Robert Nye, like Peter Ackroyd, has always allowed a certain quality of fantasy and vulgarity into his work and while the chief tone of this wonderful book is elegaic, you will find much that is absolutely original, the work of a first class literary novelist. Yet, like Hawksmoor, this novel offers a strange, uneasy sense of shifting time, of great unseen forces at play. Don't confuse this with all the 'Arthurian' fantasies which came after it. Nye, like Henry Treece (who wrote The Great Captains, another fine Arthurian
tale, even earlier) is first and foremost a poet and his language rises to glorious heights in this.
While a literary novel, this book also deserves to be counted amongst the great classics of fantasy,
including T.H.White, Lord Dunsany and J.R.R.Tolkien. It should not be left out of the canon. It is definitely one of the best, if not the talented Nye's own best novel. This is a critic, poet and novelist we have not seen enough of recently.