, are the ones Galahad has to hide. The way he used his magic, calling innocents to him because he was lonely, because his magic was trying to protect his sanity, trying to do what his heart willed it to do. Could anyone forgive him the things that happened because he was weak? Because he was enslaved, tortured, starved of comfort or love … could Gawain ever forgive him for the kidnappings that are happening, even now, as Morgan le Fay looks for a replacement for Galahad’s magic and blood?
Gawain is not a true Knight. He was never actually knighted, and he was the one Knight not asked by Merlin to accept the call to live forever fighting the monsters called forth by Morgan le Fay, to protect humanity and to prepare for the final battle. It’s always bothered him a bit, but it has never once stopped him from doing his duty. For all that he prefers computers to people, he’s still a Knight, still able to use his sword to cut down the Ursus. What Gawain isn’t able to do is fight his attraction for Galahad, his Tresor, his soul mate, the one he has to bond to by sleeping with him … who just so happens to be Lance’s son. His best friend, Lance. The leader of the Knights, Lance. But, as with every Tresor and Knight bond, the love is there, instant and eternal, and Gawain can no more stop himself from loving Galahad than he can stop his heart beating.
The great strength of the first two books in this series was the depth of characterization where a broken Knight and an equally broken Tresor came together to find balance and healing. But after four books, the “I’m not worthy of him” from the Knight, and the “how could he love someone as pathetic as me” from the Tresor is just a bit wearing. It’s just a lot of the same flavor. Especially when Gawain has already seen, four times now, Tresors and Knights find one another. He’s rolled his eyes and endured the whining, the doubting, the shy misunderstandings … so why does he brush off Galahad’s love of him as a temporary thing, or as a bond forcing the love that can’t be there because Gawain is so undeserving? Why does he have problems accepting that this mystical bond, cast by Merlin himself, is real?
The angst was done better in the first two books, and I didn’t enjoy the rehashing of old story beats. Fortunately, the melodrama wraps up fairly quickly and, around the halfway mark, the story dives right into the action. Sort of. There’s a sidetrack involving the Holy Grail, a childhood horse, another Knight cast back in time, and declarations of love taking place at random locations. The pacing is all over the place in this final book, and the plot suffers a bit for it as tension is broken in odd places and some scenes are just pushed aside in favor of others, sometimes to the detriment of the story. However, I’m impressed with all the foreshadowing done in earlier books and how many dangling strings are tied up neatly in this final installment.
If you’ve read the previous books and enjoyed them, then book four is well worth the reading, if only to see how everything is brought together.