Book Review: In The Summer Country by John Conlee


In The Summer Country (2007) is the fourth in a series of light-hearted novels based on Arthurian legend by John Conlee, who was one of my favorite professors and an adviser at the College of William & Mary.   The conceit of these novels are that they are told from the perspective of Arthur’s faithful hound Cabal.  I’ve enjoyed reading all of these novels which are rooted in Arthurian traditions going back eons, but are lively and fun as well.  Cabal as a dog is loyal, proud, and often hungry.

This volume is particularly fanciful as Arthur and Cabal participate in an adventure on the Isles of Avalon.  On this adventure they encounter the Wild Herdsman, the Ladies of Avalon,  the evil Meligraunce, the eviler Dark Man, and the witch Scatha.  This magical land allows Arthur and Cabal to communicate in words for the first time.  Cabal also befriends a faery dog and wise-cracking cat.

While a book written for young readers, it’s enjoyable by adults, fans of Arthur, dog fanciers, and anyone who enjoys a good story.

In the Summer Country: A Tale of Arthur, Merlin & Cabal by John Conlee. Pale Horse Books (2006), Edition: 1st, Perfect Paperback, 190 pages

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