Posted by on Aug 20, 2012 in | 0 comments

A black knight becomes protector to a teenage girl. Together they cross the lands and end up at an elaborate Fair where love and heroism save the day.

 

Two young relatives of Celtic warriors flee their city to escape the encroaching Saxon hordes. PENRHYD is an eager young teenage girl and her eight-year-old cousin is GODWIN. ODO, the wise old Abbot, and DAME MARGRIT, Penrhyd’s former nurse, chaperone them along with THOMAS, an inexperienced young squire desperate to impress the temperamental Penrhyd. As they travel across the land, they are joined by AZAEL, a knight who identifies himself as Penrhyd’s guardian angel. He surprises everyone simply because he is black. Their flight soon gains urgency when a Saxon warrior carries off Penrhyd. Along the way our characters examine the meaning of God, religion, and society. They eventually all meet up again amidst a bizarre and elaborate Fair where the threat of a Saxon attack puts to test their heroism, young love, and tolerance. Robert Nathan, once again, exhibits his mastery of story telling when, in “The Fair,” he explores questions of philosophy, tolerance, and the fickle nature of young love.

“There is little, if anything, in this story which combines irony and fantasy that is any more pointless than some of the incidents in Tolken’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ or less comic than the goings-on in T.H. White’s ‘The Once and Future King.’ In a fashion similar to these two works, but in a style uniquely his, the author demonstrates how much more can be said with the light touch than can be communicated by the tedious seemingrealism of a 600-page epic.”

Albert Duhamel
New York Times