“The Table of Less Valued Knights” is written by Marie Phillips, who also wrote “Gods Behaving Badly.” This time, she takes her prodigious imagination to Camelot.
Sir Humphrey du Val, formerly of the Round Table, is now relegated to a wobbly table in the hall with the other Less Valued Knights put out to pasture. They aren’t supposed to go on quests or do anything remotely interesting or swashbuckling. Sir Humphrey lingers long after a dinner when Elaine wanders in with a quest request. Sir Humphrey takes it on, along with an undersized giant and his faithful elephantine mount. Their quest crosses with that of Martha, a princess on the run. All the Arthurian elements you’d expect, including ladies in the lake, are present.
This is an entirely light read, full of out-of-time dialogue and Monty-Python-esque silliness. You won’t learn much about the world or the human condition, except maybe have a few of its foibles highlighted. The world needs mind candy like this, however, that doesn’t insult your intelligence and serves to entertain. It’s a great read for those days when your brain is just done with reality and you want to slip in a little fun that doesn’t require you to get off the sofa or wear real pants.
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