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“Candle, Cup, and Casket” by Desiderii

legendary_titan_desktopNote: This was recommended to me by Carole Cummings.  I’d heard that this novel (about 800 pages) was some sort of fan fiction, based off of the TV show “Merlin”.  I’ve seen some of that show, and that series isn’t based in space, and the characters are…different.  I suppose the only reason I’m quibbling over details, is because I think the author could take full ownership of this brilliant piece of literature.  

King Arthur in space!  The story is told mainly from Merlin and Arthur’s point of view.  There’s magic and technology, and it’s interesting to see how they mix.  The ships are huge, take the place of the old cities of Camelot and Kilgharrah, and have biospheres and “ghosts”.  The Kilgharrah is inhabited by the ghost of a dragon – see how the author ties this all together with the legend of old?  Pretty cool.

I was super impressed with the level of science that went into this, even how the magic and science worked with and against each other.  The author has notes at the end of some of her chapters, where she explains her sources for various phenomena, if you’re curious.  Since most of the humans have technological modifications, and magic tends to rip technology apart, Merlin is in a constant struggle to stay safe – with regards to himself and others.  Arthur is approximately half machine – complete with brain and heart and lungs modifications – and he and Merlin have to negotiate how to be close to one another throughout the novel, while trying to not send one or both of them into cardiac arrest.

The relationship pairings in this book were staggering.  Merlin and Arthur.  Arthur and Gwen.  Lance and Arthur.  Gwen, Arthur, and Lance.  There are even transgendered people in this world, and it seemed like most people were pansexual-leaning.  I really liked that.  Don’t get me wrong, this wasn’t MMF, a Romance, or even MM.  This was a Science Fiction where the characters are LGBTQ+, and I found it easier to relate to because of it.  I’d recommend this to anyone who likes Science Fiction, King Arthur, or magic in space.


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Ben Brock is a reviewer for The Novel Approach and Queer Sci Fi. He enjoys running, whisk(e)y, the mythical gluten-free donut, and fills his life with bent bunk. He especially loves to discuss LGBTQ+ literature. His website is You can find him on Goodreads:



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