The Pendragon Protocol, Paperback
4.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


The Circle are the modern-day successors of the Knights of the Round Table.

Armed with the latest military hardware and operating from a hidden fortress on the South Bank, they protect 21st-century Britain from certain very specific threats - criminals who, like the Circle's own Knights, have characters from Arthurian legend living inside their heads.

Jory Taylor, the Knight bearing the device of Sir Gawain, has grappled on the Circle's behalf with mercenaries, serial killers and far-right terrorist cells. However, when he is captured by Gawain's traditional enemy the Green Knight, he discovers a new side to the myths he lives by - one which, as he learns more about this clandestine world, becomes both threateningly personal and terrifyingly political.

The legends of King Arthur are not the only stories with influence on the British psyche - and some of the others have their own, very different agendas.

A smart, contemporary political thriller and a new kind of urban fantasy, The Pendragon Protocol is the first volume in The Devices Trilogy.



  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Snowbooks Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Fantasy
  • ISBN: 9781909679177



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Wonderful. Excellent fun and fully deserves to be a best seller. An inventive and modern re-imaging of the Arthurian legends with some delightfully cynical commentary around the edges. Without wanting to give too much away - even though one of the most interesting ideas only occurs a third of the way into the book - Jory is a modern Knight of the Circle. He's currently bearing the Device of Sir Gawain, and the Circle is responsible for upholding the honour of all devices within the UK - a somewhat limited remit that prevents them from being overworked, and allows a certain freedom of action to decide what cases to become involved in. The nature of a 'device' is poorly explained, the ambiguity being part of the essential nature of the plot, but most times it can be thought of as the memetic representation of a major folkloric story figure. The Circle believes it can trace them all back to the tales of Arthur and his knights' various foes. The beginning third of the book jumps around a lot describing Jory's current situation, and how he became aware of the Circle and infused with Sir Gawain. Eventually the plot becomes more linear as Jory begins to realise that the world is lot more complicated than he thought, and that perhaps not all the devices belong to Authurian canon. The central issues of the effectiveness of an Old White Man's club versus the gorilla action of a less rule bound group is an old theme, but well carried through. There are a couple of areas I didn't like - the interleaved story lines told out of time, and the somewhat expositional infodumps of the less well known (invented?) parts of the arthurian tales. This is hard to avoid, as the plot already relies more than is likely to be widely the case of familiarity with the details of the knights of the round table, but by presenting these less well known ones as page long tales in the middle of the plot, the whole story is slowed down considerably. i was impressed with the tempered use of 'but that's a story for another day ' which is the traditional bardic ending to any tale, that I've seen overused. Here it worked very well - although of course such stories aren't ever completed which also annoys a little bit.Generally however it is great. The voice of Dale the Tale carries the story in an odd almost third person voice that works very well, managing to avoid common sin of 'telling' rather than 'showing'. the magic is inventive and fun, the characters believably complex - with a certain duex et machina of the Devices to fall back upon when they make 'obvious' errors. I found the beginning a lot more fun than the end, and it isn't quite clear where the trilogy is going - another plus of the careful plotting is that it is not as predictable as you might at first expect!Overall well worth reading, inventive imaginative, enjoyable and clever. What more do you want?

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