Pros:Some of the best short stories you will ever read.
Cons:Some of the stories are mediocre.
The Bottom Line: It's rare I experience a wide range of emotions when I read any kind of fiction, but "The Last Defender Of Camelot" can really make you feel.
I first read The Last Defender Of Camelot over 20 years ago, and I still have that book I bought then. Though a paperback, it's in pristine condition, its age only given away by the price on the cover; $2.50. On the cover a wizard (Merlin?) looks out onto the street of a city; behind him is a castle and clouds, and not the interior of the dingy building he is in. That cover caught my eye, and I gladly entered the realm of that kingdom then, and I've joyfully crossed over many times since. The Last Defender Of Camelot has the best short story you will ever read, and it bears the same name as the book.
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"The Last Defender Of Camelot" is about Sir Launcelot, one of the Knights of the Round Table, and how he survived almost a thousand years after Camelot fell. He has not aged, and has lived under many names in many different places. In the close of the twentieth century, he meets Morgan Le Fay, a sorceress, also from that long gone time, who explains to him how he has lived for a thousand years, and the reason for it. He is destined to meet Merlin, who is about to awaken after a thousand-year spell has put him to sleep, and he must prevent Merlin's misguided idealism from unleashing his magical powers into destructive efforts to punish the "wicked".
While I would love to give you the rest of the story, I can not; that would spoil the pleasure you would have if you read it yourself. Please do, and feel the magic of Camelot as its last participants battle for the destiny of humanity, the thrill of titans clashing, and the pathos of Sir Launcelot's final clash of arms. Read the story. Live the dream. And do it again.
I'll also mention some of the other stories in The Last Defender Of Camelot; not that they aren't just as worthy as the previous one, but because I don't want make your experience of these stories any the less for knowing them ahead of time. Excellent and superb additional tales include "The Stainless Steel Leach"; a were-bot's existence among normal robots in the future, and "For A Breath I Tarry"; the labors of a supremely logical and immortal machine, Frost, to become a man.
I know I've mentioned in the "Cons" section above this opinion that some of the stories are mediocre, but that's just my opinion, just like I thought some of these stories are the best you'll ever read. I don't want to talk about the stories I thought were less than perfect, because, frankly, they aren't the ones I read over and over. Make up your own mind about which ones are the best, but I hope you'll agree with me that "The Last Defender Of Camelot" is one of them.
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