May 25, 2016

Cave Beneath the Sea: The Shards of Excalibur, Book 4

by Edward Willett
Coteau Books
213 pp.
Ages 13+
November 2015

Merlin incarnate, Rex Major, CEO of Excalibur Computer Systems, is ever hopeful of acquiring the four shards and the hilt of Excalibur so that he might open the door to Faerie and launch an attack. During the course of Song of the Sword (Coteau, 2014), Twist of the Blade (Coteau, 2014) and The Lake in the Clouds (Coteau, 2015), three shards have been located but Rex Major is only in possession of one.  Our fifteen-year-old modern-day Lady of the Lake, Ariane Forsythe, and her burgeoning boyfriend Wally Knight, heir of King Arthur, possess the other two shards and are determined to keep  Rex Major from getting his magical hands on any more.

But, just weeks before Christmas, Wally and Ariane’s search for the fourth shard has become more complicated because of Ariane’s missing mother and Wally’s sister Felicia a.k.a. Flish.  Travelling far and wide via magical water transport just to access the internet without tipping off Rex Major to their location (currently in Saskatchewan), Wally discovers photos of Emily Forsythe tagged at the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal in B.C.  While they pursue that lead, they are painfully aware that Flish, also an heir of Arthur, would be helping Rex Major to pull in the magic and locate the remaining shards.  Fortunately, that is also a blessing as it reveals to the two teens that Merlin and Flish are headed to Cacibajagua Island in the Caribbean, home of a saltwater cave fed by a freshwater waterfall, and undoubtedly the location of the fourth shard. And it’s a dangerous race to find the shard and liberate it from its watery hiding spot.

In Cave Beneath the Sea, Edward Willett has created as exciting a read as the earlier books in the series, continuing to develop his characters and their relationships while the action-filled plot carries the reader to intriguing national and international locales.  Both Ariane and Wally feel the power of the sword, drawing them to its shards but also compelling their anger in those who have hurt them: parents, siblings, bullies, enemies. And while they struggle with those yearnings, they are finding their way to a hitherto-unknown girlfriend-boyfriend relationship that provides them the family they both crave.  It’s hard for me to decide which is the stronger foundation for the story, the characters or the plot, as both are substantial and intricate.  Regardless, Cave Beneath the Sea takes The Shards of Excalibur a fast-moving step closer to the Door to Faerie, the magical entity and Book 5 in the series.

Check this blog tomorrow for details about Edward Willett’s book launch of Door to Faerie early next month to be held in, you guessed it, Regina, Saskatchewan.

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