The Table of Less Valued Knights

The Table of Less Valued Knights

Book - 2014
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Down-on-his-luck, knight of Camelot and his eccentric band of misfits, Sir Humphrey du Val has had enough. Relegated to the Table of Less Valued Knights, he has been banned by King Arthur from going on quests, and hasn't left the castle in 15 years. After a chance meeting with Elaine a young maiden in search of her kidnapped fiancé, Sir Humphrey, along with his squire Conrad (an undersized giant) and Jemima (Conrad's elephant), sets off on a journey to find the distressed damsel's betrothed hoping to restore himself to a place of honour at the Round Table. Meanwhile, Martha, an errant queen on the run from her new power-hungry husband, is in disguise and on a quest of her own to find her long-lost brother, the true ruler of her realm. Martha soon runs--literally--into Humphrey's eccentric group, who take the incognito queen captive, believing her to be a boy. As they journey through countryside, castles and villages, they gather unlikely friends and enemies along the way. While each member of the party secretly harbours their own ambitions for the quest, their collective success, and the fate of the realm, rests on their grudging cooperation and unexpectedly.
Publisher: Toronto : Random House Canada, c2014
ISBN: 9780307359940
Branch Call Number: F PHI NVD
Characteristics: [308] p. ; 24 cm

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Veepea Nov 05, 2015

This is a novel taking place in times of legend but most of the characters have modern sensibilities. I felt that the author was trying too hard to make a social commentary. It's decent but nothing special, no subtlety.

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mee8784
Apr 17, 2015

I really enjoyed this book; it was a fast, fun read. I found the writing to be clever and witty, and the plot unexpected at times. Very Monty Python-esque to the point where I really would have enjoyed an audio-book version as to not rely on the character voices I made up in my head (I do a miserable English accent.) Definitely not a book for the kiddos due to some adult humor, but certainly good for a laugh.

DanniOcean Sep 09, 2014

reviewed in the Stratford Gazette, Sept. 2014 (see Summaries)

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mee8784
Apr 17, 2015

mee8784 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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DanniOcean Sep 09, 2014

Finally, from the author of the very funny Gods Behaving Badly, a new novel about a different set of legends. Marie Phillips has taken the Arthurian tales of the Round Table, turned them upside-down, added a splash of Monty Python and a dash of Princess Bride, and ended up with this utterly charming and hilarious spoof of those chivalrous stories of old.

Sir Humphrey du Val once sat at the Round Table, not at Arthur’s right side, but at a respectable distance part way around. However the results of one bad quest leaves him demoted to the lowest table at Camelot, the Table of Less Valued Knights (one down from the Table of Errant Companions). Here he awaits the day he can retire, while remembering glorious days past, until one dark and stormy night not one but two questing opportunities present themselves. Unbeknownst to the Round Table, Sir Humphrey steals the second quest, and with his mini-giant squire Conrad, sets off to help the Lady Elaine find her fiancée, Sir Alistair, who was kidnapped by a Black Knight.

Meanwhile, the newly orphaned and crowned Queen Martha of Puddock finds herself suddenly and horrifically married to an upstart Prince Consort with humongous incisors, but hears a rumour that her older brother, Sir Jasper, is still alive. With the help of a stand-in crone she disguises herself as a boy and begins her own quest to find him so she won’t have to be queen. Along the way she picks up an enchanted sword (a la Excalibur, but this one is called Laila), and learns a few hard lessons regarding class and gender.

Once these two parties collide – quite literally – the action really picks up. There is death and dismemberment and reanimation, unicorns, men in iron masks and more than one Lady in the Lake (apparently there’s a union). In short, The Table of Less Valued Knights is a tale worthy of the reading and laughter, especially for fans of Christopher Moore (except there is a lot less courtly swearing).

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