‘Imagine discovering that your ancestors are from King Arthur’s court and that you are expected to find a way back in time to Camelot, defeat the evil Queen, Morgana Pendragon, and return the rightful heir to the throne, all while trying to pass the 11th grade. That is exactly what happens to 17-year-old Michael Merlin and his friends.’
Al Ford takes you along for the ride as six high school friends set out on a remarkable journey that will allow them to experience the power of redemption, the discovery of purpose, and the joy of friendship … with a little magic thrown in.
Rating: 4/5 stars
Publication Date: 4th September 2018
Page Count: 314 pages
Genre: Young Adult / Historical / Sci-fi
Heirs of the Round Table
‘Imagine discovering that your ancestors were part of King Arthur’s court …’
From the opening pages, I found Al Ford’s work brave. Taking a well-known, historical story and twisting it into something very much your own takes a special kind of knack. Some believe it to be a risky move – it’s the type of thing that more often than not divides opinion – but when done well it can lead to something wonderful and refreshing.
When I was younger, the BBC adapted the story of King Arthur in Merlin. It was a popular show for all ages, and definitely one of my favourites, and so I was very much intrigued by Heirs of the Round Table and what it could bring to the (no pun intended) table.
Switching between the past and present day, the story focuses around seventeen-year-old Michael Merlin and his two friends, Wesley and Anna, as they hope to reunite the Heirs and assume their rightful place together to reclaim Camelot. Full of magic, mystery and high school, it brings a pleasant and thoroughly well executed twist to the original story, adding a touch of contemporary adventure and romance along the way.
Ford tackles a diverse range of topics and characters, successfully managing to give each Heir a unique voice and personality, without juggling overly chunky dialogue, and does well in showing even the most dislikable of characters can be redeemable in someway or another.
My favourite character is Lacy. Throughout the book I believe she overcomes the most, from bullying, to self-harm to finally finding a place she feels she belongs and fighting for her beliefs and her friends. Her quirky, yet blunt, personality stands out for me personally amongst all other characters.
I’d recommend this book to those who enjoyed the Merlin series, those who love a modern twist on classic history, and to readers of young-adult books such as Percy Jackson.
I am very much looking forward as to what comes next from Ford, whether this story will continue to progress – it would be very interesting to see what unfolds for these lovable characters next – or if there is something new in the works.
My overall rating for Heirs of the Round Table is a solid 4/5 – with twists and turns, it is easy to get lost in the world Ford has created, and if you enjoy the experience of reading a book from start to finish in one sitting, this is definitely the one for you.
About the author
Al Ford, author of Heirs of the Round Table: Reclaiming Camelot, was born and raised in the deep south where he learned to read at an early age. Living in a small rural community with no other children around, Al turned to books as his escape. This love of reading continued into high school and later into his adult life.
Al is married to his best friend, Susan, and has three wonderful children, Amber, Nichole, and Chaz. Al also has two pretty cool sons-in-law, Tim and Trevor, one amazing granddaughter, Harley, and a spoiled Shi Tzu named Shadow. Al has a BS in Psychology, an MA in Human Services Counseling, and is currently working towards an Education Specialist degree. He has served as youth pastor for three churches and has worked as a mental health crisis case manager for youth. He currently works as a middle school social studies teacher and writes in his spare time.
Ford’s Twitter can be found here.